Yesterday I was out and about visiting neighborhood garage sales when I stumbled upon this stunning multi-colored vase:
Immediately, the owner approached me and began to tell the story of its origin. She was from Germany and during the 1970's, had a friend who worked at the Volkswagen factory. He had made her a vase using all the colors that were available for Volkswagen cars at the time drizzled onto a 1 litre glass bottle.
A paint reference website says some of the 1970's Beetle colors were Cliff Green, Brilliant Orange, Saturn Yellow, Havest Gold, Olympic Blue. Most of which can be found on this bottle. Here are how some of them looked on the actual cars:
According to Bill Vance at Autos.ca, the rise of the giant Volkswagen factory after World War II in what became the West German City of Wolfsburg, was a modern industrial miracle. Constructed before the war to build Hitler’s “Peoples Car,” it produced few cars before and during the war. It mostly built Volkswagen-based Kubelwagens, Germany’s version of the Jeep. When hostilities ended, the plant was largely in ruins from allied bombing.
He also writes: "The ex-prisoners and others scrounged around and found the hidden VW tooling. They set about cleaning up and restoring the plant. Pleased to see the people occupied, the British Army began trucking in coal from the Ruhr Valley. By the end of 1945 the enterprising Germans had produced several hundred Volkswagens. There were setbacks along the way, but the VW plant gradually got into full scale production. By March, 1953, it had built a half-million Beetles, and by August, 1955, a million."
My neighbor brought the vase with her to Canada and kept it all these years, but is now of the age when downsizing to move to an apartment with her husband means some treasures have to be parted with.
I think her friend - that Volkswagen employee/artist - had created a stunning vase in tribute to not only Volkswagen, but 1970's culture.
Please check out my Etsy shop if you're interested in owning this piece of 1970's nostalgia.