Wooden shingles as a roofing have a long tradition in Austria. There are several designs depending on the regions, and one type is called the "Schieferschindel". Due to its airy setup, it is possible to use less durable wood species for this particular type, but wood quality is still a key factor in shingle production. The roofing shown in the video has lasted for 37 years and is now being replaced by the craftsmen of the Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing.
Camera Operator: Hischam Momen
Photographer: Alice Schumacher
Editors: Hischam Momen & Sebastian Nemestothy
Burning Man began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 when Larry Harvey and a group of friends burned a 9-foot wooden effigy on Baker Beach. This act marked the beginnings of the annual Burning Man festival. This film documented the Man’s build in 2016 burn. It is a design inspired by Da Vincci’s Vitruvian Man in order to reflect the theme: Renaissance. While many participants were curious about why the Man didn’t turn as it was designed to be, this video provides the insight into the building process of the centerpiece on playa and the essence of the event itself.
Wendell Castle was an internationally renowned artist from Rochester. He’s also known as the father of the art furniture movement. This short documentary video brings us to his studio, exhibition, and involvement in the furniture society. It also brings us to his personal life after a hard working day. The most Importantly, in this video, he talks about his appreciation for wood and also his ideology in art creation.
Paete, located on the coast of Laguna Bay in the Philippines, was established by the Spaniards in 1580. Former Philippine President Ms. Arroyo announced in 2005 the town as "the woodcarving capital of the Philippines." In this small town of less than 30,000 people, there are many artisans engaged in the woodcarving industry. From generation to generation, the town was nurtured by the environment and took to the path of woodcarving. The 70s-80s of last century was the heyday of the Paete woodcarving. More than 90% of the town's population was engaged in the carving industry. At that time, the woodcarvings were mainly focused on religious stories. However, with the logging ban on timber leading to material shortages and rising prices, young people in this small town have had to make a wide range of choices. But some young people still stick to the mission of their fathers, devoting themselves to woodcarving. In the meantime, the Philippine Open University has planned to come up with some of the land in its Paete trial field, and work with local artisan’s guild to develop suitable tree species for use by wood carver craftsmen in the town.
"Mr. Brog" is the largest manufacturers of wooden pipe in Poland. The pipes produced by "Mr. Brog" are all labeled in number before selling. More than 2,000,000 handmade wooden pipes have been produced and sold by "Mr. Brog," making it one of the largest suppliers in the European market. As a master of pipe-making, Mr. Zbigniew Bednarczyk, the founder of "Mr. Brog" shared experience with us in the design and production of pipes for the past 30 years. Why should the pipe be made of wood? What kind of wood is used? What kind of pipe is the best? Mr. Zbigniew Bednarczyk is a versatile person. In addition to designing pipes, He also loves painting, wood carving and doing some fantastic wooden furniture. He is fond of singing and dancing, but tobacco is his favorite.
Ukiyo-e is an iconic form of Japanese art. This woodblock print used to be a source of entertainment in the Edo era (1603- 1868) but has been diminishing since waves of modernization came 150 years ago. Thanks to generations of craftsmen and publishers striving to pass on the craftsmanship, we are fortunate to see the beautifully reprinted ukiyo-e and newly designed woodblock prints today. Wood materials and papers of high standard are also keys to the production of multicolored woodblock prints. This video is to reveal the invisible parts behind each copy of ukiyo-e and acknowledge the people who devote their life to safeguard Japan’s wood legacy.
This film is about a young man who skates through the city streets looking for scraps of wood. He brings these pieces of wood home and creates an ukulele out of what he found. Most people throw away wood after it is used for whatever task it was needed for, but the potential wood becoming something new and fresh is limitless.
Sitting in a washitsu (a style of Japanese room), you can see the server in kimono coming with great crab cuisine on her hand. All the chopsticks and bowls are made of wood, and you couldn't help but start enjoying the feast. This is a restaurant owned by Mr. Tatsuro Hioki, who bought lumbers and designed them all on his own. Let's see how Mr. Tatsuro Hioki bult his empire and enjoy the elegant wooden design along with him.
The film is a conversation with Jack who invites us into his simple, honest life roving the rivers of Avon on his narrowboat. He sets up his handmade lathe on the river banks and creates beautiful wooden products, while using no power at all.
A story of Jan Pawlikowski, a successful and passionate luthier, who has been working with wood for 57 years. Despite his age he spends days and nights making instruments for customers from all over the world.
A child made a wooden puppet and he established a great friendship which was denied from his father. When he grew up, he passed by a shop full of wooden toys and remembered the feeling of being a child. In the end, he reconnected the lost friendship with his little wooden friend.
A life spent in woodworking. More than a lifestyle, a way of living. Shot in southern Brazil, this is a film about a father and a son that developed their skills at that same time as they developed themselves working on wood.
Grosotto, this small town is located in the north Italy. There are forests among the mountains, the bond between wood and religion is very strong. In the dim and distant past, men crafted wooden artifacts in order to feel closer to God. The small "wooden" church of the town is a perfect example of this bond.
The Locos dancers of San Isidro is a traditional festivity celebrated in Lagunillas, Venezuela. The awarded toymaker Mario Calderón decides to stimulate the child's imagination in his town by working with wood. His idea is to maintain culture through time from generation to generation.
A story of wooden whales, a seatime cemetery and splintered hands. Sebastià is one of only a handful of old-school carpenters restoring wooden fishing boats, thus bringing a slice of Mediterranean culture back to life. A visual poem from Mallorca.
Latvian woodworker Rihards Vidzickis has the love and passion for creating his works by one of the most eco-friendly and beloved materials - wood. Rihards is a talented master, a real fine sculptor and a skillful carpenter, and he is running a park of wooden sculptures and furniture for people to get to know the charm of wood. In this video, it took Rihards monthslong to create a traditional expanded dugout canoe by using mostly traditional hand tools and techniques. The whole process started with stripping the bark from the tree to finally launching the completed canoe, and presented the perfect combination of craft and nature.
2016 World Wood Day Folk Art Workshop presented diverse forms of wooden folk art from 10 countries and 6 Nepali ethnic groups. Through a series of exhibition, demonstration and workshops, it offered an opportunity for participants to reflect on attitudes towards traditional woodcrafts. Even though some of them are vanishing due to modern development, wood still plays a prominent role in connecting people with nature and culture.
A Santa Cruz wood sculptor, Gary Stevens seeks to get the form to work with what’s naturally occurring in every piece. His passion for the wood itself comes through in his art as sculpting is an outlet for his desire to create. It is in the tranquil setting of his own redwood canyon he is inspired ; and through his sculptural vessels that are variational forms of plant parts he finds a beautiful way to expose what God has created in Nature.
Those two Kina trees are well-known and long-lived in Damascus, they have remained for many generations and attended many historic phases in early time. They were to be burned, it was the ideas of Mr. Moufak Makhoul to revive them in a certain way, and the Syrian trees never die. As the thickness and height of the trees, the process of engraving is done on the dry and died trees that are more than 130 year-old. The work is not just in related to sculpture, and as well as to give it an aesthetic value, the historic value, and the educational value of how we employ the dry trees instead of burning it. The artists tried to make them a tableau with inscriptions, and asserting the origins of art and civilization in Syria.
Woodturning Training program at Wenzhou School of Special Education, set up by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and the American Association of Woodturners (AAW), continued in November, 2015. Mr. Andy Chen from United States, as the instructor of this semester, gave a bowl-turning lesson to Zhu Shicheng and the students at school.
The whole staff of Wenzhou School of Special Education expressed their appreciation to IWCS and AAW. Everyone does hope Mr. Zhu could keep on practice and grasp the skill to pay back the society and the students who need more social care.
The Grand Sawara festival has a history of 300 years. It is indeed one of the biggest festivals in Tokyo, Japan. During the festivals, Dashi is always under spotlight. Each Dashi is composed of one giant sacred doll which represents the Japanese deity and a shrine that is elaborately decorated. And Ikkyō Kitazawa is specialized in designing and engraving the surrounding walls of Dashi.
“Wisdom comes as a result of dealing with mistakes,” Willis said. Retired as a pilot from Alaska Airlines, he learned over the years to make the flexible sleds. Building sleds is one thing, he says, maintaining them is a whole different beast. He decided to build the easier to repair and lighter all wood sled.
Southeast Alaska, beginning in Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Sitka, Juneau and others, is the traditional homeland of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian and is rich in Indian culture, wood carving and totem. Wood carving, as an art form, reflects all the Native cultures connecting with the environment. The wood materials used come from the forest and the forms usually represent animals, spirits or places.
Woodturning is more than crafting; making things out of wood on a lathe can be experienced as relaxing, soothing, satisfying, and even therapeutic. A diversified learning platform, the AAW International Symposium is dedicated to all enthusiasts with world-class demonstrations and the largest showcase of turned-wood objects. Many are inspired and developed a keen interest in woodturing and others may even find a light of hope through the creative process. It is the positive attitude towards life that makes a difference.
Dale Larson is a retired police officer lives in Gresham, in western Oregon, USA. He has been turning for over 38 years. His specialty is turning bowls from local hardwoods like Pacific Madrone and Big Leaf Maple. Dale has taught woodturning for over 15 years including demonstrating at the American Association of Woodturners symposiums, regional symposiums and schools John C Campbell and Arrowmont. He has published articles about wood and woodturning in the four woodworking journals.
In the fourth century, St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. During the excavation, workers found three wooden crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a woman.
Instead of emphasis on the religion part, this documentary film aspires to showcase the enthusiastic relationship between artists and their wood work, as well as the meaningfulness of our encounters with wood by capturing the celebration at the Monastery of Vosakos and the interaction with local wood carvers.
Over time, legacies are thought of as the most precious inheritances or heritages in diverse forms, passing on from generation to generation. But the power of a legacy lies in how it evokes people’s shared feelings and memories, and forges an innermost bond among them. The McCrary brothers, co-founders of a wood mill, have involved in responsible forest stewardship and timber production with an abiding love for the family land along the Big Creek area, California since 1946. Upholding and expanding the legacy, they come to seek for a continuation of environment-friendly, conservation-minded management that would contribute to the sustainable living of woodland in perspectives.
2015 World Wood Day-Wood Culture Festival was held in Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey. This event comprising wood music, folk art, and other interactive activities offers a great opportunity for the public to approach wood culture.
San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association (SDFWA) is a well-known non-profit corporation organized in 1982, with more than 1,000 members who share the love of woodworking. Each year, SDFWA holds the exhibition “Design in Wood” with the San Diego County Fair, exhibits more than 300 pieces of art works, and demonstrates traditional woodworking techniques.
In the Northern Wisconsin, USA, there is a family named Stone Dahl who live a simple and self-sustainable life in the forest. Jarrod and April, the parents of four children, use wood, the nature material that surrounds them, to hand-made utilitarian crafts, such as baskets, boats, spoons, bowls and snowshoes…etcetera.
Dennis Stubbs, the Arizona woodturner that was once a fervent collector of flutes, enjoys playing his handmade flute while strolling in the woods. It is all around his studio and house that a variety of fine flutes can be seen as he has been long drawn into the sound of them. Dennis becomes keen to make Native American style flutes—as a result of his wife’s suggestion. He crafts his works with meticulous hands in a way that is environmentally responsible, turning tree waste into recycled materials. Self-effacing as he is, the IWCS crew could literally feel his passion for wood during the filming.
Carlos llerena Aguirre creates large woodcuts for the Biennale of Printmaking for Large Format in Venice. The Venice Printmaking Studio. Venice, Italy.
These large woodcuts and others will also be exhibited during 2015 in a solo exhibition at: The Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL. The Dynamo Art Cocowalk Gallery, Coconut Grove. FL, USA. And the Galería ICPNA Miraflores, Peru in 2016.
A portrait of the joys and challenges of working with burl and other native woods, through the eyes and hands of master woodturner and carver Frank White. He takes us through the transformative process, from his sources of inspiration and New England burl in the woods, to working at his lathe and carving bench creating one-of-a-kind natural edge bowls and hollow vessels.
Comacchio is surrounded by water—and it has always been surrounded by water until 1821. Before, in order to arrive at Comacchio you had to take a boat. Here wasn’t any material for bricks– it was very rare. So, one of the most used materials that has always been popular, since the times of the ancient Etruscan city of Spina, was wood. In this region there was the ancient forest called "Elisea", which was full of holly oaks, oaks and other types of trees. Over the centuries, the inhabitants of these territories developed techniques to use wood to built boats, lake dwellings and other very special fishing equipment.
Far up in North-Eastern Europe, there is an island called Saaremaa, where men dress up as billy goats to bring good luck and fertility to households on the night of New Year’s Day. This is a pre-Christian tradition that has been carried on from generation to generation as long as people can remember. Billy goats dance, play tricks and butt people, especially girls and children. Unfortunately, this tradition is dying out. Billy goats are artefacts of local woodcraft, since men search bogs to find the finest and toughest crooked pine roots to make billy goats’ heads with horns. The only footage of billy goats available for the public is shot in the 1960s and kept in the Estonian Folklore Archives. Original soundtrack by an Estonian musician Juhan Vihterpal, played by Juhan himself. Folk tune Karjala-Soome polka played by billy goats Ain Hannus and Raimo Kald. "The Billy Goats of Saaremaa" is a video made for the contest "Wood and Humanity" sponsored by the International Wood Culture Society (http://www.iwcs.com). Author Merit Karise, teacher at the design department of Kuressaare Regional Training Centre, Saaremaa, Estonia (www.disainimajakas.ee).
Five-hundred and three guitars on, Jonny Kinkead continues to pursue his craft with a seemingly undulled fervour. A self-taught luthier, his guitars rank amongst the most prestigious currently being produced. During a career that's spanned forty years, Jonny has witnessed the decline and rising cost of quality timbers, meaning a resourceful approach is essential in maintaing his exceptionally high standards.
Chad Kaimanu Jackson was born and raised on the Central Coast of California. At a young age, Chad's father taught him the art of surfboard shaping. After spending a few years traveling as a pro surfer, Chad became interested in crafting surfboards out of alternative and sustainable resources. For the last five years he has been hand shaping unique and beautiful surfboards out of agave wood. Chad's passion for the ocean and shaping can be traced back to his Hawaiian lineage. His unique cultural background is also the driving force behind his goals to create low-impact and sustainable wood surfboards that perform at the level of current high-impact and toxic polyurethane foam surfboards.
Every day, hundred of teachers in Spain are living around the wood. They join pasion for wood and vocation for teaching. They are joiners teaching the wood to students who not always have the vocation for it. Throughout this path, students learn a trade, to do their best, and they learn too to love the wood and the profession. For teachers, this is also a communal living and learning path, which is marking their life.
The video gives a short overview of small kannel, a traditional plucked string instrument of the dulcimer and zither family native to Baltic-Finnic and Baltic people. It is estimated to be at least 2000 years old, some say even 3000. For almost a hundred years, especially in the Soviet time, it was out of favour, but regained its popularity in the last decade. Mart Aardam is the small kannel maker from Saaremaa portrayed in the video, who has made ca 150 small kannels.
Please meet Kurt Reichmann. He is a hurdy gurdy maker from Frankfurt, Germany. His passion to build this instrument and promoting it have brought him a Federal Cross of Merit and a Musical Instrument Museum which has the largest number of bagpipes and hurdy gurdies. Moreover, he sees himself as a promoter of cultural and musical history. It is very important to him to connect people from different heritage. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to him and be able to get a little impression of what he does and has been doing. Enjoy watching the film!
A journey into the future of the diverse uses and realities through which wood marks and bounds, in an enduring naturalness, the existence of man to its own. A stream of images and sounds will try to express in a visual synthesis the concept of “Wood and Humanity”.
For two decades Bob and Lillian Bohlen have been on a mission to change the art world's perception of wood art, from craft to fine art. By supporting and challenging wood artists to find their unique style and explore new techniques, the Bohlens have been catalysts for the development of the wood art movement. They have collected 1140 pieces and given 870 to 17 U.S. museums. The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts recently put on "Audacious," the third exhibit of their collection. Here, the curator and the Bohlens tell the remarkable story of the wood art movement through the stunning work on display.
An optical fiber field engineer living in rural New England finds balance and connection in the old ways of woodworking. He demonstrates how anyone can make a dovetail joint with hand tools, and shares his insights on the role wood plays in our lives. While encouraging us to unplug and truly connect beyond our telephones, he discovers something he never realized before.
UrbanTree based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is bridging the gap between people and trees through strictly using reclaimed, donated lumber in their creations. This 3 minute vignette addresses this years theme of wood and humanity by showing how one woodworking shop is extending the lives of older trees that otherwise may be chipped into mulch, burned, or landfilled. They also craft and create with the notion that people should bring nature back into their lives and homes, and the trees are able to help fill this void by taking on a new form. UrbanTree does not remove trees and this is what makes them unique. Their personal take on wood and humanity however is what makes them really stand out. Alternate music / extended cut available.
The world contains a tremendously unique assortment of woodworkers. Every one has a special beginning, new styles, and a different approach to the art. What they share is a love for wood. Rather it be a way to make friends, express creativity, or touch someone else's heart, wood can open the door to new beginnings.
Artist Rita Dee of Bennington, VT uses driftwood to translate her love of horses into larger than life sculptures. This film highlights driftwood as a natural medium that captures movement and grace and elevates human experience.
David is a man who has spent his entire life working with wood. This might seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but when we take into account that he lives without a phone, mains electrical power and the only way to contact him is by pining a note to a gate; things become far more interesting. His living accommodation, based in Cornwall, England, is a compound made up of various shacks which he has built with his own bare hands. His wood carvings represent years of intense study of the material, and the personality each piece holds when it eventually arrives at his feet. This is a short story of a man who physically lives through his art, all year long. His disconnection from the modern world shows an unmatched dedication and he represents a dying breed. Meet, The Woodman!
An observation of the historically entwined relationship between wood and humanity, this three-minute documentary explores the story behind Brighton’s much lauded, The Wood Store. The first of its kind in the UK, our film celebrates the importance, and often under-appreciated role, wood has in modern life and how the store is revolutionising our understanding.
In the same places where "La Terra Trema" by Luchino Visconti (1948) was filmed, the Rodolico family has been building ships for four generations. If yesterday around these shipwrights a whole community used to gather and identify itself, today that world is disappearing because of the changing times. However, it is the Wood that still preserves and builds the memory of a very ancient knowledge: the one of the last shipwrights.
This story shows how a tree is turned into a musical instrument through the will of Miran Katar, a guitar maker. He had an emotional connection with trees since he was a child and continues to treat wood with respect when building his instruments. In order to understand the wood, he listened to trees. Their whispers. He developed a language only he and the wood understood, a language of music - idioglossia.
Jimmy Smith grew up in a small town located in the middle of New Jersey's great Pine Barrens. His Father's love for nature led him down a path of woodworking that grew into a business he started and now runs with his brother.
This is an incredible story of a young man called Akili, a Chukudu builder .The Chukudu is a two-wheeled vehicle used in the east of the DR Congo. It is made of wood,and used for transporting freight .
Known for their brightly painted depictions of fantastical creatures, Alebrijes have become a sustainable livelihood for many artists residing in Oaxaca, Mexico. Learning to craft the intricate woodcarvings takes years to master and the most respected carvers have worked tirelessly in developing their own distinct style.
San Miniato al Monte is a basilica located in Florence, Italy. The basilica is situated atop one of the highest points in the city, and characterized and constructed in the classic Tuscan Romanesque architectural style. The wooden roof truss is painted with bountiful colors and decorated with adornments, and there’s an uncommon walkway built within the roof truss for people to decorate the roof truss. In addition, the wooden music stand for the choir was exquisitely made in approximately 1420.
Upholding the philosophy of “small production but high quality,” Italian violin workshop Paolo Vettori & Sons has practiced its craft for three generations. Paolo Vettori is profoundly influenced by his father, Dario Vettori, on the techniques, structure and style of violin-making. Now, his children, Dario II, Lapo, and Sofia are working together to continue the tradition established by their grandfather Dario Vettori in 1935.
Xochimilco lies 28 km south of Mexico City. Its network of canals and artificial islands are the efforts of the Aztec people built on a habitat in the midst of an unfavorable environment. It is said these islands had very high crop yields with up to 7 crops a year. The artificial and floating island called chinampas’ transportation is the colorful non-motorized wooden boats- “trajineras”, which sails through the 170 km. canals. Trees such as “āhuexōtl” or “āhuēhuētl” is an important part of the ecosystem, planted at the corners to secure the chinampa and act as wind breakers. The ecological reserve Xochimilco was added to World Heritage Site in 1987, but the area is facing severe problems, posed by development pressures, changes to land-use, abandonment and contamination.
Xochimilco lies 28 km south of Mexico City. Its network of canals and artificial islands are the efforts of the Aztec people built on a habitat in the midst of an unfavorable environment. It is said these islands had very high crop yields with up to 7 crops a year. The artificial and floating island called chinampas’ transportation is the colorful non-motorized wooden boats- “trajineras”, which sails through the 170 km. canals. Trees such as“āhuexōtl" or "āhuēhuētl" is an important part of the ecosystem, planted at the corners to secure the chinampa and act as wind breakers. The ecological reserve Xochimilco was added to World Heritage Site in 1987, but the area is facing severe problems, posed by development pressures, changes to land-use, abandonment and contamination.
With the 15,000 members worldwide, American Association of Woodturners (AAW) was founded in 1986 in the United States as the largest international wood lathe education system.
In June 2013, IWCS crews came to Tampa to participate their annual event. The program of this exhibition was quite diversified. It was held in an aim of education instead of commercial purposes.
In over 100 classrooms at the venue, wood turners from around the world were invited to share their experience. We also saw many blind and wheelchair wood turners sharing their experiences of woodturning heartily. One of major features of AAW is that regardless of gender, age as well as innate inabilities, everyone has the chance to be an excellent wood turner.
Their energy and spirit touch the heart of men from the eastern culture, which usually let people reserve the skill only for their own. In AAW, no men is selfish, everyone brings out their best. We were not only impressed by their astonishing artworks but deeply moved by the ambiance of all for one, one for all.
Eli Avisera is a leading woodturning artist in Israel. His creative and delicate art works have attracted the attention worldwide. However, he is more than an artist. In 1988, Mr. Avisera has established the "Wood Craft Center" to encourage more people to learn about the beauty of wood-making. Today, he is also a demonstrator who travels around the world to share his knowledge and amazing skills.
Naim Doumit, a Lebanese leading sculptor, is working on different materials including bronze, stone and wood. He is widely known for his abstract work and the use of streamlined style. Among all his works, he creates numerous art pieces with the theme of female body as he thinks that woman plays an essential role in the society.
Shawo Village is located in Hebei province of China, with about 270 households. Hundreds of years ago, almost every household of the village turned wooden bowls by foot-powered lathe. Besides bowls, they also made other wooden cooking utensils, tool-handles, small toys by other small hand-powered lathe. Today, only six elderly grandpas in the village can use the lathe. The younger generation, led by Li Xuemin who is in deep love and respect to the past, realized the important and responsibility of the inheritance and began to learn the technique from the elders.
With the support from various part of the society including the strong support from International Wood Culture Society and AAW, local inheritors are more encouraged and exert themselves to move forward. In the video, you can see the essence of the traditional set-turning technique of Shawo village. The demonstrator is 84-year-old Cheng Jinqing and his apprentice Li Xuemin.
Chen Li, a young designer graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, is seeking to pinpoint his direction from his apprenticeship at the San Francisco WoodShop, California. Founded in 1974 and currently run by John Sheridan, this furniture making studio and school offers possibilities for taking concepts to practice and making ideas possible by techniques, with wood as the material. Their design furniture incorporates both the aesthetic expression and functional goals in the finely crafted pieces, along with the communicative intent embodied in the stories portrayed, meaning conveyed or thoughts illustrated, allowing conception and execution to integrate in terms of the process of making.
Through the lens of wooden toys, the appreciation for wood is more than just entertainment. From children to adults, wood is easily accessible via a variety of channels in Japan, such as the Tokyo Toy Museum, where provides a valuable learning environment to stay, play and study with wood. The Mokuiku Summit 2014 has best represented the success of the Mokuiku (Wood education) project, involving a broad range of groups and individuals, both users and lovers of wood.
The American Association of Woodturners has brought another informative, energy-filled fest to the woodturning community at its 28th annual symposium in Phoenix. The event offered a variety of techniques to acquire and a series of art show to appreciate while lighting up the lives of those in need with special programs. The woodturning artists authentically embodied the spirit of sharing and bonding that can be hard to come by in the era where website social networking preoccupies people’s time.
World Crafts Council celebrated its 50th anniversary in Dongyang, China in October of 2014. 38 international woodcarvers were invited to participate in the International Woodcarving Competition eight days prior to the Opening Ceremony. They were here to interpret the theme of "Respecting the Past, Carving the Future." By sharing a common language of wood and mutual respect with each other; the competition creates a harmonious collaboration among the participants. All the art pieces would be displayed as a centerpiece at the golden jubilee celebration.
Chewton, a town north west of Melbourne, is known for the gold rush back in the 1850s. Even though there is no more rush for gold mining, the town still reserves many gold mines and diggings nowadays. Richard Yates, a woodcarver who attended 2014 World Wood Day, lives and carves in the area of the historic diggings, Gold Rush, and the Eucalypt Forest. He is inspired by the history and the surroundings that the traces of influence are shown in his artworks.
Sam Maloof is “America's most renowned contemporary furniture craftsman” and People magazine dubbed him “The Hemingway of Hardwood.” His furniture has become the model for modern furniture designers, and more fans around the world called his hand-made chair “The King of Rocking Chair.” He always calls himself as a “Woodworker.”
This documentary exclusively shows the last six months of Sam working on his last three master chairs before he passed away, along with interviews of his successors, longtime friends, and wife.
The 71-year-old woodcarver, Mr. Mohammad Mohammadzadeh, developed his interest in woodcarving at the age of 4 due to family influence. He kept on challenging himself throughout his career with different kinds of woodworks. Among all, as a Hajj himself, his favorite topic is about Islam, such as the inlaid Quran stand.
Kachina is a culture which can best represent the Native Americans in Southwestern United States. The Kachina is a symbol of spirits or the simulacra of everything in the real world, from ancestors to a concept. The Hopi Kachina Dolls are carved in the form and concept as such and are used to educate children the ways of life, thus the spiritual faith and carving technique may come into heritage. They show us the unique outlook on life and cosmology of Hopis.
Drum is a crucial element in the American Native culture; they communicate with the nature, ancestors, and spirits through music flow, drum beat, dance and sincere prayers. Therefore, drum-making is exceptionally rigorous, from timber selection to the thickness of drum shell are all variables that would affect the sound quality of the drum. Red Bird, a drum-maker from Pueblo tribe shares the life of American Indian people and the role of drum in its culture, and explains details and basic knowledge of how to make an outstanding drum.
Dan Henny, a craftsman specializing in rustic style aspen and ponderosa pine furniture, shares with us his history and passion of his career. He also talks about the sudden aspen decline, a challenge that he is facing as the growth of aspen trees in the proximity of Colorado is affected by climate change that weakens their resistance against bugs.
The Menominee Cultural Museum in Keshena was opened in Nov. 2011. Artifacts of the tribe from the past and present are in display. It took the organizers nearly 20 years to put it together and establish the museum, and they are working to educate the general public about the culture of the tribe.
Mike Benedict, an experienced Native American ash basket artist, talks of how he began to acquire the traditional basket-making skill. As a professional basket maker, he expects that the tradition left by his ancestors may be spread to the younger generation.
American Association of Woodturners (AAW) was founded in 1986. Woodturning is separated from other wood working, because the tools are a little different, the technique is different, and the action is different as well. Under Tib Shaw’s guidance, we had a view on a variety of interesting wood crafts by artisans from all over the world. And we also had the opportunity to go through the process of wood turning, which is an incredibly satisfying activity!
Gamla Stan, also known as "The Old Town", a small historic island in the middle of Stockholm, is rich in history and charm, filled with vintage buildings, museums, churches, narrow streets, squares, shops and restaurants.
The Wooden Horse Museum and Runstenen are owned and operated by Bill and Chintana Odell. Aside from the permanent exhibition of new and antique Dala horses, there are some old horses and Stockholm’s largest variety of newly made horses and roosters.
Florence is famous for its history of being the financial center during the medieval period. It is also considered as the birthplace of Renaissance, the cultural movement has strongly influenced the rest of the Europe and then to the world up to the present day. In Florence, there are many famous churches built with wooden roof; Basilica of the Holy Cross and St. Miniato are two of these examples where the interior wooden structure is painted with patterns and colors.
Apart from architectures, music is another essential element that enriches the culture of Florence. The traditional music instrument, mandolin, is a member of the lute family. It is constructed of several different wood species, including spruce, maple, rosewood and ebony, according to the need in function and the property of wood.
Hidden behind a small grey door is a not-so-ordinary workshop run by three craftswomen. This is where fortepiano being restored. Since its invention around the year 1700 by the Italian instruments maker, Bartolomeo Cristofori, piano has gone through an evolution as time passes. Yet, these artists still exerted all their strengths to preserve its original beauty with their skills and knowledge.
Ohlone Tribe, a Native American People lived in California coast from San Francisco Bay through Monterey Bay to the lower Salinas Valley in the late 18th century. The Ohlone Indian culture can be explored at the Chitactac-Adams County Heritage Park, which emphasizes a unique view into the Native American culture of Santa Clara area. In Ohlone lives, the baskets that made from willow sticks and sedge roots played an essential role. The Ohlone basket-weaving technique was once lost and later restored by Linda Yamane, who made her first tribal basket in 1994.
Mamoiada is situated in the centre of Sardinia, the second biggest island of Italy. Sardinia’s Mamuthones is an ancient carnival which can dates back to 2,000 years ago. During the carnival, people wear black mask to scare devils away, and wear white mask to embrace the incoming spring. Next time when you visit Sardinia, besides the delicious cuisine and the fascinating Mediterranean, why don't you stop by Mr. Ruggero Mameli's workshop? He's been working on these traditional masks for more than 30 years, his collections will absolutely amaze you.
(*Correction: At 30:27, the name of the International NGO in this video is Ocean Revolution.)
A glimpse of Seri’s tribal life and culture in Sonora Desert. This fishing village with brilliant desert ironwood carving technique is unique and can only be found in Sonora desert as a symbolic memory of their daily lives and ancient stories. Nevertheless, with the population number less than 500 and the poor financial condition, Seri people is facing the crisis of preserving their original traditions and language.
The Peruvian territory was once home to ancient cultures spanning from Caral, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America. Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Today, rich and ancient traditions are still preserved by Quechua people, such as; gratitude to Pachamama through Holy Wood, traditional weaving with simple wooden tools, a carefully guarded bread recipe that uses eucalyptus wood in the process and, musical instruments connected to Andean cosmology.
Burno Barbon is a carver, a restorer, and an artist. Growing up in old workshops, Mr. Barbon has been attached to wood since 14 years old. At the age of 75, he still keeps creating exquisite pieces with his passion and outstanding talent at his studio in Venice, Italy.
Finger spinning tops are not merely toys but can be a token of love. A total of 150 tops traveled far and landed on the hands of the students of Wenzhou School for Special Education. It was a kind gesture by Australian woodturner Erine Newman, who was invited over to lead a two-week woodturning training course for the collaborative project of IWCS-AAW beginning September 15, 2014.
A fifth generation wood worker, Newman is active at woodturning events worldwide. Wholeheartedly involving himself in the project, Mr. Newman exerted special efforts in intriguing students’ curiosity about wood as well as instilled them with safe operation guide beyond demonstrating the skill of woodturning.
More information World Wood Day.
IWCS had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) 26th International Symposium on 8-10 June 2012 at the San Jose Convention & Cultural Facilities. It was 3 days of interesting demonstrations and exhibits that showcased the art and craft of woodturning. Turners and collectors from around the world attended. It was great meeting fellow wood enthusiasts dedicated to the art and craft of woodturning.
The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of woodturning.
With a nice outcome from AAW's San Jose meeting, IWCS was honored to have Terry Martin as a guest speaker representing AAW to symposium at ZHEJIANG Agriculture and Forestry University in China in September 2012. To spread the idea of Turners Without Borders, Terry showed a different aspect of woodturning and knowledge to local wonders through an excellent demonstration.
The IWCS video crew had flew to Ireland and captured the making of this amazing "stone wall," created by collective efforts of international wood artists. This collaborative project is curated by Australian wood turner/artist Terry Martin.
Éigse Carlow Arts Festival
Come along to VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art to see this wonderful sculpture!!
This exhibition brings together ten of the most intriguing and creative wood artists practicing today from all over the world, alongside ten of Ireland’s leading practitioners. This group of sculptors, furniture makers, carvers and turners will work together under the artistic direction of Terry Martin (AUS). Over a week-long studio-based collaborative work creative week-long process in Carlow this June, they will assemble a large-scale sculpture in the form of a wall, approximately 12 feet in length. This work will be installed in the VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art.
The tactile experience in the 2013 AAW Symposium is an enjoyable program designed especially for the visually impaired participants. The video presented shows the participants turning pens with instructors’ assistance and experiencing fun and joy of woodturning. Through this video, the viewers will have very different understanding of the art of this woodcraft technique.
The 2nd National Vocational & College Student Carpentry Skills Competition, hosted by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS), was held in Changsha on Oct. 27, 2013. It was co-organized by the Central South University of Forestry Science and Technology.
Concurrently with the 2013 International Wood Culture Symposium on Taxodiaceae, a competition was held on making wooden stools using Chinese fir. The aim of the activity was to promote the culture of traditional Chinese woodwork, to display and improve vocational & college students' hand carpentry skills, and inspire creativity and passion for carpentry among students.
Applications for the competition opened in July this year, the competition theme was confirmed in September, and design drawings were submitted a week before the competition. Sixteen students from four vocational schools and eleven universities came together on Oct. 27 to show their talents. During the four-hour competition, the students completed a variety of creative work using saws, chisels, axes, planes, using snap lines, drills, and making mortises. Later during the assessment, every competitor explained to the audience their ideas and purposes, and the functions, features and technical difficulties of their work.
The judges were Professor Yang Ping from the faculty of education, Kumamoto University in Japan; Mr. Yang Jinrong , director of the Jiangsu Gongmei Hongmu Culture & Art Institute; and Professor Li Zhen from Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning. They evaluated the works with seven criteria: design and creativity, production skill, the completion of the works, accuracy and quality, structure, material utilization and interpretation. Li Nie from the Xiuning First Senior Vocational School won first place.
Wood, being a naturally eco-friendly and renewable resource, is fundamental for sustainable development, and a low-carbon society and environment. How to master the properties of wood, make full use of the material, and combine theory with practice are key elements. Wood education teachers have a long way to go and expectations on students are high. Such carpentry skill competitions should inspire more passion for wood and carpentry among young people and promote the culture of traditional Chinese carpentry to create competent practitioners for the future.
Dongyang Woodcarving, developed in Zhejiang Province, China since Tang Dynasty (618-907), is characterized by its exquisite relief carving. Each piece of work goes through 6 making processes and requires excellent craftsmanship to accomplish the delicate design. Despite its fame, it encounters the problem of shrinking number of new blood and lack of creativity. Alerted to the worrying situation, institutions and individuals have taken steps to reverse the situation and it has been proved to be a successful story of preserving traditional craftsmanship.
Woodcarving Introduced to School Campus
The opening ceremony for the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition and Student Woodcarving Art Festival was held at Guangxi University.The exposition was held in the leafy, shaded square behind the Forestry College at Guangxi University. A large audience, mainly teachers and students, visited the on-site wood carving show over the first 2 days. 20 students from the university also joined the carving team for the festival, while learning and communicating with the artists.
More than 200 students pursuing majors in wood science and technology took part in this activity. In tandem with the exposition and festival, Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Chinese Hongmu art and culture, and Mr. Terry Martin, Australian wood artist, gave the students two very impressive lectures.It was a good opportunity for the students to communicate with professional wood carvers face-to-face, and also to start the process of combining wood science with culture. Wood carving, as an art form, has taken its place on the campus.
Different Cultures, One Homeland
The 11 sculptors were from different cultural backgrounds and use different carving styles, but all of the works were created under the same theme, Homeland, and they all used the same scented wood, Camphor.The art works of the 4 artists from ASEAN countries reflected their lifestyles and beliefs. They shared the history and culture of South-east Asian countries with us.Malaysian artist Taufik carved the national flower of Malaysia, the Bunga Raya, while Indonesian artist Sutarya Hrfsor carved the Lotus Flower that is common to both Buddhism and Islam. Indonesian artist I Kadek Parta selected the Ramayana story from Indian history.
Nature and Home, Full of Humanity and Spirit
In the Chinese group, the 7 artists came from Dongyang and Yongjia of Zhejiang province, Xianyou of Fujian province, Lushan of Sichuan province, and Jianchuan of Yunnan province. Their creative works combined modern and traditional skills, reflecting their feelings and dreams about homeland.
Both Xu Yongping and Jin Liquan chose the subject of mother to show their ideas about homeland. Zheng Guodi used the Chinese traditional subject Three Sheep keeping watch on the home. Yang Huanpei’s carving was like a poem and depicted his fantasy homeland, Dali.
Wang Haibo, from Dongyang, Zhejiang province, was the youngest wood carver. He applied Dongyang relief carving skill and used his lively imagination to present us with a Chinese traditional scroll painting, a whole dreamland picture of Peach Blossom Valley.
Wu Xiaomei’s piece was particularly thought-provoking. She showed us a broken house after the earthquake this year in Sichuan, quite a courageous choice.
Wang Guohua, from Xianyou, Fujian Province, took just 2 days to finish his work. He generously incorporated the natural bark and growth-rings of the tree in his piece. As he said, “Human beings need generosity and tolerance, and so does nature. Our home should be a tolerant home.”
During the event, Terry Martin, Australian wood artist and a representative of the American Association of Woodturners showed his splendid woodturning technique to the audience in Guangxi University and CAEXPO. His demonstration aroused considerable interest among the crowds.
Highlight of Forest and Wood Products Expo
After Guangxi University, the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition continued at the International Conference and Exhibition Center on 15-17 November, and was a highlight of the Forest and Wood Products Expo.
Mr. Terry Martin, Mr. Feng Wentu, Master of Chinese arts and crafts, and Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Hongmu art and culture, were the judges. Zheng Guodi, Yang Huanpei, Sutarya Hrfsor, I Kadek Parta, Taufik and Duangmala Wanlop won prizes for “Outstanding Traditional Value”; Xu Yongping and Jin liqun won prizes for “Special Design”; and Wang Haibo, Wang Guohua and Wu Xiaomei won prizes for “Special Creativity”.
The 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition was organized by IWCS, and co-organized by the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat, Forestry College of Guangxi University, and Jiangsu Hongmu Culture and Arts Institute, and Supported by the China National Forest Products Industry Association, IUFRO-Division 5.
Concurrently with the wood carving exposition, IWCS also organized the 4th China-ASEAN International Wood Culture Forum. Both activities promoted communication, basic academic research and the practice of wood culture in the China-ASEAN area and contributed to the integration of art and culture into the Forest and Wood Products Expo.
The Pilátovás persist in keeping the traditional marionette in Slovakia despite the fact that new technology has almost taken over the younger generations’ lives. To revive the beautiful tradition, the Pilátovás have devoted their time and energy to teaching people of all ages the fun and spirit of marionette. They enjoy the feel of wood and the fun of marionette. Their joy we now share with you.
Bucheli and Chlefeli are two charming wooden instruments that are not widely known, and rarely played and manufactured nowadays. Although they are simple and easy to play, the unique sound features enabled them to accompany well with other musical instruments.
The beautiful Venice Gondola made with the skill that represents the refinement of Italian craftsmanship passed down from 16 and 17 century, is a cultural heritage that embodies values and stories of it. The launching ceremony for blessing presented in this video enables viewers to have a better insight of this traditional woodcraft.
Nagoya is in the west part of Aichi prefecture. It is located in the Chubu region between Tokyo and the ancient capital Kyoto hence people also name it Central Capital. Famous for its car industry with Toyota and other brands, Nagoya is the fourth most populated city in Japan.
In this industrialized city, there still lives a group of people who try to preserve the ancient Japanese wood culture. Some are struggling between the reality of life and their ideals of protecting traditional techniques, while some has made a fortune transforming wood art into business.
For example, Mr. Makoto Kuroda is a famous wooden chessboard master who insists to make woodcrafts in a traditional way in spite of the fierce competition of machine products or Chinese hand-made products. On the other hand, Mr. Tatsuro Hioki owns a chain restaurant serving crabs and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its wooden interior design and it is popular among Japanese and people from around the world.
Have a careful look inside of your house and you just might find a couple of wares made with birch bark, a great gift from Mother Earth that has transcended from utilitarian wares to a form of art. In this film, birch bark artist John Zasada not just demonstrates birch bark peeling and weaving techniques, but embodies a style of living filled with passion for birch bark handicraft.
Portugal is the leading country of cork exportation in the world. From cork oak forests to manufacturing factories, every step is strictly legislated for protecting precious tree species. Apart from producing wine stoppers, cork bark is also used to develop eco-fashion and various items, including accessories, furniture, even clothes.
It is rare to see wood sculpturing competition in Kenya, not to mention in Nanyuki, a town located north of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. In August 2012, 22 local wood artists assembled to reveal their true talent.
The Race of Rabelo Boats is an annual competition which first started in 1983. Held in the second biggest city in Portugal, the competition aims to preserve the tradition of Porto wine transportation. Cellars alongside Douro River are sponsors who are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of each Rabelo boat.
The town of Baham is located at the Western Province of the Republic of Cameroon. Given that Baham is close to rainforests and up on a mountainous region, the temperature is rather mild. In the region around Baham there are a total of 16 villages. Residential settlements disperse from the center of the town, and one can see lively neighborhood. Peasants and children either stroll or do house chores along the sandy trails that go up and down the hills. Most of the residents still lead a relatively original life and live on farming and trading. Therefore, the use of firewood and wooden construction materials for small residential cabins are easily seen everywhere.
Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, owns the biggest port in the country. It is the commercial capital, majorly handling the export of oil, coca, metal, fruits and timber.
Wood is the most accessible natural resource in Cameroon and is therefore widely used in people’s daily life. We traveled to Youwpe and Miwake, villages around Douala, and collected plenty of precious information about how local people make good use of wood, and make products ranging from artistic sculptures and accessories, to canoes and charcoal. The people also maintain a sustainable way of using wood. For example, charcoal makers in the Miwake region, which is located southwest to Douala, pick only naturally dead trees as their raw material. By doing so, the timber is transformed into another form and becomes another useful product for the people.
Inaugurated in 2006, The National Museum of Scotland is located in central Edinburgh. The galleries have a wide-range of collections from the age of dinosaurs, related to the technology and about the history of art and design. The museum, exhibition of which covers both natural and cultural displays, is one of the most important places to discover the story of Scotland.
Starting from relics of Iron Age, to the Formula racing car, the gallery exhibits a series of collections that present the origins of Scottish history to the present day. Wooden collections are various in the museum, including the oak sculpture of St Luke back in 1500s, the industry mining machines, etc.
Bregenzerwald is in a valley situated between Lake Constance and the Arlberg Mountain that was once completely covered in woods, thus the abundant wood cultures exist in the region. The IWCS visited Hittisau, where the renowned Women’s Museum, set up in a modern wooden building, locates. We visited the wooden houses designed and built by a local architecture Mr. Nenning, learned about the local’s philosophy of natural wood use, and saw how the people preserve old wooden bridges. The people in the region also put great efforts to develop sustainable green energy by operating a biomass plant that consumes wooden residue left after constructions and so on.
The Nutcracker Museum at Neuhausen, Germany has over 5,150 nutcrackers from 28 countries that make the world’s largest collection. The museum has both the tallest and the smallest nutcrackers in the world. The largest is 10.1 meters tall while the smallest is merely 4.9mm in size. All the items were collected out of sheer interest of the owner, the Löschners family, who initially was in the business of manufacturing woodwork machines. Having business relationships with woodworkers and artists, the father of the family, Jürgen Löschner, has gradually developed his passion for the nutcrackers and now it is his son Uwe who manages the property.
First established in 1153 at Neusass by Wolfram von Bebenburg, Schöntal was formerly a Cistercian monastery. It is located in the nature sublime at Jagsttal near a valley. This is why it is called Schöntal , meaning “beautiful valley” in German. The monastery is mainly constructed with wooden material from the local area. Adjacent to the solemn, grand wooden monastery is an educational and assembly center for the Diocese youngsters of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. In the building there are grand wooden sculptures of saints and magnificently-designed and painted wooden stairs that were made of oak and pine. They are well-maintained as the building is constantly in use.
The Hohenloher Freilandmuseum is located in the village of Wackershofen. This fantastic open air museum, which has collected hundreds of ancient, reconstructed rural wooden buildings from around the Badem-Wurttemberg region, serves as a popular educational and tourist destination for visitors to learn about peasant life in the past. The wooden houses are constructed with local woods such as pine, oak, and beech, and in each of the houses there are traditional wooden objects that faithfully demonstrate how people live with wooden tools back in time. There are also staff members demonstrating wood turning, crafts, and wooden furniture production.
Founded in 1898, the Royal Museum of Central Africa has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful museums devoted to display the culture of Africa. The idea to establish it germinated from the 1987 Brussels International Exhibition that displayed ethnographic objects from the Congo. Currently, the museum aims to preserve and manage its collections from countries in the central region of Africa, such as Cameroon and Congo. Imported hand-made wooden objects--such as canoe, masks, and tools—are in profusion and are accompanied with depictions that explain their cultural contexts.
Previously a carpenter, Mr. Ojārs Narvils now has turned himself into a rabbit-lover and has built the whole Rabbit Town because of love revenge. This small wooden rabbit town started with Mr. Narvil’s unsuccessful love story and it suddenly dawned on him that rabbits are actually easier to handle with than women. He said rabbits return your love by giving you the warmth and staying with you. Now he only uses those skills of carpentry to do nothing else but build more wooden rabbit houses. Each house has its own characters for rabbits whose temperament suits the house. The whole rabbit town is actually a typical Latvian town in miniature.
Latvia does not have any mountains, but yet is covered by forests for about 60% of land. In Gauja National Park, people can operate their own land and run the business in relation to nature. The Archaeological Museum where the buried houses of 9th -10th Century were revealed represents the life of then, including tools, weapons and daily objects, up to medieval time. While in Latvia, one thing you cannot miss out is that refresh your energy in a traditional Latvian Bath house which usually lies on the imaginary ley line full of spiritual power. Having a land mostly covered with forest urges people to learn to respect the nature, and the Educational programme is committing to this very concept and brings it to the global level.
The biggest open-air museum in Latvia, Ethnographic Open-air Museum serves various purposes for tourists and citizens in Riga. The way in which they manage this open-air museum is so unique that certain houses are open to traditional craftsmen for the purpose of demonstrating their skills and selling their work. The benefit of doing so is that craftsmen’s real time demonstration attracts people and on the other hand, people get to learn the traditional woodcrafts and the museum achieve the aim of, apart from preserving historical buildings, educating people and preserving the tradition of olden day. Dr. Mārtiņš KUPLAIS, a professional historian working in this museum, guided us around and told the stories of traditional Latvia life.
A young renovator, Mateusz Niwiński, devotes himself to his favourite job, renovating old wooden house. He has showed us the houses he renovated and his own workshop, and briefed us the current circumstance of the wooden house renovation in Poland. Due to the particular history of Poland, wooden houses in Poland were mostly built up after World War II and many shabby houses are inhabited by the Jews. In Otwock, wooden houses scatter over the whole town. Many of them need proper renovations to sustain for a longer time, but some are even illegally occupied without being claimed by anyone.
A private museum, located in a small village STUDZIWODY adjacent to the border between Poland and Belarus, is run by a Russian-origin Polish man, DOROTESZ FIONIK, who is enthusiastic about reviving the local tradition of his clan and soon expanding to the Belarusian culture revival. Half of his own wooden house has been turned into a museum displaying tools and appliances of the old days. He has then bought another wooden city house and placed it just across the dirt road as his second collection for the museum. He strives to keep and revive Belarusian rituals, traditions and language by holding Belarusian festivals with people who are passionate about their own culture.
The tale that makes the Holy Mount of Grabarka become a centre for pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians since the 18th century is that, while the whole country suffered from a cholera epidemic, a man dreamed of being called to this mountain and washed his feet in a mountain stream in this area. He was cured by washing his feet here, and therefore this place has become well known for its miracle cure. Throughout a year thousands of Orthodox Christians carry crosses on them, be it small or big, walking to the Holy Mount of Grabarka, from far or near, to show their respect this holy sanctuary.
Right at the border between Poland and Slovakia, only 17km northwest to the most popular ski resort Zakopane, Chochołów had an interesting history of ‘making independent’. The uprising in 1846 fighting against the rule of Austria-Hungary made Chochołów known, and this part of historical fact is kept in the small museum and a craftsman’s private museum in this village. We were lucky to meet the owner Mr. Jan Zieder, a self-taught carpenter running a wood workshop and a private museum collecting daily objects of the old days and documents/photos/letters from the war time in the village. Every year before Easter women will scrub and wash the outer walls of their cottages to make them look nice after winter. It's interestingly only women's job.
Čičmany, one of the most famous living villages in Slovakia, has the least information distributed on the internet. Having been a mysterious village to the world outside Slovakia, Čičmany needs to gain more recognition from the public to publicize the characteristics of the lime painted wooden houses. Painting lime on the wall is not just for decoration, but also to prevent the wood from cracking up with the result that these residents then start painting patterns to beautify the house. Northeast to Čičmany lies the wooden Bethlehem in Rajecká Lesná made by an enthusiastic carpenter who devoted his life on this project which was unfinished by the time he passed away. A priest afterwards was then by his passion and continued to accomplish the carpenter’s dream.
Arriving in the Liptov Village Museum, we were welcomed by a lively performance telling a story of highway man in Slovakia. Over 80% of the whole country is covered by mountains and therefore the country tale of highway man has been always a notable story to be told. The director of Liptov Village Museum, Dr Iveta Zusinova, a local grown anthropologist, commenced this museum for the sake of keeping important parts of 22 villages at which the area was wiped out to build up a dam. This museum holds various events in order to form an image of the country life in the olden days for tourists.
The Viking ship museum is located at the Roskilde, Denmark. The museum focuses on the preservation, reconstruction and investigation of various Scandinavian boats and ships in the prehistoric and medieval times, but distinguishes itself from others for its hands-on activities.
Visitors not only learn traditional shipbuilding techniques, such as wooden nail making and rope making, but also come on board to experience the real Viking ship cruise!
The museum has many shipbuilders in charge of the ship reconstructions on which they apply the techniques from the old time. Shipbuilders reconstruct ships in the open-air exhibition area, so the public can take a close look at their works.
The SIIDA (the Sami cultural and natural museum in Inari) was opened in 1962. It provides visitors knowledge and information of Sami culture and Arctic Nature in the northernmost region of Finland.
In the exhibition hall of the SIIDA, numerous Sami wooden crafts, such as baby cradle, dishes, drinking cups, butter box, and jewelry box, etc., are well preserved and displayed. Also, there is a photo exhibition of the Sami history that tells stories of their life for generations.
In order to make a living, the indigenous Sami people have some customs, such as domesticated reindeers herding and fish catching in the river. Traditionally, the Sami lived a way of life based on seasonal movement from their winter sod dwellings or log cabins to spring, summer and autumn camps. These Sami sod huts, log cabins, and wooden boats for moving along rivers, from the 18th to 19th century, have also been collected and exhibited at the open-air area of the SIIDA .
Not only does Vasa War Ship Museum in Stockholm, Sweden preserve a magnificent warship of the 17th century- Vasa, but thousands of wooden objects that were salvaged from the wreck along with the ship reveal the detail of naval warfare, shipbuilding techniques, aesthetic sense and the way of life at that time.
On January 16, 1628, Vasa sank on her maiden voyage after departing from Stockholm and sailing for just 1,500 meters. Vasa was decorated with sculptures carved in oak, pine or lime, and each of these sculptures has its underlying significance. For example, the sculptures of Roman emperors, which stand along the sides of the beak head, represent the glory and the power of Swedish King Gustav II Adolf (King Gustavus Adolphus); moreover, a male figure in a crouching position under the cathead signify that Polish men was inferior to Swedish men, because Poland and Sweden were at war in the 1620s, and more.
For over 300 years, Vasa had been lying at the depth of 32 meters in polluted water, where various bacteria and fungi had attacked the wood, and the rusted bolts of the hull had diffused into the wood and water. Today, researchers, conservators and technicians are still endeavoring in preserving the ship for the future.
Ski museum is located in the beautiful valley of Morgedal, in Telemark. In the ski museum, visitors can watch the video introduce 4,000 years of skiing history in the multimedia room. The exhibition zone presents many kinds of skis made of wood and artificial materials. There is also a ski-making workshop demonstrating process for making wooden skis.
Part of the collection in the museum is made in the museum workshop. The workshop also accepts custom orders of making wooden skis. The handmade wooden skis were once taken as winning rewards for Australia ski competition.
All the wooden skis produced from the workshop are made by two museum ski makers - Tarjei Gjelstad, and Terje Nilsen Haugen, who also have undergone a project of making the largest wooden ski in Norway. They hope this largest wooden ski in Norway will become a representative landmark of the museum.
Bönigen is a small village in the canton Bern, which is located in the central Switzerland. This small village has an area of 15.12 square kilometers, where steep mountains surround a large part of the area.
The village of Bönigen is famous for its unique decorated wooden houses. Radiating from fountain square, which is the former town center, numerous frescoed houses are scattered within the old town area. Dating from 1549 onwards, these buildings functioned as either dwelling for people or storehouse for cheese.
Many of these wooden dwellings had expanded to house the enlarged family. The original structure and the expanded parts of the house could be differentiated according to the doorway or color of paint. These well-preserved wooden houses in Bönigen are decorated with colorful patterns and images, plus biblical quotes in Gothic and Roman letters that inscribed on the exterior wall of the building. Visitors could easily perceive and understand the value of these cultural legacies.
Schwyz is the capital of canton Schwyz, which is located in the central Switzerland. It has an area of 53.3 square kilometers and a population of 14,331. German is the main spoken language within the region.
People in Schwyz still preserve many traditional ways of wood use, and musical instrument is one of the examples. Büchel, also known as Alphorn’s brother, looks like a trumpet but has brighter tone, is a handmade instrument mostly made of fine spruce. Chlefeli is another traditional wooden instrument, which is only played during Lent, is a clapping instrument that could only be found in the area of Schwyz.
Apart from instruments, other noteworthy crafts such as armbrust and sledge are also traditional woodcrafts that are still manufactured within the region.
In addition to handicrafts, there are a lot of wooden houses that have stood for centuries in Schwyz, and the oldest among these is the House of Bethlehem. Built in 1287, the house is well preserved and opened to the public as a museum today.
The foundation of Venice was constructed on vertical wooden piles, which has mostly remained intact after centuries of submersion. The piles penetrated through layers of soft sand and mud until they reached a harder clay ground. In fact, apart from the footing of the city, several buildings in Venice are also either built of wood or decorated with wood, such as Doge’s Palace in the Piazza San Marco, the well-known St Mark’s Square.
Quite a few chambers in Doge’s Palace including one of the most gorgeous rooms, the Council Chamber, are decorated with elaborated paintings and carvings on wooden ceilings. The roof of the Palace is also made of strong wooden structure; we were fortunate to be able to get up to the loft and see the structure under the guidance of a local architect.
Galleon Andalucia is a duplicate merchant ship of 17th century, which has 4 masts and 7 sails. The ship itself tells Spanish history and is currently berthed at Barcelona for the purpose of promoting tourism. There are 22 crew members on board taking charge of daily maintenance.
For safety concern, the way of constructing the galleon combines modern and ancient methods. The material, for instance, is a mixture of wood and fiber glass which is safer and easier for maintenance. The wood species used to build the galleon are pine and iroko, which are exactly the same materials used in the old days.
The construction of Galleon Andalucia started in December 2008, and finished in February 2010. Experts in different professions such as carpenters, fiber engineers and designers, had assembled in the south of Spain to collaborate on the project.
Established in 1905, the National Coach Museum was first named Royal Coach Museum by Queen Amélia, who was aware of the cultural value of royal ceremonial carriages. The museum had only 29 vehicles in its original collection, and has started to increase its objects of collections after the establishment of Portugal Republic in 1910.
The museum is located within the Royal Riding Arena, which used to be the place for horse-training and horse-riding exhibition and games. It is housed in a building erected in 1787 and decorated with painted ceiling and tiles by several Portuguese artists.
Today, the National Coach Museum has wide collections of objects, including: coaches, berlins, carriages, chaise, cabriolets, litters, sedan chairs, and children’s cart, etc. And the exhibitions in the museum are primarily concerned with topics about the technical and artistic evolution of transportation means used by the European aristocracy dated back from 17th to 19th centuries.
Cut through by the Carpathian Mountains in the middle, Romania has the mountainous terrain from the centre to the west. Because of the geographic barrier, the north-west of Romania has a peasant life in contrast to the tourist-oriented prosperity of the south-east Romania. Maramure?, a typical mountainous area situated at the north-west border amongst Romania, Hungary and Ukraine, due to its geographic location, has been handed between Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and CzechoSlovakia over last hundreds of years, and therefore the wooden buildings, interior and exterior decoration, and people’s life style related to wood are all affected by the past sovereign.
Mines View, also Mines view park, is where visitors can not only see the breathtaking mountainous landscape, but a spectacular view of copper and gold mines of the early 20th century.
Mines View Park is one of the most popular/visited parks in the Benguet. There are many woodcraft souvenir shops in the surrounding area, where tourist can purchase unique aboriginal woodcrafts made by local carvers.
If lucky enough, tourists may also have the chance to see Ifugao teenager dress in their traditional costumes, and play traditional wooden drums to attract tourists’attention.
Asin road, a famous road in the Baguio City, Philippines, is known for its wooden lacquer painting and polishing. Almost all woodcrafts in Baguio city or from the surrounding areas are sent to Asin road to be painted and polished. Lacquer painting and polishing is the last step of woodcraft making. These steps can brighten the wood colors, prevent termites, and cover minor flaws of the original wood surface.
On Asin road, most of the painters are women, because men are usually involved in carving or working in the city. Women used to paint and polish woodcrafts at home or in the neighborhood to earn some money to support their family.
Asin road can be regarded as the hub of woodcrafts making where carved woodcrafts are sent for painting and polishing. After all the processes are completed, finished products will be sent to Manila city and to be sold domestically or abroad.
Carey Island, located 3hours of drive away at the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, is home to the native Mah Meri tribes, who are known for their magnificent wooden craft and masks.
The Mah Meri model the masks after the ancestral spirits,who they believe can ward off evil spirits and solve problems.
Samri Abdul Rahman, a renowned artist of traditional Mah Meri tribe wooden mask-making, shares with the world the mystic cultural significance of the Mah Meri woodenmasks. Through a demonstration of mask-designing and carving, Samri also shows how he blends in imagination and tradition believes into his profession.
Kuching is the most populous city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, which is located on the island of Borneo. The city covers an area of 1,863 square kilometers (719 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1 million.
Sarawak has more than 40 sub-ethnic groups, including Iban, Chinese, Malay, Bidayuh, Melanau and Orang Ulu…etc. Since each group has their distinct language and culture, this multi-ethnic diversity has provided Kuching region a rich cultural and linguistic landscape.
Songjianghe Town is at the southeast of Fusong County. The area has rich natural resources with 89.2% of forest coverage and 17,000 hectares of forest. Here, lumber storage can reach up to 3.7 million cubic meters.
Songjianghe Town is only 41 kilometers away from Heaven Lake; hence, it is called the “First Town at the Foot of Changbai Mountain”. Songjianghe Town has convenient transportation, which provides good condition for developing tourism.
Ginseng and pine nuts are two specialties in this area. The folk tale of Laobatou – the ancestor of gathering ginseng - is prevailing in the area that people even build a temple to worship him.
Gudingzi village (now renamed as JinJiang village) is located in the Fusong County, is famous for its wooden constructions. It has a history of 400 years and there are 44 households left in the village. Here, Manchu is the main ethnicity.
Due to its high altitude of 900 meters, there is only little agricultural development in the village. Therefore, the villagers mostly rely on gathering and exchanging vegetable, medicine and pine nuts from woods for money and food.
The harmony way of living with the nature has captured the attention nationwide, so does the wooden houses. Gudingzi village is now preserved as the last wooden house village at Changbai Mountain.
Channapatna, located at the south-west of Bangalore, is well-known for its wooden toy-making. It has been estimated that more than 6000 people in Channapatna are employed in manufacturing toys in about 250 workshops and 50 factories. The prosperity of wooden toy-making has rewarded Channapatna as the “toy-town.”At the suburb of Channapatna, there is a traditional village. A row of bungalows, colorful walls, and lovely children portray the beautiful rural village. There are a few toy factories in the village. Although the exterior looking is not distinguishable, the buzz of motors gives the truth away. In the factory, workers share motor and use lathe to produce wooden toys.
There are two stories in the handicrafts shop in toy-town – Channapatna. The upper floor serves as a shop, while the downstairs is a manufactory. Here, visitors can closely see each process of toy-making. This is indeed a fascinating experience. All the toys are traditionally made of ivory wood by hand and are naturally dyed. These non-toxic toys are not only of high quality but priced fairly. In the shop, there are many other kinds of local wooden crafts. If you are interested in wooden handicrafts, Sri Kaveri is definitely worth a visit.
The JinJen Octagon, built in 1703 A.D.was one type of Hinayana Buddhist architecture. It was used as a venue for meeting and chanting amongst monks. During the Cultural Revolution, Chinese government forbade people from participating in any religious activities. Many monks at the JinJen Octagon were sent back to their countriesor hometowns. The revolution ended in 1976. Restrictions on religious activities were lifted in the 1980s and JinJen Octagon gradually regained its vitality.
Experts congregated at the JinJen Octagon to discuss plantsspecies, tree growths and usage surrounding it. The biggest tree around the JinJen Octagon is the Bodhi tree (sacredfig). Next to it is a Blossoming Tree, which is known as the Golden Lotus forits shape. The Golden Lotus belongs to the Musaceae family. Growing on the Bodhi tree was Lumeria Rubra and ferns. Therefore, the Bodhi tree itselfis regarded as a botanical garden.
There is a wood carving factory located in Jinghong City. Because of governmental regulation as well as the rising environmental awareness, people cannot arbitrarily cut down trees, many factories are using abandoned wood to create. After the traditional wood houses in Myanmar, Laos, and China were tear down, these wood were giving second life in these carving factory, by using them to create antique furniture, which are the imitation of Ming and Qing dynasty.
Manyangguang Forestry mostly lived by Dai people now, who use Dai language still. Dai language is 80 percent similar to Thai language in Thailand. Some Manyangguang schools teach bilingual languages (Dai language, Mandarin). To the overall village, there are no much differences from a decade ago to now, but the original wood tiles have been replaced by modern cement. Traditional Dai houses - so called Ganlan-style Architecture (Stilt-style Architecture), which often kept animal on the ground floor, and people live above. The usually use selected wood to build the Ganlan- style Architecture, because selected wood can prevent termites from decay the wooden column. Dai people also know that chicken eats termites, so they raise chicken too. In addition, they raising buffalo and pigs, so that mosquitoes will attack livestock rather than human being, deducting the chance people getting malaria.
Manfeilong Pagodas are called “Tanuo” meaning “bamboo tower” in the Dai language. The pagodas were built in 1204 BC from brick and stone. There are nine towers total with the main tower in the center surrounded by the other eight forming an octagon. It is considered a valuable work of art and a national symbol for ancient buildings. The Manfeilong Pagodas and other Buddhist temples are built by the minority ethnic groups whose religion is Theravada. The trees and flowers to be planted around the temples are chosen according to Theravada beliefs. Each species of tree is a sacred representation of each generation of Theravada Buddha.