Wood carving: craft Val Pusteria

intaglio del legno val pusteria

Wood carving is a tradition that has lived in the families of the Val Pusteria since the 1700s. It was a perfect hobby for those who lived on agriculture and livestock, a job made of expectations and seasons. Since then, the wooden sculptures of the Val Pusteria have become a symbol of the valley, one of those souvenirs to take home when you leave, which contain a real cultural history.

Among the centuries-old craft traditions, wood carving has given rise to shops and artisan shops, where small works of art are sold. Most are located in Sesto, where it is possible to discover many different styles and creations.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, wood carving was born for various reasons: procuring toys with which children could spend the winter, and combat the boredom of summers spent grazing the flock. The figurines and figures carved by shepherds were then brought home at the beginning of autumn, and were used as decorations or toys for the little ones.

The figures of the time were masks of witches, devils, suns, and saints who are still the symbol of the Valle Aurina. And in this area, around the first two weeks of July, there is a real symposium, where sculptors of various nationalities create wooden sculptures working outdoors in the center of the country, showing passers-by how a piece of wood can be born something extraordinary.

Woodcarving artists: where to find them?

There are many shops and attractions that we could tell you about, but we will only mention a few where to go while you are visiting Val Pusteria. In addition to the aforementioned Sesto, we recall that in San Giacomo, in the Valle Aurina, there is a carving school that promotes this art throughout the valley, in the same place the sculptor Klaus Kirchler offers guided tours to observe the creations ranging from figurines for the nativity scene with musical instruments.

In Valdaora, instead, the wooden sculptures, an unmissable place is the sculpture shop of Konrad and Rosa Bachmann with their unique creative works in the world. In the Isarco Valley, there is a family business named ALRA that produces sculptures even to order.