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©gmundner keramik

Intangible Cultural Heritage Flames

“Flaming” is the application of a recognizable pattern to ceramics; usually loops, nooses, stripes, waves or arcs. The typical decorative technique was included by UNESCO in the national list of intangible cultural heritage in Austria in 2021.

Long Tradition. The art of flaming established itself in the Gmundner area already in the 17th century. At that time, colored dots and spots on white lead glaze, which achieved a certain marble effect, were in vogue. The mostly light green, cobalt blue or brown color was sprayed with a horn on mainly domestic and utility ceramics. At 18th century, the typical banding in green on white glaze background was created. Soon the “Grüngeflammte Ware”, also called “Gmundnerisches Geschirr”, found its way to Vienna via the river Traun and the Danube.

Continuous development. Originally, a horn was used to apply the paint, the tip of which was cut off. Today, flaming is done at a dedicated flaming station. Colors and patterns are also constantly evolving.

Unique in the world. The Gmundner Keramik Manufaktur is the only company in the world that still practices the craft of flaming today and passes on the knowledge of this skill from generation to generation. The training to become a flammer – it is mainly women who work in this profession – lasts two years.

Pure handmade. Ceramic flaming is still finely handcrafted; each piece is unique. A stamp on the bottom of the finished product allows you to track exactly which flammer designed each piece. Currently, more than 900 different items are flamed in the Gmundner Keramik Manufaktur, including cups, jugs, bowls, plates, jars and accessories.

Omnipresent in Gmunden. The “green-flamed” decor is omnipresent in Gmunden. The well-known pattern not only adorns the laid table, but also characterizes the cityscape – for example, on the “Glockenspiel” (ceramic carillon) at the town hall.