The gnome began losing it's popularity when the mass produced plastic and then resin gnomes came onto the scene beginning in the early 60's. Up until then the garden gnome traditionally handmade in terracotta clay was a cherished, collectible ornament that stayed in the family and was passed down through the generations. We have gnomes in our collection that are 150+ years old and have been with the same family all that time!
With the arrival of mass production and plastic the workshops that made the beautifully handcrafted gnomes died out. But the saturation of the market with garish overly 'cute', often oversized caricatures of gnomes has given the gnome a bad name. People tell us all the time that they have never seen gnomes like ours before, gnomes with character. Our own customers are drawn to the faces of our gnomes, the expression and life-like quality of the face and gnome is very important.
As the market continues to be saturated with resin gnomes we at Kimmel Gnomes stand alone as the only workshop in the world making clay gnomes the way they were made 150 years ago.
In a throw-away society the plastic gnome still reigns supreme as the ultimate, trashy, tacky symbol of the 20th century but behind what it (the gnome) has become lies another world lost in the mists of time. A time when quality of craftsmanship counted for something. We are continuing that legacy here in the USA so that 100 years from now our grandchildren will go into the garden and touch the cap of a garden gnome we had in our garden and know it was ours and remember us and have a real connection.....