Fotoeins Fotografie

questions of place & home

Posts tagged ‘Saechsisches Elbland’

Haus Meissen, Meissener Porzellan, Staatliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen, Meissen, Sachsen, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Meissen: centuries of Saxon porcelain tradition

In a present-age of speed, screens, and instant gratification, there are reasons to hold onto something tangible in your hands, something as simple as a cup, a plate, a bowl; all high-quality products made in the slow time-honoured way developed over centuries as an important local and, now national, cultural tradition.

First time porcelain production began in China going back at least 1000 years BCE with the subsequent centuries yielding hard durable highly-valued products in white, blue-and-white, and green. With European naval powers reaching Asia in the 16th and 17th-centuries, porcelain found new customers and high demand as “white gold” on par with gold and silver. Admiration and envy got many in Europe to thinking: all we need are some chalky deposits, some water, and some big hot ovens, and we’ll be rich … apart from chemistry, the correct firing or curing temperatures, experimentation, and skill. Until the early 18th-century all porcelain came from China, which is how the present-day phrase “(fine) china” arises.

The European debut to porcelain-making began in 1710 in Albrechtsburg castle in Meissen. When the big guy (who pays your wages or is holding you prisoner) says: “go ye therefore and make me some ‘gold'”, one tends to heed those orders. Frequently in need of funds, Augustus the Strong imprisoned and ordered the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger to produce “gold”, but with mathematician and physicist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus’ guidance, the two gentlemen did the next best thing and produced Europe’s first “white gold.” Porcelain manufacturing moved from the castle to the present location outside of Meissen’s old town in 1863.

We enter the Meissen Couture and its porcelain museum for a look behind the scenes. Why worry about modern techniques like 3-d printing when you’ve got motivated people willing to put in the hours; their hearts, minds, and souls into their craft? The basic creative instinct and personal touch live on in Meissen.

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Kunsthandwerker Passagen, Dresdner Neustadt, Germany, fotoeins.com

Fotoeins Friday: Morning inside, the Dresdner Neustadt

I’m out and about, at 8 on a Wednesday morning in late-April.

In the midst of the (in)action.
A creaky door opens and closes.
Clanging sounds of pots and pans.
From around the corner, a dog barks.
A word from a woman to her young daughter, on their way to school.
A delivery van slowly makes its way down the narrow cobbled-stone streets.

And a morning passes, in the middle of Neustadt in the German city of Dresden.

Neustadt, Dresden, Germany, fotoeins.com

Neustadt, Dresden, Germany, fotoeins.com

I made this photo above on 22 April 2015 with the Canon 6D and the EF 24-105 L IS zoom-lens. I’m grateful to Germany Tourism and Dresden Marketing for supporting activities in the area. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com as http://wp.me/p1BIdT-6Qc.

Goethe quote, Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Brühl's Terrace, Dresden, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Dresden: the night watch

After identifying a number of places to view Prague at night, Dresden is equally worthy to photograph after sundown. With its nickname “Florence on the Elbe” (Elbflorenz, Florenz an der Elbe) leading the way, I highlight these four places to photograph the city at night.

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Sächsisches Staatsweingut, Schloss Wackerbarth, Radebeul, Saxony, Germany, fotoeins.com

Celebrating Saxon wine tradition at Schloss Wackerbarth

I have a confession.

Red wines and I have rarely gotten along.

With the exception of the Chilean Carménère, reds generally feel I’ve been pouring scarlet poison down my gullet, burning and tearing the esophageal lining on the way down to my stomach, into a slow boil, scalding and churning with fury.

Dear crimson nectar, you’re all hot and alluring dressed in your tannins, but I cannot have you any more. The subsequent days of post-red churning-gut syndrome are over. I’ve left you for the clean, smooth, sharp, sexy blondes, because frankly, I’m having a lot more fun with the whites. I admit I’ll occasionally stray to the familiar Carménère, but I will always bring white wine back home.

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Morning view, Elbe river, Elbwiesen, Blasewitz, Schloss Eckberg, Dresden, Saxony, Sachsen, Germany, fotoeins.com

Celebrating Saxony’s traditions in white: milk, wine, & porcelain (IG)

As part of the pre-conference tour for the GTM15 (Germany Travel Mart), I am exploring culture and traditions in the German state of Saxony. I’ve written about exploring the bright side of Dresden, and celebrating Saxony’s culture with beer and the Sorbian minority.

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