History of Ceramic Christmas Trees
At Dark Horse Arts and Gifts LLC, we have been privileged to share in some amazing and touching stories about Grandma's, Mom's and Auntie's original ceramic Christmas Tree. Many people today are looking to repair or replace the special tree that they remember from Christmases long ago...
Ceramic Christmas Trees became very popular back in the 1970's, however we have heard of trees dating back to as early as the 60's! As technology improved in producing clay and molds that could hold correct shapes and create larger sizes, ceramic trees became more and more popular projects in ceramics shops around the USA well into the 1980's and early 1990's.
Remember When...Vintage Ceramic Christmas Trees
Back in the 1960-1970's, Mom or Grandma wanted to create their own gifts, keepsakes, pots, and dinnerware so they went to learn how to paint their own ceramics at a local shop. This lead to holiday decorations and - you guessed it - ceramic trees!
Several different ceramic mold companies in the Midwest started producing their own version of the now classic Ceramic Christmas Tree. The earliest versions of trees had tiny electric bulbs that lit individually. As technology developed in plastics and lighting, the older versions of tiny individual bulbs were replaced by trees that lit from within using only one light bulb to light and entire tree that is decorated with small, colorful plastic "bulbs."
Vintage trees from this era are painted in a variety of colors, styles and textures. Some are glazed, some finished in acrylic paint, some with snow and many without, but one thing is clear --- people still love those remarkable handmade ceramic Christmas Trees!
Since these trees are made from fired clay, little care is required, making them perfect for holiday decorations and gifts that easily last many, many years.
The Decline of Ceramics as a Hobby
Since the early 1990's, several mold companies and ceramic shops have gone out of business or merged with others due to a decline in interest for ceramics; mainly due to the influx of ready-made ceramics from Japan and later China. Added to that the need for Mom's to go to work to help support the family, leaving little time for ceramics projects. As these mold companies went out of business and ceramic shops closed up, many of the original mold designs and styles have been lost or destroyed.
Everyone still remembers those lovely old trees, and there are still a few ceramic artists that make ceramic Christmas Trees and offer finished Ceramic Christmas Trees for sale, and even bisque ceramic trees for do-it-yourself holiday projects. New memories are being created as friends, children and grandchildren enjoy trees made from some vintage mold designs still available today.
At CeramicChristmasTrees.info, we use molds from 1977, 1978 and 1981 designs as originally made sold by Nowell's Molds in Ohio, and now Shiloh Molds in Arkansas. All our pieces are made with molds, clay, paint and lights made in the USA. Although it is difficult to get some of the parts and supplies, we use various suppliers in the USA and source the highest quality materials so that your tree will last many generations.
Perfect to bring out for the holidays, ceramic Christmas Trees are still cherished today and we are so fortunate to be a part of our customer's lives in creating new Christmas memories for their children, grandchildren and friends.