Christmas figures from the Erzgebirge mountains: The toy maker

figures from wood turning, carving, and painting. At Christmas the business with the nut nutcrackers and wooden figures to be running the town of Seiffen, in th

Christmas figures from the Erzgebirge mountains: The toy maker

figures from wood turning, carving, and painting. At Christmas the business with the nut nutcrackers and wooden figures to be running the town of Seiffen, in the small town.

wood-carvers in the town of Seiffen photo: imago images/moment-photo/killing

In the centre of Seiffen two streets intersect. The main street leads through the 2.800-souls-village, to workshops, shop, small shops with candle arches, incense smokers, nutcrackers and angels, to the toy Museum, and a Museum. The German neudorff road leads back, towards the Central mountains, up to the village Church and to the ski lift. In the last third of the year, people come from all over the world. All want to see how and where the erzgebirgische wood art is made. Here this arts and crafts home. For over 300 years, the turners provide in and around the town of Seiffen wooden toys, all made by Hand.

Gunter Flath operates his workshop since 1975 – prior to that, he had to get permission for a private industry in the GDR. "And then there were the so-called evening work, as you could produce for 300 Euro in the year on the sideline," he says. Then he has specialized in the Stübelmachen – the replica of the little room, Mini-doll houses made of wood, in which an excerpt from the lives of the characters is shown.

Today he makes with his daughter Cornelia, both of them have passed their master's examination as a wood toy maker. In the small workshop, it is cozy; when you enter the room, is the smell of the Wood already. On the walls are visible almost to the ceiling, the wooden art pieces from Gunter and Cornelia Flath to. "My first idea of a rotary was. The way it was, the poor people were back then.“

In his palm, the small room fit in perfectly. The small figures are seen. Three men work in the parlor, everyone has a special activity: one is on the lathe, and the other to cut the wood, the third carving. To be everywhere their feet sawdust. Everything is hand work.

"I place great value on beauty. We do not produce cheap goods,“ says Gunter Flath. The ideas for his wood art pieces develop slowly. "You can only start, when you have a precise idea of a project." In its range of 30 offices are currently hand made to order both on-site and in the network. "Sometimes the clients bring me ideas," he says.

An idea came from a customer, is the auditorium. On the six rows of students sitting in a medical lecture, the wood lecturer in front of a model of a human torso, a human skeleton hanging beside the blackboard, the formulas and graphics are written, the can up and down be pushed. Absolute Micro-Work.

Cornelia Flath.

"is This really heavy work and yet you have to make the with fine feeling."

this work of art fits in the palm of your hand – but it goes even smaller. The Stübelmacher also offices in matchboxes, which are as big as a finger member. In the box of the figures: A farmer and his family, the Three kings, a classroom, or even angel and miner then hide. The Traditionsduo.

In the workshop of Gunter and Cornelia Flath are not able to see visitors*indoor only, as the toy maker spin the wooden figures, carving and painting. If you like, you may also Bank time in the rotation. This takes not only skill, but also strength. "This is really heavy work and yet you have to make the with fine feeling," says Cornelia Flath. Then the figures are painted.

In the town of Seiffen each of the approximately 120 workshops has its own technique of painting, the connoisseur knows with a look of which craftsmen, a figure comes. The techniques were passed on from Generation to Generation, like a family secret.

The wooden toy makers since the 17th century. Century in the town of Seiffen. The romantic notion that the mountain people began at that time, the wood-work of pleasure and joy, is wrong. The miners were not forced, in addition to the acquisition of the wood-work, driven by poverty, since the miners ' Survival was not enough. In the 18th century. Century, the wood work was a stable side income, the turners were plates, cups, buttons – everything you could turn out of wood.

wood: Not only in Seiffen, there is a carving art throughout the erzgebirgskreis district, visitors can:*explore the craft of German Neudorf via Heidelberg to Olbernhau. Each place specializes in something else.

chain saw art Who travels with the car half an hour from the town of Seiffen to the village of Chemnitz, you can admire a particular Form of wood work: chain saw carving. In the forest adventure centre, block Hausen huge wood sculptures, mostly carved wild animals or figures of gods, all of which were shaped with a chain saw from the wood. Once a year, at Pentecost, it's also a competition, the Huskycup. Then, a chainsaw Carver*come together from all over the world – from Japan, the USA, the UK, France – to prove to each other. Some of the carvings can also be used in block Hausen bought. Admission is free, and once at the top, you can sit down and have a cold drink and a Snack to buy.

accommodation: Who would like to stay in Seiffen has several options, which should be booked in the season of Advent in a timely manner. In the Hotel "Buntes Haus" sleep visitors*the interior is particularly good, because in front of every door a Erzgebirge wood figure of the guard. In the Restaurant of the hotel, there is, in addition to various seasonal dishes and game from the Region – delicious food at a fair price. www.buntes-haus.com

toy Museum In the toy Museum in Seiffen is told the history of wooden art in ore mountains using a variety of original exhibits. Admission for adults costs 7 euros, combined Ticket for 10 Euro and can go to the open-air Museum, where visitors*can see as before in the old rotation works worked. www.spielzeugmuseum-seiffen.de

In the Erzgebirge specialized workers with the time on the toy production, but lucrative it was, and this profession is never. "After the turn, it ran for a while, very well, since we have produced a lot of. Since I had to work here in the workshop, 15 people,“ says Gunter Flath. "But then it was declined. Now we do this just the two of you.“

the wooden toy makers and their craftsmanship has survived at all for so long, is also located on the Turner cooperative Dregeno. 100 years ago, it was founded in the town of Seiffen, until today it stands as an intermediary between the individual workshops and the big, wide world. Its 123 members face many challenges. The workshops are small companies, everywhere the prices are rising, there are constantly new rules and regulations as well as wage adjustments – in short, you have to fight.

The cooperative attempts of the bureaucratic Juggernaut to intercept, but it is hard. "What is the business model works, if you make only a quarter of the year revenue? This is actually crazy,“ says Juliane Kröner. "It is a niche product, what are we doing here."

Out of the forest into the world – this is the Motto of the Dregeno is, and describes the process well here. The wood, the use of the toy maker, comes directly from the local ore mountain forest. Especially the wood of a lime tree is well suited, because it is more malleable and softer than other woods. All the materials are from the Region.

the craftsmen of wooden toys do come to school from here. It is the only Turner school in Germany that trains wooden toy makers. This specialization also means that anyone Who wants to not be wooden toy maker, which the Region has to offer on the duration of little. Here, very little people, and the trend of life is already declining. The lack of young talent is one of the biggest challenges for the industry.

"We have a demographic have a Problem. The Generation that has made after the turn of self-employed and experienced in the 90s, the Boom, is now on the pension,“ says the cooperative's Director. If, in the erzgebirgskreis district, the people from stay, is the extinction of this craft. "There are young people who want to do this – very much even. But you can see at the Moment in the industry has no future. You know from your parents how difficult it was. But maybe that will change once more.“

Only one thing is clear: On Christmas, the Seiffner can count on.

Updated Date: 23 December 2019, 10:31

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