From Aid to Embroidery in Ohio
Embroidery by Charlotte Burrer
|The Burrer Mill, located along North Street east from Columbus Street, was known for its white loaf flour and Red-A-Mix pancake flour. This was shipped locally and overseas. During World War I Herbert Hoover’s Belgium War Relief needed flour so G. J. Burrer (known as Jakie) and Sons sent White Loaf Flour to Europe in sturdy white linen bags. The bags were stamped with the logo for the mill in bright colors. Learn more about the Burrer Mill
In Charleroi, Belgium, Alice Gugenmeim’s family had a warehouse
of embroidery thread which had been used by the embroidery workers
prior to the war. Because of the war there was no material to
embroider and the workers were out of business. She could find no
bleach to remove the writing on the flour sacks but the fabric was
good and strong. Women began enhancing the designs which were used
to cover lampshades, waste baskets, tea cozies, pillow covers and
even school smocks. The items were sold on a prominent street in
Brussels and yielded tens of thousands of gold-standard francs to
the Belgium Relief. In appreciation some of the school children
embroidered 500 of the bags and sent them to Herbert Hoover. One of
the enhanced Burrer Mill bags was put on display in the Hoover Peace
Charlotte Pagels Burrer who married Jakie Burrer’s youngest son, Gordon, and lived in Cincinnati, embroidered a bag to make a replica. A photo of it can be seen at the beginning of this article and is in the Community Library.
Annelien van Kempen has always been interested in learning new
fields of expertise, while aiming to integrate them with her
previously acquired skills.
Born a farmer’s daughter in the Netherlands, she obtained a Master of Laws degree then spent one year studying French in Switzerland. Her second job was as a corporate lawyer was in industrial textiles which she really liked but she switched to the glass packaging industry and became general manager of the artisan glass blowing facility Royal Leerdam Crystal, which included managing the Dutch National Glass Museum. At the museum she developed her passion for the preservation of cultural heritage.
Thus Annelien established herself as an artist and researcher. The ongoing theme in her own creative work has been the richness of the Earth, harvest of nature and the role of women.
Symbols for this theme are sculptures like sacks/bags, materialized in textiles, paper or glass, and the concept of recycling and creative use of previously used products.
From the Netherlands
Over the years I have received Annelien’s emails
and her blogs about the bags. Then about 6 months ago, she said she
was making a program about the Belgium Relief fund and the flour
bags in her Netherlands language.
THANKS TO ANNELIEN!
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