The Straw Shop was asked to locate a certain tool in 2021 for a woman who telephoned us. It was that moment The Straw Shop met nonagenarian Anneliese Fidler, a master straw stars artist residing in New Hampshire, USA and wanted to introduce you to her. Anneliese has made stars for longer than many of our readers have been alive.
Forwarded by her family here is her story:
I was born in 1929 in Lubeck, Germany. My siblings and I were taught from early childhood to make our own Christmas gift. We have kept up this tradition throughout the years. My two sisters and I made straw stars, Our profits were donated to charity.
I left Lubeck to study music at the Bavarian State Conservatory of Music in Wurzburg, Germany. There I met an American teacher who sponsored me to come to the United States. I left Germany for South Carolina in 1955 where I continued my studies at Converse College in Spartanburg. I completed my bachelor’s degree and immediately enrolled in a master’s program. My first job after completing my education was teaching chorus and voice at Saint Andrew’s Methodist College in Laurinburg, North Carolina.
In 1962 I married my best friend, and we began our family on Long Island, New York. I continued my music career as a soloist at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in Manhattan. As my children grew and began their own families, I returned to crafting. I have made many things throughout the years: clothing, jewelry, all-occasion cards, candle holders, just to name a few. Of all my crafts however, I have mastered the art of straw star making.
I have sold my crafts for many years, donating all profits to charity. For the last 15 years I have donated to aid in world hunger relief. I have received much kindness and opportunity in this country, and these donations are my way of saying thank you.” If you are interested in purchasing stars or cards, they may be purchased through Hollis Artspace following the Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center in Hollis, New Hampshire closure in 2022.” They accept orders by emailing at this time: Info@hollisartspace.com
Mrs. Fidler sent The Straw Shop some of her stars and note cards strung with silver thread as a thank you for our assistance providing her with the tools she could not otherwise locate. In our conversations, we learned as a child she and her sisters would buy the straw from craft stores in her hometown. The whole stalked straw had to be split and flattened out by running the straw over scissors until ribbon like. A small star make take upwards of three hours to make. The following gallery are images from the unopened packaged stars and note cards she sent. The stars sent range in size from 8 inches wide to 2 1/2 inches ranging in large, medium, and small carded sizes.The Straw Shop has not examined the back of the works in order to protect them, but recognizes the detail of work associated with them. Mrs. Fidler’s use of beads is quite a signature in her complex star creations. She confirmed beads were not added in her family creations. The beads were added to her designs 15-20 years ago according to her in 2022. She also tells us that unlike her sisters, she added colored straw to her star creations.
Please enjoy the gallery below which represents only a few of her star and card designs:
In another note, Anneliese further explained, “When I immigrated to America in 1955, my first land-ladies only wanted my straw stars on their tree. At that time there was no plastic form to arrange the straw in a circle. I had gold paper, that was gold on both sides, cut out doilies and thread the straw through the made holes.
About 35 years or so someone invented plastic forms in various sizes that now held straw beams. The natural and colored straw and the forms come from Germany. The straw is on the size of a drinking straw, is split, made more secure with transparent tape at the back, then cut into the right width and placed in the form. The beads are thread on gold-colored thread and wound once around the center bead and four times around the others. Then the straw beams are glued and cut and the end thread is tied into a small sling to be able to hang it with a Christmas hook.
The stars make nice decorations on lamp shades, mirrors, windows and look lovely on branches in vases.
They should be stored in a box with a paper towel or tissue paper in between.
I have sold hundreds of straw stars. The profit goes 100% to charity as a grateful thanks for all the kindness I receive.”
The Straw Shop appreciates the variety of presentations Anneliese Fidler achieves using the same materials so very uniquely. There does not appear to be a duplicate star in the examples shown here. The Straw Shop is proud to introduce and promote Mrs. Fidler’s beautiful work. It’s been a pleasure to meet her and share her story thanks to the generosity of her family.
If you would like a unique gift, The Straw Shop suggests: Info@hollisartspace.com
Copyright 2022 The Straw Shop and Anneliese Fidler.