What is Trench Art? This term encompasses a wide range of hand made items crafted by service personnel (including POWs) utilizing every bit of scrap available (wood, shrapnel, bullet and shell casings and the like) on the battlefield..
They managed to twist, pound, hammer and manipulate the materials into artwork. It is difficult to say when this started, but it was a way to pass the time and stifle boredom. Trench Art has roots in the Napoleonic Wars, historians have found caches dating back to this era. The trend continued through WWII, but interest in the art began to wane.
By comparison, early whalers would ornate decorations on whales teeth and bones. This art genre, known as “Scrimshaw”, met the same kind of criteria as the Trench Art. The desire for artistic expression in a place where media was limited. No pieces made during this era are treasures and bring a high price.
There are four classes of art, first made by the soldiers in the trenches and POWs. Second, are those items crafted by civilians with materials gathered after a conflict. Third, we look at those creations devised by engineers using machinery to construct the art. And finally, things made within factories using things such as old brass casings which the melt down.
Visit the display of Trench Art from the collection of Inca Treasures at the Treasure Shoppe, on June 7th and 8th from one til three pm.