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Traditional Crafts – From Artists and Connoisseurs [2023]

Traditional Crafts – From Artists and Connoisseurs [2023]


Traditional crafts can be as modest as a basket or as tricky as fine woven silk. Whether it is a mat, a knit sweater, iron hinge, or a pursuing decoy, people often spend time and effort beyond what is need for the basic necessity to produce crafts that are pleasing to the eye.

The importance of crafts in many places is closely linked to Switzerland’s tourism history. Indeed, it is often challenging to define manual trades, folk art, and skills.

Brienz Wood Sculptures

In the famine year 1816, the Brienz master turner Christian Fischer began to decorate everyday objects with carved works, then sell them to tourists. He started to train people from the region to meet the growing demand for this craft. In 1851, Brienz’s woodcarvings and sculptures met with international success for the first time at the World’s Fair in London. In 1884 follow, the founding of the school of carvers, « Schnitzlerschule Brienz,» was recognize in 1928 as a technical school and apprenticeship workshop in the Canton of Bern. As the only learning institution in Switzerland, this “School for Woodcarving and Sculpture” enables young people to learn the craft of woodcarving. Since 2009, the professions of turner, basket maker, cooper, and white cuber have also been taught in orientation classes. In independent companies, trained woodcarvers today produce both demanding commissioned work and souvenirs for tourists.

Homemade Craft

Shingle Art – Traditional Crafts

They are choosing the suitable wood, delicately splitting it. Then trimming each shingle to the required angle – the knowledge and skills of those who produce shingles are highly accurate and timeless. In western Switzerland, only ten people have mastered the craft of shingle making. They tirelessly tile roofs, clad facades with hundreds of shingles, and thin wooden slats made from spruce wood.

Depending on size and region, different designations are use for wooden shingles (e.g., “Tavillons” in the Freiburg and Vaud Alps). Over time, the shingles acquire a silver color that allows the wood to protect itself against the influence of the weather. In Switzerland, the first testimonies date from the Gallo-Roman era. These shingles were manufacture at Holderbank (Solothurn) and Oberwinterthur. A long history began with these since the shingles were replace not before the 17th and 18th centuries by mud bricks used in the mining sector until the 19th century.

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Painting Poya

In the Freiburg dialect, the two syllables “Po-ya” designate the entire complex of herding cowboys and cattle onto alpine pastures. However, since the 1960s, this term has established representations of this critical event in rural life. La Poya, as a symbol of the beginning of the productive time of the year. Has seemed since the beginning of the 19th century on the facades of rural houses in the Freiburg Prealps. Each farmer with his cattle adorns his farm with his herd that goes up in the early summer to the alpine pastures.

A typical Poya shows in a complete image a whole line of cows and other farm animals. Accompanied by cowboys wearing top hats and other specific elements of alpine life. Sylvestre Pidoux (1800-1871) de Vuadens is consider the first painter of this genre. His paintings show enduring motifs that form the basis for further developments and how life on alpine farms and livestock has changed.

Furniture Painting

Peasant painting from the Appenzell and Toggenburg regions is unique in Alpine folk art. Today there are wide varieties, while the past shows that ” peasant painting ” is multifaceted. Paintings depicting rural life have also known in eastern Switzerland since the 16th century. They find expression in simple mural paintings on wooden walls, such as Swiss or “Allianz” window top paintings, and in rustic furniture paintings between 1750 and 1850. In the 19th century, pictures of alpine cowboys were paint on the bottoms of buckets of milking and paintings on boards or climbs to alpine pastures for peasants who wanted to show their cattle. The image and meaning changed in the second half of the 20th century.

Bern Peasant Pottery – Traditional Crafts

The Thun-Heimberg-Langnau region is a renowned European center for pottery crafts with great slip decoration. Family businesses manufacture small series of objects and individual pieces using traditional craftsmanship. Since the potter’s trade was practice for a long time in small agricultural enterprises for self-sufficiency. It is usually describ as peasant pottery. At the start of the 18th century, five pottery centers with artistic features specific to the wares were form in the canton of Bern Langnau, Heimberg, and Albligen produce pottery with slip paint, while Simmental and Bäriswil were dedicated to the production of tableware. White enameled earthenware. The demand for peasant ceramic objects increased enormously in the 19th century with the arrival of tourism.

Conclusion – Traditional Crafts

A craft, sometimes more precisely express as artisanal handicraft or handmade. Is any of a wide variety of work where functional and decorative objects are made entirely by one’s hand or by using only simple. Non-automate relate tools like scissors, carving implements, or hooks.

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