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Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Vienna Media News 07/2014 VIDEO: Handmade in Vienna

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Master violin marker Bärbel Bellinghausen is upholding a proud tradition with time-honoured methods. Every two to three months another handmade violin leaves her studio in the fifth district. Built to her own designs or based on those of old masters, every single instrument is made without the use of power tools. According to Bellinghausen hand-craftsmanship is the only viable option when it comes to working with organic materials like wood. Even the varnishes used to protect the finished articles are prepared using old recipes.

Cups and plates in pastel shades, lamps with delicate drilled patterns and beautifully decorated storm lamps: every piece produced by porcelain makers feine dinge is 100% handmade. First, they are poured into moulds and retouched before being fired. Next comes sanding and glazing before the firing process is repeated. Sandra Haischberger’s pared-down designs have distinctive tangible properties and feature finely structured surfaces. She is also comfortable looking to the past for inspiration in her work.

Hutmanufaktur Mühlbauer is another strong believer in the principles of hand-craftsmanship, using machines for support only where strictly necessary. The art of hat making is a complex process. Felt, the basic material, is hammered, steamed, stretched, shaped, dried, ironed and brushed until it takes on the desired form. Next up, bands, buttons, buckles, feathers and other decorative features are added. Founded in 1903 as a family-run business, the company is now in its fourth-generation under Klaus Mühlbauer, who took over in 2001. His high-quality handmade headwear has attracted an international following, with stars such as Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Madonna all on his client list.

At least 60 hours of work goes into every pair of handmade shoes produced by Sheer Schuhe (est. 1816) in the historic city centre. Current owner Markus Scheer took over the reins in the 1990s. The path to the perfect bespoke shoe starts with a private consultation with the customer and includes various hands-on stages such as taking measurements, carving lasts, making a sample shoe, stitching the different parts of the shoe together and polishing the finished article. By the second half of the 19th century Scheer had become one of the top shoemakers in Europe, earning itself the coveted title of official supplier to the imperial court.

  • Master violin maker, Bärbel Bellinghausen, Hamburgerstrasse 7/25, 1050 Vienna,
  • feine dinge, Porzellanmanufaktur, Krongasse, 1050 Vienna, from the end of May 2014: Margaretenstrasse 35, 1040 Vienna,
  • Mühlbauer Hutmanufaktur, Seilergasse 10, 1010 Vienna,
  • Scheer Schuhe, Bräunerstrasse 4, 1010 Vienna,


Vienna Tourist Board
Helena Hartlauer
Media Relations UK, USA, Canada, Australia
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364

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