The wood craft in the Valle Aurina valley originated from the boredom of shepherds on the alpine pastures of the Zillertal Alps.
Image gallery: Wood Craft
Not only lace-making, but also wood carving is a craft that has its roots above all in Predoi, in the Valle Aurina valley. The wood craft originated from the boredom of the shepherds who had to look after the cattle of the farmers from the Valle Aurina valley on the alpine pastures in the Zillertal Alps. Various figures were carved from roots and branches with a pocket knife, which were brought back into the Valle Aurina valley in autumn and used to decorate the rooms. This craft became increasingly popular and so they began to carve also at home in winter.
Gradually, every farm in the Valle Aurina valley had a so-called “Machkammer”, a workshop where they didn’t just carve but also various tools like brooms, shafts for axes, scythes and hoes were made. Soon the workshops were also equipped with a lathe and thus crucifixes, God’s corners and field crosses were created.
Especially popular carving motifs were witch faces, devil faces and suns, the latter have almost become a quality seal of this region in the Valle Aurina. And another curious story: it is said, that a farmer called Motzile saw the devil himself when carving. Since that moment he has known exactly what a devil’s mask has to look like.
In S. Giacomo in the Valle Aurina valley also a carving school was founded, which ensures that this unique craftsmanship is not forgotten. It has meanwhile moved to Brunico. Surely you will find the opportunity in the Valle Aurina valley to look over the shoulder of a carver during his work.
The wood carver Klaus Kirchler offers guided visits of his wood workshop. Here you will find crib figurines, traditional woodcraft, musical instruments and much more.
Wood carver Klaus Kirchler:
San Giovanni, Mühlegg 48
39030 Valle Aurina
Phone: +39 0474 652304
from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 12 am and from 2 pm to 6.30 pm
Saturday from 8 am to 12 am