Entries in Craft and Artisanal Industries

Aust, Gottfried
German immigrants Gottfied Aust and Rudolph Christ established a long-lasting, important, and distinctive pottery tradition in the southern United States. Master potter Gottfried Aust settled in Bethabara, one of the earliest Moravian communities in North Carolina, in 1755. He and his apprentices and journeymen, including Rudolph Christ (who replaced Aust as master in 1789), were some of the earliest American potters to experiment with the production of creamware, white, salt-glazed stoneware, and tin-glazed earthenware. Together, Aust and Christ developed a distinct aesthetic tradition that would continue to be appreciated centuries later for both its visual and aesthetic qualities. Continue Reading »
Gebelein, George
A first-generation immigrant, George Gebelein earned acclaim for the superb quality of his handcrafted silver products, finding success as a craftsman in an era when mass-produced goods had replaced handcrafted products. Continue Reading »
Gemünder, George
August and George Gemünder pioneered high-quality violin making and trading in the United States and were responsible for establishing violin making as a respected craft in the U.S. and also for facilitating the flow of classical violins into the country. Continue Reading »
Gruen, Dietrich
After learning the watchmaking trade in the Black Forest region, Dietrich Gruen immigrated to the United States, where he eventually patented an improved center pinion for watches. This innovation became the foundation of Gruen’s business ventures, which included the Gruen Watch Company, a leading watch manufacturing firm that operated for half a century. Continue Reading »
Martin, Christian Frederick
C.F. Martin and Company closely resembles a classic German Mittelstand enterprise set down in Pennsylvania’s lush and rolling Lehigh Valley. Founded in 1833 by German immigrant Christian Frederick Martin, today the acoustic guitar manufacturer is run by the the sixth generation of his family. Continue Reading »
Potthast, William A.
William, Vincent, Theodore, and John Potthast, all of whom had trained as cabinetmakers in their native Germany, built up a successful Baltimore furniture company that specialized in producing replicas of eighteenth-century American furniture. Over time, the Potthast brothers established a reputation for putting Old World European craft skills to use in the manufacture of Colonial Revival pieces. Continue Reading »
Stickley, Gustav
Second-generation German immigrant Gustav Stickley is remembered today as one of America’s leading furniture designers and arbiters of taste. A key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, Stickley created an authentically American furniture designed to suit the needs of modern families. He also founded a groundbreaking magazine, The Craftsman, whereby he publicized his work and the philosophies that motivated it. Stickley’s furniture enjoyed widespread popularity among consumers. As importantly, however, his work influenced others in the craft and building professions, specially designers and architects who were receptive to Arts and Crafts ideals. Continue Reading »