What are Schwibbogens?
During the Christmas season, windows throughout Germany are lit with the soft lights of Schwibbogen or Christmas arches. These traditional displays reach back over 270 years to the silver mines of the Erzgebirge in Germany. After miners finished a long, hard day in the mines, they would hang their lanterns at the mine entrance. The twinkling lights formed a glittering arch, and these lantern arches are thought to have been the inspiration for Schwibbogen.
Schwibbogens were carved in homes and decorated with candles. Today, the candles are often replaced with tiny electric lights. Just as the Nutcracker and the Christmas pyramids have become known worldwide as symbols of Christmas folk art, so has the Schwibbogen.
Inspiration for Schwibbogens
What are Schwibbogens and where on earth did we get the idea to make them? Great question! We love to travel and found ourselves in Germany on a Christmas Market Cruise up the Danube. The ship made its way from Budapest to Nuremberg and along the way, we would stop to sightsee and visit each town's, Chriskindle Market. It was at these charming markets that we first discovered the Schwibbogen. These beautiful pieces of intricately made Christmas Folk Art where being sold at every market and we were fascinated with the skill and detail it took to create them. Immediately we fell in love and purchased a Schwibbogen to take home with us. Throughout the Christmas season, we enjoyed it on our mantle. Clayton couldn't get the idea out of his head that with a lot of skill and a little luck, maybe he could make his own Schwibbogens. After many hours of painstaking trial and error, we finally hit on something special and our Schwibbogen business was born. Each Schwibbogen is made with love and great memories, we hope you enjoy our creations as much as we enjoy making them.
White or Natural Schwibbogen?
White or Natural? Traditional Schwibbogens are natural in color, but we had requests for a white version. So we tried and tried and tried again to create it. Trust me it wasn't easy! The biggest problem was the laser cutter kept starting the paint on fire, so we would end up with a charred mess instead of an intricate work of art. Maybe burnt Schwibboens are a thing, but we didn't like the look. So we tried to figure out a way to solve the problem to no avail. Then through the genius of my brother a professional cabinet maker, we figured it out and the WHITE Schwibbogen was born. What's our secret? Ask my brother :)
Schwibbogen Options (Click on Picture to Select options for purchase)
Small LDS Temple
Click on the Pictures above to find different options. The Temple Square has options for Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra members. The Small and Large temples available are Salt Lake and St George. We also have a variety of nativities. Including a "Journey to Bethlehem" option that is a fun take on a traditional Nativity.
Lights or No Lights?
Traditional Schwibbogens were lit with candles but modern-day ones have Christmas lights. Our Schwibbogens have battery packs and take 3 AA batteries in the large Schwibbogens and 2 AA in the small. Each battery pack has an on and off switch and a blinking mode. Our mothers day Schwibbogens are smaller and do not have lights to help make them more affordable.
How big are our Schwibbogens?
Our Large Temple Square, St George, and Nativity Schwibbogens are approximately 17in inches in length, 11 inches in height and 2 /12 inches in width. They are made out of lightweight Baltic Birch wood so they weigh less than 3 pounds. Our small Schwibbogens are approximately 11 inches long, 10 inches tall and 2 1/2 inches in width. They weight around 1 1/2 pounds. Our Mothers Day Scwibbogens are the smallest and they are approximately 10 inches long, 8 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches in width. They weigh around a pound and they are our only Schwibbogens without lights. All of our Schwibbogens are extremely fragile and delicate, which is what makes them so beautiful. They are meant to be admired by children from a distance and are definitely not strong enough to be played with. :)
Where are we Located?
We live in the beautiful Heber Valley nestled in the Wasatch Mountains. We are a quick 15-minute drive from Park City Utah and 45 minutes from Salt Lake City Utah. Clayton runs his own architecture firm and in his spare time gets to design Schwibbogens for fun. I am Clayton's wife Bonnie and I get to pretend I am a Christmas elf and assemble the Schwibbogens once they are cut. If you live in Utah and want to take a scenic drive to Heber to pick up your new Schwibbogn, give us a shout out and we will make sure one is ready for you.