To carve figures, so-called carving blanks (pre-milled pieces of wood) are often used. When works of art are created from these blanks, they are still considered “hand-carved” as long as they are completely finished with carving knives.
he creation of a new wooden figure fills every woodcarver with great enthusiasm and anticipation. But it is often a long way to the final figure, involving all kinds of creative work steps.
For many owners, the natural form is one of the most beautiful versions. However, a whole range of finishes also finds enthusiastic followers. These include stained, multi-stained, antiqued, painted and versions decorated with real gold.
Carving is one of the most traditional handicraft techniques and perfect for switching off from everyday life all the while creating beautiful everyday and ornamental objects with your own hands. Whether beautiful fruit bowls, wooden spoons, side tables or candle holders – the selection could hardly be more versatile. The material wood in its various shades, colours and also in weight, is ideal for daily use or for decorative purposes.
Especially figurines for festive purposes have a long tradition and are highly valued in various societies. Be it in the production of larger quantities, or also as valuable individual pieces, or even for beginners and amateur wood sculptors.
Even the old masters of woodcarving in Brienz and throughout the country made good use of the strong wish of guests from all over the world to remember for a lifetime their trip to Switzerland with a beautiful souvenir. Then as now, it was good business and even if demand and supply are always changing, the lovable wooden cows, toys, wall clocks, all kinds of figurines and much more are part of the standard range of any souvenir trade and shop.
While travel souvenirs were often richly decorated in times past, refined shapes in a wide variety of styles are still popular gifts for loved ones at home or for oneself. Even today, souvenir making in the carving village of Brienz is an important branch of the economy and a reliable source of income.
This range is also wide; the most diverse uses and styles characterise the world of wooden home ornaments. Ornamented furniture or just subtly simple pieces, a wardrobe bear (not just for enthusiasts), wall decorations, signposts, pictures, lamps, all the way to the most endearing Christmas ornaments or general festive decorations.
This also includes the fascinating art of wooden house decorations, which characterise many areas of Switzerland and especially the Bernese Oberland in many a village. Whether on a grand scale as village masterpieces or in miniature as decorative chalets, music boxes and much more.
Wood creates warmth and cosiness in every home, regardless of whether it is presented in a traditionally playful way or in a completely modern, simple and refined way.
With an increased degree of difficulty, in contrast to carving classical reliefs, a negative is carved in depth. The additional challenge is that the right and left sides of the subject must be reversed in the negative in order to reproduce the original subject later. One carves in a mirror image.
Carvings are offered as “natural”, “coloured” or ” set”. To preserve the natural surface of the wood, the material is treated with oils or waxes. These provide a surface protection that protects the wood from moisture and dirt. Coloured means that the colour of the wood is changed with paints or stains. The natural structure of the wood remains visible. Final treatment is also done with wax or oil. Set carvings come on a special glue and chalk base. In most cases, gilding is also applied to the mount. The colouring is done with opaque colours so that nothing of the wood is visible.