The Japanese Wood and Culture Seminar is organized by the Japan Wood-Products Export Association (JWPEA) to promote the quality, usage, art and culture of Japanese wood materials. The following four lectures are presented for the comprehensive understanding of the Japanese wood and culture, together with the traditional and modern application of wood materials, knowledge and techniques.
Characteristics of Yakisugi, presented by Nakamoto Forestry (Download PDF)
Interior of Tea-Ceremony Room, presented by Hanamasu Mokko Ltd. (Download PDF)
Characteristics of Shina from Hokkaido and Shirakaba, presented by Takizawa Venner Co., Ltd. (Download PDF)
Japanese Wood Culture and Promotional Activity for Education of Wood, presented by Japan Wood Culture Society (JWCS) (Download PDF)
Japan Wood-Products Export Association (JWPEA)
Welcome to 2021 World Wood Day, CO2 & Wood. Trees absorb CO2 and contain carbon within wood. Sustainable bio diversity forestry and responsible use of wood could expand carbon storage, and using wood could help reducing CO2 emissions. An eco-friendly material, wood is good.
In the Middle Ages of Europe, the wooden bowl was one of the common tablewares used on the dining tables. The bowl-turning craft using a pole lathe in the UK had been practiced since the 16th centuries and lost after the last professional practitioner of the traditional craft George Lailey (1869-1958) passed away. Mr. Robin Wood had successfully recreated this disappeared foot-powered lathe and self-taught the skills since the 90s. Furthermore, he has been promoting this traditional bowl woodturning skill for the past 30 years.
There are many gods in Nepali culture. In this video, Ram Prasad Kadel, the founder of the Music Museum of Nepal will show you one of the music temples in Kathmandu, Nepal. This video will show you the Naasa Dyo Temple, Bhimsen Sthan, Kathmandu.
There are many gods in Nepali culture. In this video, Ram Prasad Kadel, the founder of the Music Museum of Nepal will show you one of the music temples in Kathmandu, Nepal. This video will show you the Naasa Dyo Temple, Kathmandu.
There are many gods in Nepali culture. In this video, Ram Prasad Kadel, the founder of the Music Museum of Nepal will show you one of the music temples in Kathmandu, Nepal. This video will show you the Sarashowati Shrine, Karunamaya Marga, Kathmandu.
The wooden comb has a long history and is the tool we use to adjust hair in the daily life. Master Xu Liren is the inheritor of the Dongyang Wooden Comb traditional craft. He has been learning since 19 years old and has applied 6 national patents for his handmade wooden comb craft up to now. Even after making the wooden comb for 68 years till the year of 2020, he still treats it attentively in every process.
Dramyin is a traditional Tibetan plucked string instrument with a long history of using in the religious festivals. Mr. Qimei Douji was a Yangqin master, and he’s invited to give lessons to some folk music lovers at the public art museum after his retirement. In this interview, Mr. Qimei Douji introduces the structure of dramyin, its unique tone and performing skills. He sings when playing the dramyin and people are attracted to dance along with the music.
Qilin dance performance, as Chinese intangible cultural heritage, is very popular in the northwest countryside of Huanghua City, Hebei Province. It is performed during every Chinese Lantern Festival to welcome good fortune and pray for nice weather, good crops and peace. Normally, Qilin dance requires two dancers, the one in front who walks on wooden stilts, swaying with the head of Qilin, and the one behind who bends his back and moves the tail. The performance is quite a challenge, strong in action and needs closer cooperation of the two dancers. The skeleton of Qilin is made of bamboo stick and covered by fabric, on which the scales sewed with colored satin and laser paper. The head, teeth and other parts are all painted. Stilts are made of local hardwood.
Ilha dos Valadares is an island belonging to the municipality of Paranaguá, in the state of Paraná, Brazil. Founded in 1648, it is Paraná's oldest city, with one of the largest ports in Brazil. Born and living on the isolated island, rabeca/ fandango master- Aorelio Domingues, who is also member of “Associação de Cultura Popular Mandicuera” (Mandicuera Popular Culture Association), leads the association in revitalizing cultural activities of the Caiçara people from the coastal region of the state of Paraná. The entity formed by a group of popular artists and masters its motto is the preservation and diffusion of their intangible heritage. With careful use of the Atlantic forest, Aorelio has developed on-hands techniques for everybody to make their own traditional folklore music instrument: rabeca and fandango. The studio, with incentives, is open daily with free access to the community, all instruments made, as well as the construction technique, are donated to small tribes along the southern coast. Inherited from his grandfather, today Aorelio and his twin daughters continues the path of diffusing cultural events and manifestations that belongs to the Caiçara people.
Cuban crafter Neury Santana Ges is a self-taught artisan. He belongs to the Cuban Association of Artisans and Artists, ACAA. He has won several national and international handicrafts awards, many of his works decorate private collections in different countries around the world. Neury’s works also appear annually in auctions of the Habanos Festival. Auction of the Habanos Humidor took place for the first time in 1994, and has been the most important celebration during the Habanos Festival, the revenue raised during the auction will be all donated to the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba. Neury brings back memories of old Havana, Cuba with his creation of colonial architecture humidor, while he looks toward the future on socio-cultural development of Cuban made humidor craftsmanship.
Tomsk is considered one of the oldest cities in Siberia, located on the Tomsk river and surrounded by the forests. Forest plays an essential role in the daily life of Tomsk people. Over 12 years, Ax Day is one of the most significant events in Siberia and the brand for Tomsk region, it aims to revive Siberian carpentry and joinery, to raise importance of the preservation and restoration of the historical site and villages in Tomsk, passing these ancient traditions to the next generation. Through this cultural event, people get to know the beauty of the wood and strengthen the connection with wood and forests.
Shekhar Kulu Nepali is a professional Nepali drum maker living in Kathmandu, Nepal. In this demonstration video, you can see him preparing animal skins for the drum to the completion of a traditional Nepali drum. He also talked about the preferred wood to make Nepali drums, and what motivated him to be a drum maker.
Brian Newell is a studio furniture maker based in Fort Bragg, California, USA. At the age of eight, he began wood carving in his parents’ basement in Michigan, and later learned furniture making from the internationally renowned furniture maker James Krenov in the Krenov School of Fine Furniture from 1989 to 1990. Later in life, he spent ten years designing and building furniture in Japan and then returned to Fort Bragg, CA in 2008. This documentary was filmed in 2016 when the International Wood Culture Society film crew visited his studio, the school and the city, and Mr. Newell also talked about the struggles he faced as an artist in the interview.
Semiluzhki fortress is a Russian historical site of the 17th century, located in the Semiluzhki village on the outskirts of Tomsk city. The small wooden fortress we see today was rebuilt in 2009. Because of its geographical location on the "Siberian Route", bridging from East Asia to Europe, the fortress was one of the courier stations of The Tea Road. The fortress consists of different parts: the water well, a small wooden church dedicated to Saint Nicolas and other wooden houses in Russian style. The historic objects were nicely displayed in the exhibition room, people get to know the history and the traditions during their visit. This film leads the audience into this wooden fortress to have a deeper understanding of its great history and its importance of passing these Russian traditions to the next generation.
Located in Kaihau county, Root Palace is best known as the base of root carving culture and center for artists’ interaction worldwide. Over 3 years, the “Belt & Road" International Root Carving Cultural Exchange Week provides a platform for artists to demonstrate and showcase their art and skills. In 2019, 14 international artists from countries of Asia, Europe and Africa were invited. With diverse cultural backgrounds, various artistic styles and unique elements were presented to the audience. Both international and domestic artists joined the collaborative project, sharing their homeland symbols on the one root. During the process, invited artists get to know each other and form a tight bond. This film documented the working process, sharing the artists’ insights toward root carving, the valuable friendship and the beauty of roots.
Located in the semi-arid sertão (hinterland) region of northeastern Brazil, Juazeiro do Norte is best known as the base of the charismatic priest and spiritual leader Padre Cícero; the famous bandit leader and folk hero of the Cangaço (banditism phenomenon of Northeast in late 19th century) Lampião; poet, songwriter and musician Luis Gonzaga who sang for this region, considered as King of Baião (northeastern Brazilian music genre and dance, similar to Samba). Although known for its aridness and hard way of life, Juazeiro do Norte has been part of mystical legends throughout history. Strongly influenced by its past, “Os Compadre” (brotherhood in Portuguese) woodcarving workshop is the union of woodcarvers from Centro de Cultura Popular Mestre Noza. Watch the video and see how Os Compadre’s woodcarver builds a bridge between woodcarving and their folk culture.
Music group from Juazeiro do Norte, state of Ceará. Formed by talented musicians Difreitas, Airton Santos and Evanio Soares, brings the unique Cariri region style show “Alumiozo Caririzeiro”. Perfect blend of classic and local folk music, their music represents the identity of local Northeastern Brazil, revealing the climate, people, culture, sound of the region.
The group plays with self-made peculiar wooden music instruments, group leader Difreitas is also a music teacher, who designs and teaches children to make their own rabeca in a practical way, reducing 90% use of wood and local materials. Watch his simple-steps demo for the creation of rabeca and listen to the amazingly charming and interactive sound.
It took 9 days (a feat!), 531 timber pieces, 422 joints and 7 tons of reclaimed Sal Wood (local hardwood) to construct a wooden structure duplicate of the tiered temple in Nepal, the Kileshwor, Lord Mahadev in Changu Narayan, one of the oldest in Nepal, during the World Wood Day 2016 celebration in Nepal. The project demonstrates Nepal's unique traditional system of wooden construction.
Chinese and foreign wood artists at Wenzhou School for Special Education" is an extraordinary cultural exchange activity and a caring action. 20 outstanding wood artists from 14 countries gathered together, spending a memorable time with teachers and students from the special school. With the theme of "love for life", the event was jointly sponsored by the International Wood Culture Society and the Wenzhou Municipal Education Bureau. In the three-day intense and orderly wood carving activity, the artists and their student assistants completed the works in a pleasant atmosphere. All the finished works were collected in Wenzhou School for Special Education, witnessing the power of love. At the same time, DIY projects including the mini-woodturning, puppet show and puppet painting were also welcomed warmly. Students were happily took the opportunity experiencing the art and charm of wood. Chinese and foreign artists not only shared their passion, their special care and inspiration to children, but also sow a seed for their future. The event become an unforgettable memory for all the people involved.
Since 2012, it is the second-time for IWCS to documentary the 20th All Japan Junior High School Woodworking Competition & World Wood Day 2020 Memorial Contest, included in the 20th National Junior High School Education Fair for Creative Monodzukuri (Manufacturing), held at the Umejima Elementary School on January 25th. 16 students as winners of regional contests have to finish their designed projects within 4 hours and to present their work in front of the judges and audience. The grand award ceremony then took place at the Art Center of Tokyo on January 26th, and the Chair's Award of World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) was presented by the Director of WWDF and IWCS. The friendship together with the same enthusiasm towards woodworking is the most important conclusion of the competition.
Over 2,500 delegates from 92 countries and regions gathered in Curitiba, Brazil from September 29 to October 5, 2019 to participate in the 25th IUFRO World Congress, which is held every five years. This is the world's highest level of international academic exchanges in the forest sector, and was held for its first time in Latin American countries.
Themed with “Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development”, the first plenary session highlighted the potential of forests, trees and forest products to mitigate climate change. In the following five keynote plenary and 350 sub-plenary and technical sessions and more than 900 posters, researchers, scholars and stakeholders in the forest sector from around the world have explored and shared the latest findings in forest research, policy management and all areas related to forests and trees.
The congress has effectively promoted the exchange of related knowledge as to current forest situation, challenges, consequences, and possible solutions, and made researchers in various disciplines around the world think about what researchers should do to contribute more effectively to the world's most pressing forest and environmental issues.
Belisa Barbachano, Founder of the Maya Foundation in Laakeech and owner of Hacienda Chichén, is the daughter of Fernando Barbachano Peon who laid the groundwork for the Chichén Itzá to become one of the most popular tourist spots in the Yucatán Peninsula. In this video, Belisa introduces us to a Mayan priest and their rituals, Ceiba tree, and their work to fight against deforestation.
Located in Gifu Prefecture, about the center of Japan and well-known for its forest coverage rate up to 80 percent, Gifu Meiboku (precious wood) Market has gathered traders from all over the country and even abroad to sell and purchase wood material in various forms, from wood slabs to logs. The Gifuken Meiboku Kyodokumiai (Gifu Prefecture Precious Wood Cooperative), established in 1947, has inherited and utilized an unique bidding system that closes bids in seconds for every piece. The auctioneers take turns to stand next to or on the items for sale, and all interested buyers follow around to bid with their ideal price in mind. To better introduce and record such an exclusive wood culture, IWCS re-interviewed Gifuken Meiboku Kyodokumiai about the history, operation, precious wood, stories and experiences of the Gifu Meiboku Market and filmed the remarkable annual event preserving it as a legacy.
Interview with Mira Nakashima, daughter of George Nakashima, father of the American craft movement. Mira has worked with her father for 20 years and is now the owner of the George Nakashima Wood Studio where they still produce furniture designed by George. In this video, we can see the studio today and understand the respect of wood from the people who were inspired by George.
The world is entering a new era and changing at a rapid pace, driven by science and technology.
These profoundly affect the social, economic, and cultural outlooks of societies and individuals alike. In this documentary, the 2018 BM theme of ”I, Robot” serves as a reflection of humanity. Through different layers of conversations in the film, our emphasis is on transforming consciousness and behavior in all aspects of our lives—personal, social, and planetary, also how the event affected individuals and gave them new perspectives for the needs to change.
Michael Hurwitz is a Studio Furniture Maker based in Philadelphia. In this video he talks about his art, philosophy, future project, and his family. Michael recently being honored as one of the 2019 Masters of the Medium by the James Renwick Alliance and with his wife Mami Kato they are preparing for the upcoming exhibition at the Wexler Gallery from May 3 - July 26, 2019.
HoHo Vienna, the 84 meters and 24 floors wooden skyscraper is scheduled to be one of the world’s highest wooden structures upon its completion. The traditional architecture and buildings from Austria are displayed in Open-Air Museum Stubing. What they have in common is that they are all built with the material: wood. In this video, we interviewed people behind these wooden structures that present Austria’s culture and history beyond time.
In 1982 Eduardo Córdova Reyes graduated from the National School of Art Instructors of Cuba; and in 1989 he graduated as Professor of Percussion of the National Center of Improvement for the Artistic Teaching of Cuba. From the year 1990, he works as a percussion teacher at the Vocational Art School. One day he decided to make his own instruments because the sound of his drum did not leave him completely satisfied. Thus begins an adventure in which cedar trunks, ironwork and leather begin to shape a world of sonorities and dreams in which music and crafts converge and complement each other without setting precise limits. He held exhibitions of instrument, conference, demostrations and created his musical group Obbara, participates in international event, especially World Wood Day culture event in China and Turkey organized by International Wood Culture Society which offered him an occasion to meet, play and communicate with musicians from around the world on the same stage. Córdova is also known as The King of Drums. He has devoted all his effort to acoustic music and the construction of drums. He considers his percussion teaching as a very important part in his life, which makes him fulfilled.
The World Congress 2014 of International Union of Forest Research Organization (IUFRO) was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) joined the conference, and brought all participants different ways of viewing the wood culture.
Wooden shingles as a roofing have a long tradition in Austria. There are several designs depending on the regions, and one type is called the "Schieferschindel". Due to its airy setup, it is possible to use less durable wood species for this particular type, but wood quality is still a key factor in shingle production. The roofing shown in the video has lasted for 37 years and is now being replaced by the craftsmen of the Austrian Open-Air Museum Stübing.
Camera Operator: Hischam Momen
Photographer: Alice Schumacher
Editors: Hischam Momen & Sebastian Nemestothy
Burning Man began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 when Larry Harvey and a group of friends burned a 9-foot wooden effigy on Baker Beach. This act marked the beginnings of the annual Burning Man festival. This film documented the Man’s build in 2016 burn. It is a design inspired by Da Vincci’s Vitruvian Man in order to reflect the theme: Renaissance. While many participants were curious about why the Man didn’t turn as it was designed to be, this video provides the insight into the building process of the centerpiece on playa and the essence of the event itself.
Established in 1970, the Open Air Museum Stuebing displays 97 reconstructed historic wooden peasant houses that are mainly used to be in the Alpine Provinces. They are lined from the west to the east according to the actual geography of Austria. A house often consists of living space for both human and livestock, with various styles and roofs made of thatches or shingles. There are various kinds of wooden houses, as different designs are made to fit local geological characteristics. Prehistoric hunting huts made with local tree bark accompanied by ancient coal-making facility can also be spotted in the museum.
Wendell Castle was one of the most renowned contemporary artists in the US, and regardless of the traditional furniture or the modern art design, Wendell always made his own unique style of creations. Unfortunately, Wendell had passed away in January, 2018, not only was it shocking to the art field, but making the footage of Wendell’s speech about the art of furniture making at Furniture Society Conference 2016 in Philadelphia even more valuable. During the conference, Wendell elaborated on how the combination of arts, creativity, and critical thinking could have impacts on an artist’s working style. Besides, Wendell also shared anecdotes about his long artistic career and explained how the digital technology has affected his work.
Wendell Castle was an internationally renowned artist from Rochester. He’s also known as the father of the art furniture movement. This short documentary video brings us to his studio, exhibition, and involvement in the furniture society. It also brings us to his personal life after a hard working day. The most Importantly, in this video, he talks about his appreciation for wood and also his ideology in art creation.
Paete, located on the coast of Laguna Bay in the Philippines, was established by the Spaniards in 1580. Former Philippine President Ms. Arroyo announced in 2005 the town as "the woodcarving capital of the Philippines." In this small town of less than 30,000 people, there are many artisans engaged in the woodcarving industry. From generation to generation, the town was nurtured by the environment and took to the path of woodcarving. The 70s-80s of last century was the heyday of the Paete woodcarving. More than 90% of the town's population was engaged in the carving industry. At that time, the woodcarvings were mainly focused on religious stories. However, with the logging ban on timber leading to material shortages and rising prices, young people in this small town have had to make a wide range of choices. But some young people still stick to the mission of their fathers, devoting themselves to woodcarving. In the meantime, the Philippine Open University has planned to come up with some of the land in its Paete trial field, and work with local artisan’s guild to develop suitable tree species for use by wood carver craftsmen in the town.
"Mr. Brog" is the largest manufacturers of wooden pipe in Poland. The pipes produced by "Mr. Brog" are all labeled in number before selling. More than 2,000,000 handmade wooden pipes have been produced and sold by "Mr. Brog," making it one of the largest suppliers in the European market. As a master of pipe-making, Mr. Zbigniew Bednarczyk, the founder of "Mr. Brog" shared experience with us in the design and production of pipes for the past 30 years. Why should the pipe be made of wood? What kind of wood is used? What kind of pipe is the best? Mr. Zbigniew Bednarczyk is a versatile person. In addition to designing pipes, He also loves painting, wood carving and doing some fantastic wooden furniture. He is fond of singing and dancing, but tobacco is his favorite.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located near Krakow, Poland, has been exploited since the 13th century and was listed in the United Nations World Heritage List in 1978. The salt mine has 9 floors underground, 245 kilometers of tunnels, and 2391 caverns for business, meetings, and praying. It is one of the oldest and largest salt mines in Europe. As a national historical site of Poland, millions of people from all over the world travel here every year. Today, as we walk into this underground maze from the perspective of a wood lover, the mystery of the salt mine lies not only in the magnificent world of ancient underground spectacle and salt, but also the ubiquitous wood shelters which lead people to pursue the salt miners' steps and feel their work and life, diligence and wisdom.
Ukiyo-e is an iconic form of Japanese art. This woodblock print used to be a source of entertainment in the Edo era (1603- 1868) but has been diminishing since waves of modernization came 150 years ago. Thanks to generations of craftsmen and publishers striving to pass on the craftsmanship, we are fortunate to see the beautifully reprinted ukiyo-e and newly designed woodblock prints today. Wood materials and papers of high standard are also keys to the production of multicolored woodblock prints. This video is to reveal the invisible parts behind each copy of ukiyo-e and acknowledge the people who devote their life to safeguard Japan’s wood legacy.
This film delves into what Oscar Wilde once said using a cultural approach, "It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little." This statement is especially relevant in today's context when the world is bracing itself to enter into an more advanced era. Through different perspectives from the founders, artists and burners, we hope to inspire the audience to connect more with nature and have a humble attitude towards the vast spectrum of divine powers and energies.
Mr. Wood is as old or as young as our planet. He is endless and will live forever if mankind does not destroy the World. Back in the days when mankind started to heavily exploit natural resources, Mr. Wood was against it. But with time, mankind proved to be able to do the best possible use of wood. This usage gives Mr. Wood a second life, he loves mankin and he is proud to be such an important resource.
This film is about a young man who skates through the city streets looking for scraps of wood. He brings these pieces of wood home and creates an ukulele out of what he found. Most people throw away wood after it is used for whatever task it was needed for, but the potential wood becoming something new and fresh is limitless.
The film is set around a poem that talks about the similar differences both humans and wood have, and how connected we are through those differences. The film highlights the diversity of wood/trees in relation to the diversity within humans
Sitting in a washitsu (a style of Japanese room), you can see the server in kimono coming with great crab cuisine on her hand. All the chopsticks and bowls are made of wood, and you couldn't help but start enjoying the feast. This is a restaurant owned by Mr. Tatsuro Hioki, who bought lumbers and designed them all on his own. Let's see how Mr. Tatsuro Hioki bult his empire and enjoy the elegant wooden design along with him.
A story of Jan Pawlikowski, a successful and passionate luthier, who has been working with wood for 57 years. Despite his age he spends days and nights making instruments for customers from all over the world.
A child made a wooden puppet and he established a great friendship which was denied from his father. When he grew up, he passed by a shop full of wooden toys and remembered the feeling of being a child. In the end, he reconnected the lost friendship with his little wooden friend.
'Woodland Pioneers' follows the trainees and apprentices of the Bill Hogarth MBE Memorial Apprenticeship Trust over the course of a week in the beautiful South Lake District as they learn to Coppice, a traditional woodland management system, along with the crafts and skills associated with the harvested wood and wood products. From baskets to fencing panels, stools to coracles, the video explores the economic and environmental benefits of coppicing and the work of the trust itself in its efforts to keep ancient skills alive and stimulate the local rural economy.
A life spent in woodworking. More than a lifestyle, a way of living. Shot in southern Brazil, this is a film about a father and a son that developed their skills at that same time as they developed themselves working on wood.
There is a mystery hiding behind the inimitable sound of Stradivarius’ instruments. All through the years there have been many speculations: there are those who say that he used special varnishes, alchemies handled down from father to son, or even that the trees that he used contained particular types of wood fungi. In truth, it seems that Stradivari and the other masters from Cremona were first of all experts in selecting the wood, and that they went into the forests in person to choose the most suitable trees. According to a legend, Antonio Stradivari rolled the trunks to select those with the most vibrant timbre. Until today the mystery remain unsolved.
Grosotto, this small town is located in the north Italy. There are forests among the mountains, the bond between wood and religion is very strong. In the dim and distant past, men crafted wooden artifacts in order to feel closer to God. The small "wooden" church of the town is a perfect example of this bond.
The Locos dancers of San Isidro is a traditional festivity celebrated in Lagunillas, Venezuela. The awarded toymaker Mario Calderón decides to stimulate the child's imagination in his town by working with wood. His idea is to maintain culture through time from generation to generation.
"Primeval Forest" is a story about the last primeval forest in Europe, the Bialowieza forest, located on the border between Poland and Belarus. This transboundary property is exceptional for the opportunities it offers for biodiversity conservation, nevertheless it is now in danger due to excessive wood logging. This place has always been a great inspiration for artists. “Primeval Forest” presents the Bialowieza Forest from the perspective of people who care about the place deeply and understand the importance of keeping it alive for next generations.
A story of wooden whales, a seatime cemetery and splintered hands. Sebastià is one of only a handful of old-school carpenters restoring wooden fishing boats, thus bringing a slice of Mediterranean culture back to life. A visual poem from Mallorca.
This is an ancient oriental tale about natural forces and human greed, told by children for the future generations. Enter the world of magic and children fantasies. So, once upon a time in desert a little man met a great sacred tree, which granted his every wish. He wished for more and more without consideration for his tree. And here is what happened...
Film was created without special effects. Ideas of costumes, decorations and characters were created by children.
What sound does wood make? In West Africa wood brings the sound of hope to Swaluman, a carpenter, and his farming father. Not only is wood essential for their daily survival, but wood is also helping them create a better future for their family.
Latvian woodworker Rihards Vidzickis has the love and passion for creating his works by one of the most eco-friendly and beloved materials - wood. Rihards is a talented master, a real fine sculptor and a skillful carpenter, and he is running a park of wooden sculptures and furniture for people to get to know the charm of wood. In this video, it took Rihards monthslong to create a traditional expanded dugout canoe by using mostly traditional hand tools and techniques. The whole process started with stripping the bark from the tree to finally launching the completed canoe, and presented the perfect combination of craft and nature.
2016 World Wood Day Folk Art Workshop presented diverse forms of wooden folk art from 10 countries and 6 Nepali ethnic groups. Through a series of exhibition, demonstration and workshops, it offered an opportunity for participants to reflect on attitudes towards traditional woodcrafts. Even though some of them are vanishing due to modern development, wood still plays a prominent role in connecting people with nature and culture.
A Santa Cruz wood sculptor, Gary Stevens seeks to get the form to work with what’s naturally occurring in every piece. His passion for the wood itself comes through in his art as sculpting is an outlet for his desire to create. It is in the tranquil setting of his own redwood canyon he is inspired ; and through his sculptural vessels that are variational forms of plant parts he finds a beautiful way to expose what God has created in Nature.
On 25 April 2015, with a magnitude 7.8 Earthquake hit Nepal and major aftershock on 12 may 2015, Nepal was in disaster. The earthquake caused a massive damage to people and heritage sites including Changu Narayan area where the oldest temple in Nepal is located. This video showcases the spirit behind the renovation of the Changu Narayan, and full size replica of the Shiva temple on the 2016 World Wood Day event.
The XIV World Forestry Congress, themed “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future,” was grandly held in Durban, South Africa from 7 to 11 September 2015. Gathering the world forestry’s sectors every six years, it serves as an important platform for experts and stakeholders to discuss related key issues and explore ways to sustainability. International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and World Wood Day Foundation (WWDF) also took part in the exhibition and discussions to promote wood culture, a way to remind people that forest is our roots. The diversity of culture and diversity of ecological system are interconnected. We all grow and bind together and therefore, efforts by individuals and groups, big or small, are significant in building our sustainable future.
Renowned sculptor David Best, who has designed and built nine Burning Man temples at Black Rock Desert and various temples in other countries, and his crew, made of volunteers from the United States of America, were invited to create a community stupa in honor of the people of Nepal who suffered greatly from the 2015 earthquakes. The construction site located in Bungamati, a well-known traditional woodcarving village that has had more than 70% of its buildings damaged in the earthquakes. The Temple Crew cut and drilled rough-hewn logs and planks into manageable blocks that were strung on iron rebar and fashioned into the shape of a classic Nepali stupa. This stupa is composed of thousands of pieces of wood representing earthquake victims. Along with bringing international attention to the ongoing wood carving tradition of Bungamati, this project also helped to rejuvenate the community by interacting with local people and artists. The stupa is currently displayed at the Nepal Academy and will eventually be moved back to Bungamati.
The 2016 Collaborative Project kept exploring the possibilities among traditionally-different practices through teamwork as 20 collaborators came together to create wooden sculptural works in Bhaktapur. Together with interactive playground equipment that created a safe wood environment for school children, an installation consisting of 282 carved bricks by 130 artists rose to bring hope of renewal to the community. It was an inclusive venture between creative minds and the community where skills were shared, artistic thinking was challenged, and authentic partnerships were forged through a process of collective ownership, fellowship and mutual respect. This cross-border platform encourages communal interactions while offering younger generation new experiences to discover the art in wood that is both educational and entertaining.
Those two Kina trees are well-known and long-lived in Damascus, they have remained for many generations and attended many historic phases in early time. They were to be burned, it was the ideas of Mr. Moufak Makhoul to revive them in a certain way, and the Syrian trees never die. As the thickness and height of the trees, the process of engraving is done on the dry and died trees that are more than 130 year-old. The work is not just in related to sculpture, and as well as to give it an aesthetic value, the historic value, and the educational value of how we employ the dry trees instead of burning it. The artists tried to make them a tableau with inscriptions, and asserting the origins of art and civilization in Syria.
Woodturning Training program at Wenzhou School of Special Education, set up by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) and the American Association of Woodturners (AAW), continued in November, 2015. Mr. Andy Chen from United States, as the instructor of this semester, gave a bowl-turning lesson to Zhu Shicheng and the students at school.
The whole staff of Wenzhou School of Special Education expressed their appreciation to IWCS and AAW. Everyone does hope Mr. Zhu could keep on practice and grasp the skill to pay back the society and the students who need more social care.
The Grand Sawara festival has a history of 300 years. It is indeed one of the biggest festivals in Tokyo, Japan. During the festivals, Dashi is always under spotlight. Each Dashi is composed of one giant sacred doll which represents the Japanese deity and a shrine that is elaborately decorated. And Ikkyō Kitazawa is specialized in designing and engraving the surrounding walls of Dashi.
Nepal is a multiethnic country, including more than 59 indigenous groups which constitutes 40% of its total population. Many of the communities fully depend on forest and timber products for survival, entertainment and religious purposes. Wood is an indispensable part of their live, though its importance is diminishing due to the influx of cheap alternatives. Meanwhile, attempts are made by individuals and groups to preserve and promote their tradition of using wood.
IWCS team visited 3 of the major ethnic groups, namely Newar, Tharu and Chepang, in Kathmandu, Dang and Chitwan to explore their distinguished and diversified wood culture and introduced some of them to the global audiences in the 2016 World Wood Day celebration at Nepal Academy.
“Wisdom comes as a result of dealing with mistakes,” Willis said. Retired as a pilot from Alaska Airlines, he learned over the years to make the flexible sleds. Building sleds is one thing, he says, maintaining them is a whole different beast. He decided to build the easier to repair and lighter all wood sled.
Southeast Alaska, beginning in Ketchikan, Metlakatla, Sitka, Juneau and others, is the traditional homeland of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian and is rich in Indian culture, wood carving and totem. Wood carving, as an art form, reflects all the Native cultures connecting with the environment. The wood materials used come from the forest and the forms usually represent animals, spirits or places.
Woodturning is more than crafting; making things out of wood on a lathe can be experienced as relaxing, soothing, satisfying, and even therapeutic. A diversified learning platform, the AAW International Symposium is dedicated to all enthusiasts with world-class demonstrations and the largest showcase of turned-wood objects. Many are inspired and developed a keen interest in woodturing and others may even find a light of hope through the creative process. It is the positive attitude towards life that makes a difference.
Dale Larson is a retired police officer lives in Gresham, in western Oregon, USA. He has been turning for over 38 years. His specialty is turning bowls from local hardwoods like Pacific Madrone and Big Leaf Maple. Dale has taught woodturning for over 15 years including demonstrating at the American Association of Woodturners symposiums, regional symposiums and schools John C Campbell and Arrowmont. He has published articles about wood and woodturning in the four woodworking journals.
In the fourth century, St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. During the excavation, workers found three wooden crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a woman.
Instead of emphasis on the religion part, this documentary film aspires to showcase the enthusiastic relationship between artists and their wood work, as well as the meaningfulness of our encounters with wood by capturing the celebration at the Monastery of Vosakos and the interaction with local wood carvers.
Over time, legacies are thought of as the most precious inheritances or heritages in diverse forms, passing on from generation to generation. But the power of a legacy lies in how it evokes people’s shared feelings and memories, and forges an innermost bond among them. The McCrary brothers, co-founders of a wood mill, have involved in responsible forest stewardship and timber production with an abiding love for the family land along the Big Creek area, California since 1946. Upholding and expanding the legacy, they come to seek for a continuation of environment-friendly, conservation-minded management that would contribute to the sustainable living of woodland in perspectives.
Burning Man is a weeklong festival, a mega art event with many levels of presentation to provide a platform to artists to build a variety of wooden installations and structures in a metropolis in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. This documentary film is specifically aiming on an aspect that would inspire the caring relationship between man and nature, and as well as emphasizing on the meaningfulness of men’s encounters with wood.
In this 5 miles sq. of flat alkaline playa, wood does not only serve as the main material for art pieces, but also represents as a carrier that absorbs people’s emotions, cultures, and hopes.
The festival reached to its climax when the fifty-foot-tall giant wooden man falls, at that very moment wood has been burnt to ashes and blown away with wind along with people’s message spreading out to those who may or may not have experienced with wood or woodworking that a green and brighter future is ours to choose.
2015 World Wood Day-Wood Culture Festival was held in Şişli, Istanbul, Turkey. This event comprising wood music, folk art, and other interactive activities offers a great opportunity for the public to approach wood culture.
San Diego Fine Woodworkers Association (SDFWA) is a well-known non-profit corporation organized in 1982, with more than 1,000 members who share the love of woodworking. Each year, SDFWA holds the exhibition “Design in Wood” with the San Diego County Fair, exhibits more than 300 pieces of art works, and demonstrates traditional woodworking techniques.
This Wood Culture tour will introduce you to the primary music genres and wooden instruments in Turkey. The musical culture of Turkey is shaped and influenced by the multiple ethnicities within Anatolia region through out history. It can be categorized into two genres, Anatolia Folk music and Ottoman/Turkish Maqam music. Traditional Instruments also fall under these categories as well. We will explore the materials the instruments are made from, their history, and the bound between the instruments and musicians.
The Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is the national research laboratory of the United States Forest Service. The focus of the Forest Products Laboratory is to apply their scientific research onto different kinds of wood utilization and to promote healthy forests and forest-based economies through the efficient, sustainable use of the Nation's wood resources.
Lin Yao was born in 1987 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and started to learn Pipa (Chinese lute) at 6 year old. She is the chief Pipa player in Wenzhou Folk Music Group and a music teacher in Wenzhou School for Special Education. Pipa is a short-necked, four-stringed plucked Chinese lute. It is one of the oldest Chinese musical instrument with a history over 2,000 years. Modern pipa appears as a shallow, pear-shaped body with a wooden belly, along with 29 or 31 frets. The four strings run from a fastener on the belly to conical tuning pegs in the sides of the bent-back pegbox. Its name suggests the plucking direction: pi, "to play forward," pa, "to play backward." The strings of Pipa that once made of silk, are now usually replaced with nylon-wrapped steel.
Mbeng N’tam” means beauty and prosperity. This troupe consisting of traditional dancers aims to preserve the rituals and traditions of Gabon. In order to communicate this message of balance among the human being, the invisible world of ancestors and the nature, they have established an association, KOOL D’AYELE, which lends an outlook to the ancestral traditions through their dances. They have started spreading the Gabonese culture worldwide since 1998.
Enrique Males performs ancestral music, expressing harmony that enriches the spirit and fertilize the country. Through ancient sounds, spiritual songs and dances, such as warrior movements and tender moves that represent fertility, their performances express the spiritual strength of the motherland - Pacha Mama. Patricia Gutierrez represents the woman land of Latin America.
The creative work of Enrique and Patricia is authentic and meaningful. Through their artistic production, people get closer to their own spirit and heart, and further to reflect on themselves and strengthen their identity.
Canadian born multi-instrumentalist, based in Berlin since 2001. Active in the experimental and "echtzeit" music scenes, focusing primarily on low-frequeny minimalism. Member of the plant-based sound research collective Plants and Empire.
David Hudson is an internationally renowned musician, composer, actor and entertainer. In all these areas, his work comprises a combination of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal influences.David’s performance incorporates music, history, cross cultural awareness, education and art and gives to his audience a wonderful and enlightening presentation coupled with information and humor.
John Butler has been playing the uilleann pipes since the age of 16 when he heard them for the first time on the radio and was immediately captivated by their sound. In 2010, Butler decided to set up his own uilleann pipemaking workshop, called “Ceol Pipes”, on Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland.
Barnaby Walters builds and plays the Hurdy Gurdy, a European instrument of ancient origin. The gurdy works like a mechanical violin, with the strings being constantly bowed by a wheel, and shortened in length by a keyboard. Barnaby mainly plays traditional European dance music, as well as modern compositions in a similar style, and a variety of early music.
Created in 2010, the Ecole de Musique de Kirina Band is composed of 6 professional musicians who are teaching traditional instruments at the music school in kirina. They are all from famous families of musicians. Among them, Kora teacher Ladji Diabate, is brother of Toumani Diabate, the world best Kora player who has won Grammy Award. Other members include troupe director Mahamadou Diabate, Balafon teacher Karounga Diabate, Djembe performer Seydou Kone, dancer teacher Oumou Mariko, and also dundun teacher Karim Diabate.
Ustad Amjad Khan & Group is a group of four members playing four different but melodious instruments together. The group performs sarangi the bowing instrument, flute the wind instrument, mandolin the string instrument and tabla the rhythm, and has a rare blend of all the traditional Indian music that can perfectly join every genre.
Tony Brazelton is the founder of North American Alphorn Retreat, and Salzburger Echo. Salzburger Echo, which brings the Alps to their audiences, playing old world and contemporary folk music from the alpine regions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The band regularly plays some of the largest Oktoberfests in the nation as well as having performed at hundreds of elementary schools across the nation to help teach children about the origin of the music and about the music itself. Tony was the third place finisher at the 2008 international alphorn competition in Nendaz, Switzerland.
Manolis Skoutelis is the third generation of musicians in his family after his father and his grandfather. After completing music studies, he started to act professionally as traditional Cretan music player. Skoutelis is a very famous lyra player and singer around the island of Crete. In addition, he participates in music festivals and social events such as weddings and baptizes. He is also a very good traditional instrument maker. He can play four musical instruments: "lyra," "mandolin," "askombantoura" and "Cretan lute." Some of those musical instruments are very popular in many Mediterranean cultures.
MEZ-ME is the result of more than 40 years of evolution. All of their presentations and melodies are composed of ancestral instruments such as huēhuētl, teponaztli, tlapitzalli, ayoyote, quena and more. As a music group, they try to revive their language, usage of ancient instruments, dances, poetry and in some ways their ancestors' philosophy through music.
Mongolian Girl’s Hoomii Troupe was founded in 2013 and composed of five Mongolian girls: Narengaowa, Chana, Chaolemenggerile, Tunala and Suerge. They specialize in Mongolian’s primitive and ethno music, especially hoomii (a type of throat singing, also known as Khoomei), long tone and traditional musical instruments like morin khuur and tobshuur. The troupe has been taking part in various domestic and international music events since it's founded. Siqinbilige, who performs along with the troupe, is a renowned Mongolian singer who has won several awards of ethno singing competitions.
In the Northern Wisconsin, USA, there is a family named Stone Dahl who live a simple and self-sustainable life in the forest. Jarrod and April, the parents of four children, use wood, the nature material that surrounds them, to hand-made utilitarian crafts, such as baskets, boats, spoons, bowls and snowshoes…etcetera.
The video was shown during the XIV World Forestry Congress 2015 in Durban, South Africa in response to its theme, “Forests and People: Investing in a Sustainable Future.”
International Wood Culture Society (IWCS) explores and approaches the value and usage of wood from a cultural perspective to emphasize the significance of wood in relation to the human life.
Dennis Stubbs, the Arizona woodturner that was once a fervent collector of flutes, enjoys playing his handmade flute while strolling in the woods. It is all around his studio and house that a variety of fine flutes can be seen as he has been long drawn into the sound of them. Dennis becomes keen to make Native American style flutes—as a result of his wife’s suggestion. He crafts his works with meticulous hands in a way that is environmentally responsible, turning tree waste into recycled materials. Self-effacing as he is, the IWCS crew could literally feel his passion for wood during the filming.
Carlos llerena Aguirre creates large woodcuts for the Biennale of Printmaking for Large Format in Venice. The Venice Printmaking Studio. Venice, Italy.
These large woodcuts and others will also be exhibited during 2015 in a solo exhibition at: The Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL. The Dynamo Art Cocowalk Gallery, Coconut Grove. FL, USA. And the Galería ICPNA Miraflores, Peru in 2016.
A portrait of the joys and challenges of working with burl and other native woods, through the eyes and hands of master woodturner and carver Frank White. He takes us through the transformative process, from his sources of inspiration and New England burl in the woods, to working at his lathe and carving bench creating one-of-a-kind natural edge bowls and hollow vessels.
The river Drina and Tara mountains are located in the western part of Serbia.
On July the 13. 1981. Tara becomes a National park covering area of 19.175 ha.
Due to its climate and isolation Tara preserved ancient species of trees such as pancic spruce and other almost fossil species of plants. Tara is mostly made of limestone and its average height is 1000-1200m. The highest point is Kozji Rid -1591m and the lowest 291m is at the lake Peru?ac. Vrelo River is the strongest fountain in the national park, which runs into river Drina after 365 meters. Summers are fresh and winters are cold with lots of snow. Most rainfall is in May. Driest months are July and August. Autumn is sunny and warmer then spring.
NP Tara is 80% covered with forests. There are 34 forest and 19 meadow communities. 75% of forests are mixed spruce-fir, fir and beech. Besides Pančić spruce significant plants are hazel, yew, holly, jeremičak, knapweed of derventa, peony, blechnum spicant.
There are 53 species of mammals. The most interesting are bear (Ursus arctos), and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) which lives even on elevation of 291m. There are 135 species of birds. 43 of them are migrating species. The most interesting are endangered species such are golden eagle (Aquila chryssetos), peregrine falcon and others.
There are more than 251 species of mushrooms. Three of them are poisonous. Amanita phalloides is the most dangerous mushroom in Europe.
Fishing on rivers and lakes within the NP is a real pleasure. There are about 40 species of fish. (mladica (Hucho – hucho), lipljan (Thumallus thumallus), gull, carp, jez (Leuciscus idus)…
In the NP Tara there are many archeological sights dating from neolith to middle ages. There are stecaks in Perucac, remnants of medieval fortress Solotnik and monastery Ra?a, built by king Dragutin Nemanji? in the 13. century.
There are 18 mountain foot paths with total length of 120km. When using those paths you should consult maps which can be bought at information points in the park.
A man, living a meaningless existence, is tormented by his memories. His joyful past as a craftsman was dominated by wood and nature, as opposed of the present where technology and industrialization are slowly making people more and more distant from each other. If man killed nature, is there a way to give her new life? Does a dead tree remain dead after cutting it down? Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The broken object gains a much higher economical and aesthetic value, because its random cracks make it unique, symbolizing the idea that breakage and imperfection can result in an even better form of aesthetic and interior perfection.
Comacchio is surrounded by water—and it has always been surrounded by water until 1821. Before, in order to arrive at Comacchio you had to take a boat. Here wasn’t any material for bricks– it was very rare. So, one of the most used materials that has always been popular, since the times of the ancient Etruscan city of Spina, was wood. In this region there was the ancient forest called "Elisea", which was full of holly oaks, oaks and other types of trees. Over the centuries, the inhabitants of these territories developed techniques to use wood to built boats, lake dwellings and other very special fishing equipment.
Far up in North-Eastern Europe, there is an island called Saaremaa, where men dress up as billy goats to bring good luck and fertility to households on the night of New Year’s Day. This is a pre-Christian tradition that has been carried on from generation to generation as long as people can remember. Billy goats dance, play tricks and butt people, especially girls and children. Unfortunately, this tradition is dying out. Billy goats are artefacts of local woodcraft, since men search bogs to find the finest and toughest crooked pine roots to make billy goats’ heads with horns. The only footage of billy goats available for the public is shot in the 1960s and kept in the Estonian Folklore Archives. Original soundtrack by an Estonian musician Juhan Vihterpal, played by Juhan himself. Folk tune Karjala-Soome polka played by billy goats Ain Hannus and Raimo Kald. "The Billy Goats of Saaremaa" is a video made for the contest "Wood and Humanity" sponsored by the International Wood Culture Society (http://www.iwcs.com). Author Merit Karise, teacher at the design department of Kuressaare Regional Training Centre, Saaremaa, Estonia (www.disainimajakas.ee).
Five-hundred and three guitars on, Jonny Kinkead continues to pursue his craft with a seemingly undulled fervour. A self-taught luthier, his guitars rank amongst the most prestigious currently being produced. During a career that's spanned forty years, Jonny has witnessed the decline and rising cost of quality timbers, meaning a resourceful approach is essential in maintaing his exceptionally high standards.
Chad Kaimanu Jackson was born and raised on the Central Coast of California. At a young age, Chad's father taught him the art of surfboard shaping. After spending a few years traveling as a pro surfer, Chad became interested in crafting surfboards out of alternative and sustainable resources. For the last five years he has been hand shaping unique and beautiful surfboards out of agave wood. Chad's passion for the ocean and shaping can be traced back to his Hawaiian lineage. His unique cultural background is also the driving force behind his goals to create low-impact and sustainable wood surfboards that perform at the level of current high-impact and toxic polyurethane foam surfboards.
Every day, hundred of teachers in Spain are living around the wood. They join pasion for wood and vocation for teaching. They are joiners teaching the wood to students who not always have the vocation for it. Throughout this path, students learn a trade, to do their best, and they learn too to love the wood and the profession. For teachers, this is also a communal living and learning path, which is marking their life.
The video gives a short overview of small kannel, a traditional plucked string instrument of the dulcimer and zither family native to Baltic-Finnic and Baltic people. It is estimated to be at least 2000 years old, some say even 3000. For almost a hundred years, especially in the Soviet time, it was out of favour, but regained its popularity in the last decade. Mart Aardam is the small kannel maker from Saaremaa portrayed in the video, who has made ca 150 small kannels.
Please meet Kurt Reichmann. He is a hurdy gurdy maker from Frankfurt, Germany. His passion to build this instrument and promoting it have brought him a Federal Cross of Merit and a Musical Instrument Museum which has the largest number of bagpipes and hurdy gurdies. Moreover, he sees himself as a promoter of cultural and musical history. It is very important to him to connect people from different heritage. It was an absolute pleasure to talk to him and be able to get a little impression of what he does and has been doing. Enjoy watching the film!
Life. An immeasurable interweaving of uncountable phenomena. An utterly inter-dependent web of seamless unfolding's. Arising, passing away..Arising, passing away..Arising, passing away. Each time one thing passes, something new is born. Each leaf that curls and fades, offers the nutrients of it's life to nourish the seed of another. Breathing in, we receive life. Breathing out, we give life. Plant life giving birth to animal life. Animal life giving birth to plant life. In every moment this sacred cycle repeats. With out one, the other cannot survive. A profound and unbreakable connection. Man and Tree are not two but one. It can be no other way.
A journey into the future of the diverse uses and realities through which wood marks and bounds, in an enduring naturalness, the existence of man to its own. A stream of images and sounds will try to express in a visual synthesis the concept of “Wood and Humanity”.
For two decades Bob and Lillian Bohlen have been on a mission to change the art world's perception of wood art, from craft to fine art. By supporting and challenging wood artists to find their unique style and explore new techniques, the Bohlens have been catalysts for the development of the wood art movement. They have collected 1140 pieces and given 870 to 17 U.S. museums. The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts recently put on "Audacious," the third exhibit of their collection. Here, the curator and the Bohlens tell the remarkable story of the wood art movement through the stunning work on display.
An optical fiber field engineer living in rural New England finds balance and connection in the old ways of woodworking. He demonstrates how anyone can make a dovetail joint with hand tools, and shares his insights on the role wood plays in our lives. While encouraging us to unplug and truly connect beyond our telephones, he discovers something he never realized before.
Wood is everywhere in our lives, a reliable and sustainable biomaterial that features in every detail of our everyday living. If we take a close look at our daily lives, we will see that it's not only a piece of wood, it's a living thing.
UrbanTree based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is bridging the gap between people and trees through strictly using reclaimed, donated lumber in their creations. This 3 minute vignette addresses this years theme of wood and humanity by showing how one woodworking shop is extending the lives of older trees that otherwise may be chipped into mulch, burned, or landfilled. They also craft and create with the notion that people should bring nature back into their lives and homes, and the trees are able to help fill this void by taking on a new form. UrbanTree does not remove trees and this is what makes them unique. Their personal take on wood and humanity however is what makes them really stand out. Alternate music / extended cut available.
The world contains a tremendously unique assortment of woodworkers. Every one has a special beginning, new styles, and a different approach to the art. What they share is a love for wood. Rather it be a way to make friends, express creativity, or touch someone else's heart, wood can open the door to new beginnings.
Artist Rita Dee of Bennington, VT uses driftwood to translate her love of horses into larger than life sculptures. This film highlights driftwood as a natural medium that captures movement and grace and elevates human experience.
David is a man who has spent his entire life working with wood. This might seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but when we take into account that he lives without a phone, mains electrical power and the only way to contact him is by pining a note to a gate; things become far more interesting. His living accommodation, based in Cornwall, England, is a compound made up of various shacks which he has built with his own bare hands. His wood carvings represent years of intense study of the material, and the personality each piece holds when it eventually arrives at his feet. This is a short story of a man who physically lives through his art, all year long. His disconnection from the modern world shows an unmatched dedication and he represents a dying breed. Meet, The Woodman!
An observation of the historically entwined relationship between wood and humanity, this three-minute documentary explores the story behind Brighton’s much lauded, The Wood Store. The first of its kind in the UK, our film celebrates the importance, and often under-appreciated role, wood has in modern life and how the store is revolutionising our understanding.
In the same places where "La Terra Trema" by Luchino Visconti (1948) was filmed, the Rodolico family has been building ships for four generations. If yesterday around these shipwrights a whole community used to gather and identify itself, today that world is disappearing because of the changing times. However, it is the Wood that still preserves and builds the memory of a very ancient knowledge: the one of the last shipwrights.
Jimmy Smith grew up in a small town located in the middle of New Jersey's great Pine Barrens. His Father's love for nature led him down a path of woodworking that grew into a business he started and now runs with his brother.
This is an incredible story of a young man called Akili, a Chukudu builder .The Chukudu is a two-wheeled vehicle used in the east of the DR Congo. It is made of wood, and used for transporting freight .
Known for their brightly painted depictions of fantastical creatures, Alebrijes have become a sustainable livelihood for many artists residing in Oaxaca, Mexico. Learning to craft the intricate woodcarvings takes years to master and the most respected carvers have worked tirelessly in developing their own distinct style.
San Miniato al Monte is a basilica located in Florence, Italy. The basilica is situated atop one of the highest points in the city, and characterized and constructed in the classic Tuscan Romanesque architectural style. The wooden roof truss is painted with bountiful colors and decorated with adornments, and there’s an uncommon walkway built within the roof truss for people to decorate the roof truss. In addition, the wooden music stand for the choir was exquisitely made in approximately 1420.
Upholding the philosophy of “small production but high quality,” Italian violin workshop Paolo Vettori & Sons has practiced its craft for three generations. Paolo Vettori is profoundly influenced by his father, Dario Vettori, on the techniques, structure and style of violin-making. Now, his children, Dario II, Lapo, and Sofia are working together to continue the tradition established by their grandfather Dario Vettori in 1935.
The Aztecs (Mexicas) has one of the most remarkable stories in world history. Fearless warriors built an empire in the 12th and 13th century and then rose to be the greatest power in the Americas before the Spaniards arrived. The Aztecs settled on several small islands in Lake Texcoco where they eventually founded the town of Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. The creation of canal system (chinampa) on marshy land around the lake is a vestige of their ingenious past. Today, their descendants - Nahuatl speakers try to recover the essence of their ancestors’ culture through philosophy, music, dances, and hand-carved musical instruments.
Abyaneh is a small mountain village, located 55km to the north of Kashan. Its unique geographical traits have enabled the locals' culture, customs, clothing and language to be better preserved. The his and hers door knockers on the wooden doors can also be found in the village. Men and women use different knockers, which make different sounds, in order to remind the house owner which gender should be answering this visit.
Sama Jaya Nature Reserve works as a recreational park for local citizens. Surrounded by forests, the green path is the track especially designed for joggers and walkers. The park ranger guided us to some special plant area in the reserve.
Masks were always part of Aztecs (Mexicas) rituals and religious ceremonies, and were thought to be powerful and prestigious. Aztec masks were used as ornaments, worn as part of a ritual, or as a death mask. During the Spanish conquest, one of Mexico’s most magnificent masks were developed by indigenous people to imitate Spaniards face features as a way to mock their oppressors, and perform during festivals. Carnival traditions are preserved and celebrated annually, but only very few skilled artisans continue the traditional art of mask carving.
With the 15,000 members worldwide, American Association of Woodturners (AAW) was founded in 1986 in the United States as the largest international wood lathe education system.
In June 2013, IWCS crews came to Tampa to participate their annual event. The program of this exhibition was quite diversified. It was held in an aim of education instead of commercial purposes.
In over 100 classrooms at the venue, wood turners from around the world were invited to share their experience. We also saw many blind and wheelchair wood turners sharing their experiences of woodturning heartily. One of major features of AAW is that regardless of gender, age as well as innate inabilities, everyone has the chance to be an excellent wood turner.
Their energy and spirit touch the heart of men from the eastern culture, which usually let people reserve the skill only for their own. In AAW, no men is selfish, everyone brings out their best. We were not only impressed by their astonishing artworks but deeply moved by the ambiance of all for one, one for all.
Eli Avisera is a leading woodturning artist in Israel. His creative and delicate art works have attracted the attention worldwide. However, he is more than an artist. In 1988, Mr. Avisera has established the "Wood Craft Center" to encourage more people to learn about the beauty of wood-making. Today, he is also a demonstrator who travels around the world to share his knowledge and amazing skills.
Naim Doumit, a Lebanese leading sculptor, is working on different materials including bronze, stone and wood. He is widely known for his abstract work and the use of streamlined style. Among all his works, he creates numerous art pieces with the theme of female body as he thinks that woman plays an essential role in the society.
Shawo Village is located in Hebei province of China, with about 270 households. Hundreds of years ago, almost every household of the village turned wooden bowls by foot-powered lathe. Besides bowls, they also made other wooden cooking utensils, tool-handles, small toys by other small hand-powered lathe. Today, only six elderly grandpas in the village can use the lathe. The younger generation, led by Li Xuemin who is in deep love and respect to the past, realized the important and responsibility of the inheritance and began to learn the technique from the elders.
With the support from various part of the society including the strong support from International Wood Culture Society and AAW, local inheritors are more encouraged and exert themselves to move forward. In the video, you can see the essence of the traditional set-turning technique of Shawo village. The demonstrator is 84-year-old Cheng Jinqing and his apprentice Li Xuemin.
Chen Li, a young designer graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology, is seeking to pinpoint his direction from his apprenticeship at the San Francisco WoodShop, California. Founded in 1974 and currently run by John Sheridan, this furniture making studio and school offers possibilities for taking concepts to practice and making ideas possible by techniques, with wood as the material. Their design furniture incorporates both the aesthetic expression and functional goals in the finely crafted pieces, along with the communicative intent embodied in the stories portrayed, meaning conveyed or thoughts illustrated, allowing conception and execution to integrate in terms of the process of making.
The concert held in Kulturhof- Schloss Könizon on March 22nd offered a great experience for local people to enjoy the beauty of wood music and to learn more about the cultural background of each instrument. The rich programs were brought forth by Alphorn group Stock Horner, Dulcimer Nayan, Quintet Quair, Zapjevala, and Alphorn Experience.
More information on World Wood Day.
The event was aimed to help those Syrian children staying in refugee camps in Lebanon to receive much-needed education. A wooden classroom was built in seven days at the Tall Abbas Al Gharbi Refugee Camp, situated at the border of Lebanon and Syria, as part of the World Wood Day regional event. Volunteers gave classes on the importance of wood and assisted the children in making classroom equipment, such as desks, chairs, a board, baskets, etc. A tree planting activity was also arranged to spread the message of sustainable development. All the volunteers who participated in the project were deeply moved and touched by what the classroom could do and mean to the children.
More information on World Wood Day.
Through the lens of wooden toys, the appreciation for wood is more than just entertainment. From children to adults, wood is easily accessible via a variety of channels in Japan, such as the Tokyo Toy Museum, where provides a valuable learning environment to stay, play and study with wood. The Mokuiku Summit 2014 has best represented the success of the Mokuiku (Wood education) project, involving a broad range of groups and individuals, both users and lovers of wood.
The American Association of Woodturners has brought another informative, energy-filled fest to the woodturning community at its 28th annual symposium in Phoenix. The event offered a variety of techniques to acquire and a series of art show to appreciate while lighting up the lives of those in need with special programs. The woodturning artists authentically embodied the spirit of sharing and bonding that can be hard to come by in the era where website social networking preoccupies people’s time.
World Crafts Council celebrated its 50th anniversary in Dongyang, China in October of 2014. 38 international woodcarvers were invited to participate in the International Woodcarving Competition eight days prior to the Opening Ceremony. They were here to interpret the theme of "Respecting the Past, Carving the Future." By sharing a common language of wood and mutual respect with each other; the competition creates a harmonious collaboration among the participants. All the art pieces would be displayed as a centerpiece at the golden jubilee celebration.
Chewton, a town north west of Melbourne, is known for the gold rush back in the 1850s. Even though there is no more rush for gold mining, the town still reserves many gold mines and diggings nowadays. Richard Yates, a woodcarver who attended 2014 World Wood Day, lives and carves in the area of the historic diggings, Gold Rush, and the Eucalypt Forest. He is inspired by the history and the surroundings that the traces of influence are shown in his artworks.
The reassembled Khufu ship is just located beside the Khufu Pyramid, and it can be dated back to 2500 B.C. During the 1950s, archaeologists discovered that thousands of wooden pieces were pressed under huge limestones. Surprisingly, there was only one wooden oak that was broken after almost 4,500 years. Also, we have found related wall paintings in the tomb of Ty, a noble's tomb that can be dated back to 2500 B.C. The only difference is that Khufu ship is driven by manpower, while most of the wall paintings are about sailing boats, which are wind-driven.
The celebration of indigenous cultures is lively in the northeastern part of Australia that a large number of worldwide visitors come here to join and experience. Compared to the other areas in Australia, Cairns has a higher population of the indigenous people. In here, you can find handmade traditional wooden tools like boomerangs, spears, and more. The Cairns Indigenous Art Festival (CIAF) is one of the most renowned annual celebrations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures’ visual and performing arts since 2009, and offers an opportunity for indigenous artists to showcase and sell their artworks.
Undara Volcanic National Park is located in the north Queensland, and is famous for the remains of lava tubes formed around 190,000 years ago. The volcano erupted and expelled great amount of lava around the area, and thus geologically and ecologically affected the environment. In order to better balance the ecology here, indigenous people used fire to manage the forest and the fire management is still applied as the most effective way nowadays. Tallaroo, located west of Undara, is known for the permanent hot springs that is considered as a sacred place for healing purposes by the tribal people.
Zaanse Schans is one major attraction of Netherlands, where is famous by its well-preserved historic windmills. Within here, the combination from colors, nature, and culture is vivid reflection of people's imagination about Dutch lifestyle. And these windmills provides not only touristic value but also multi traditional products. Even more, if we date back to 16th century, windmills actually helped Dutch built Holland!
Sam Maloof is “America's most renowned contemporary furniture craftsman” and People magazine dubbed him “The Hemingway of Hardwood.” His furniture has become the model for modern furniture designers, and more fans around the world called his hand-made chair “The King of Rocking Chair.” He always calls himself as a “Woodworker.”
This documentary exclusively shows the last six months of Sam working on his last three master chairs before he passed away, along with interviews of his successors, longtime friends, and wife.
Nashtifan is close to the border of Iran and Afghanistan. Here, 120 days out of a year are windy, which allows windmills to function well. Some scholars have proposed that these wooden windmills are the origin of the first windmills, which then spread to China in the east and Europe in the west. Pine wood, which grows in the neighborhood forest, is usually used as the axis of the windmill.
The 71-year-old woodcarver, Mr. Mohammad Mohammadzadeh, developed his interest in woodcarving at the age of 4 due to family influence. He kept on challenging himself throughout his career with different kinds of woodworks. Among all, as a Hajj himself, his favorite topic is about Islam, such as the inlaid Quran stand.
Oud is an ancient string instrument that can be prevalently found in the Arabic world. It is the origin of guitar and is also known as "the prince of Arabic instruments". Mr. Nazih Ghadban is not only an oud luthier but also a performer. He has been trying and experimenting various types of wood in the world in order to make his oud to be qualified as the melodious sound and fell into the category of the aesthetics at the same time.
Rotorua is a city located south of the Lake Rotorua, the second largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand. Te Puia- Guardian of Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, is the primary Maori culture, performances and experiences that has become an iconic place most visitors go. The National Carving School in Te Puia offers comprehensive educational and training programs that are most well-known in New Zealand, and many top wood carvers were trained here.
The Far North District includes the northern tip of the North Island, New Zealand. Located in Waipoua Forest, Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest, is known as the biggest living kauri tree in New Zealand. And in the town Kaitaia lives the Master Waka Builder Hekenukumai Hector Busby, who has built over 30 waka and voyaged to Hawaii and Easter Island without modern navigation instruments.
Among the Far North District, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds is the most important place that preserves the cultural heritage of Maori. The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is where the Treaty of Waitangi sighed in 1840, and preserves the Treaty House, the Carved Meeting House, the Flagstaff, and the biggest Ceremonial War Canoe. The meeting house plays a significant role in Maori's culture and history. All the wooden sculptures around the meeting house represent their ancestors of their tribes, and the meeting house itself is also an important and sacred venue for ceremonies held by Maori people.
There’s a village called Choubin in Neyshabour, which means “made of wood” in Persian. All buildings in this area including mosque, library, and even a gigantic residence are not only built of pure wood, but also featuring quake-resistant. Various kinds of timber, such as pine, walnut, and cherry are used and combine in numerous constructions.
The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding is a non-profit organization with the philosophy of "open doors, open minds". It was established in 1988, with the aim to raise awareness and demystify the local culture and customs of the United Arab Emirates. Dubai, the capital city of the UAE, used to play as an important trading spot for wood and wood used to be widely applied in people's daily lives.
Shouf Biosphere Reserve is the largest cedar reserve in Lebanon, taking up 5% of its total land. In the old times, cedars were traded and used in various ways, including boat and temple-building. For instance, the solar boat in ancient Egypt was made of Lebanese cedars. The massive need for cedars has resulted in the declining of tree numbers, and therefore, reserves were established to protect this precious national tree. Mr. Faisal Abu-Izzeddin is one of the establishers of Shouf Biosphere Reserve.
The Qadisha valley, which also known as the Holy valley, is one of the earliest Christian monastic settlements in the world. Its monasteries, many of which an age of centuries, stand in subtle positions in the deep gorge. Nearby, the “Cedars of God” is one of the oldest cedar forests in Lebanon. The cedars here were once exported for many usages and now is a protected species. The sites are now co-listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bruce Greco, Director of Outreach Ecological Restoration Institute, brings IWCS to the research site in Coconino National Forest, AZ, USA, and talks about how natural fire plays an important role in conserving and maintaining the sustainability of ponderosa pine forests.
The pinyon pine nut, a popular snack food of the native American Navajo people, savory after roasted, is believed to be a good source of protein and other nutrients. In the video, Shanna Yazzie, a Navajo from Cameron, Arizona, told of one of the remaining traditions kept by their hunters and gatherers on pinyon pine nut picking, demonstrating how the people take care of the nuts after harvest.
Kachina is a culture which can best represent the Native Americans in Southwestern United States. The Kachina is a symbol of spirits or the simulacra of everything in the real world, from ancestors to a concept. The Hopi Kachina Dolls are carved in the form and concept as such and are used to educate children the ways of life, thus the spiritual faith and carving technique may come into heritage. They show us the unique outlook on life and cosmology of Hopis.
Adobe is also known as the southwest style of house in the U.S.. The houses are made of clay and vigas and latilla, which are usually made of spruce and aspen. Dan and Della Barrone, who run the Olguin’s Sawmill that provides timber for daily usage to the locals, have been in the trade for 28 years. In the video, they talk about the southwest house style, their sawmill, and why they operate their business in a sustainable way.
Drum is a crucial element in the American Native culture; they communicate with the nature, ancestors, and spirits through music flow, drum beat, dance and sincere prayers. Therefore, drum-making is exceptionally rigorous, from timber selection to the thickness of drum shell are all variables that would affect the sound quality of the drum. Red Bird, a drum-maker from Pueblo tribe shares the life of American Indian people and the role of drum in its culture, and explains details and basic knowledge of how to make an outstanding drum.
Dan Henny, a craftsman specializing in rustic style aspen and ponderosa pine furniture, shares with us his history and passion of his career. He also talks about the sudden aspen decline, a challenge that he is facing as the growth of aspen trees in the proximity of Colorado is affected by climate change that weakens their resistance against bugs.
The Menominee Cultural Museum in Keshena was opened in Nov. 2011. Artifacts of the tribe from the past and present are in display. It took the organizers nearly 20 years to put it together and establish the museum, and they are working to educate the general public about the culture of the tribe.
Mike Benedict, an experienced Native American ash basket artist, talks of how he began to acquire the traditional basket-making skill. As a professional basket maker, he expects that the tradition left by his ancestors may be spread to the younger generation.
American Association of Woodturners (AAW) was founded in 1986. Woodturning is separated from other wood working, because the tools are a little different, the technique is different, and the action is different as well. Under Tib Shaw’s guidance, we had a view on a variety of interesting wood crafts by artisans from all over the world. And we also had the opportunity to go through the process of wood turning, which is an incredibly satisfying activity!
Gamla Stan, also known as "The Old Town", a small historic island in the middle of Stockholm, is rich in history and charm, filled with vintage buildings, museums, churches, narrow streets, squares, shops and restaurants.
The Wooden Horse Museum and Runstenen are owned and operated by Bill and Chintana Odell. Aside from the permanent exhibition of new and antique Dala horses, there are some old horses and Stockholm’s largest variety of newly made horses and roosters.
Ghaf tree is the national tree in the UAE as its value from both cultural and ecological perspectives. It is a versatile tree that provides food, shelter and medicine for the traditional Bedouins and their animals. Ghaf trees can be abundantly found in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve along with the rich ecosystem that develops around them.
Florence is famous for its history of being the financial center during the medieval period. It is also considered as the birthplace of Renaissance, the cultural movement has strongly influenced the rest of the Europe and then to the world up to the present day. In Florence, there are many famous churches built with wooden roof; Basilica of the Holy Cross and St. Miniato are two of these examples where the interior wooden structure is painted with patterns and colors.
Apart from architectures, music is another essential element that enriches the culture of Florence. The traditional music instrument, mandolin, is a member of the lute family. It is constructed of several different wood species, including spruce, maple, rosewood and ebony, according to the need in function and the property of wood.
Hidden behind a small grey door is a not-so-ordinary workshop run by three craftswomen. This is where fortepiano being restored. Since its invention around the year 1700 by the Italian instruments maker, Bartolomeo Cristofori, piano has gone through an evolution as time passes. Yet, these artists still exerted all their strengths to preserve its original beauty with their skills and knowledge.
Ohlone Tribe, a Native American People lived in California coast from San Francisco Bay through Monterey Bay to the lower Salinas Valley in the late 18th century. The Ohlone Indian culture can be explored at the Chitactac-Adams County Heritage Park, which emphasizes a unique view into the Native American culture of Santa Clara area. In Ohlone lives, the baskets that made from willow sticks and sedge roots played an essential role. The Ohlone basket-weaving technique was once lost and later restored by Linda Yamane, who made her first tribal basket in 1994.
Encompassing the major cities and metropolitan areas of San Francisco, the San Francisco Bay Area is abundant in natural beauty, exquisite art and diverse culture. There is a unique architectural history illustrating many styles and forms of construction in this area where the landmarks stand for period architectural styles designed by distinguished architects, including Julia Morgan, the first female architect licensed in California. Some timber buildings of great cultural and developmental significance tell the stories of the early immigrants while withstanding the major earthquakes and devastating fire.
The University of California, Berkeley, one of most prominent universities in the world, embraces not only 22 Nobel laureates in the faculty to date, but three species of sequoia on campus. The reunions of giant sequoia, coast redwood and dawn redwood have been part of the school along with a variety of trees and plants. Dr. Momei Chen, a redwood expert who has long striven to study and protect redwoods, is one of the key persons that help bringing the sequoia family together at UC Berkeley.
Established in 1954, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a native land to old-growth Redwood Grove. The 4,623-acre park preserves coast redwood, which is formally named sequoia sempervirens, an evergreen, long-lived, monoecious tree living 1,200–1,800 years, and growing to approximately 300 feet tall and over 16 feet in diameter. The park also boasts an environment for many habitats, such as sandhill community, mixed evergreen and other species. Its 15 miles of hiking and riding trails through a variety of forested areas and the trains through the redwoods are local residents and visitors’ favorites.
Napa Valley, a viticultural area located in north California, is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. Servicing the wine industry for the last 20 years in Napa, Yann Guigen, a French cooper, makes his fine cooperage a vintage art and craft. Yann takes care of repairing and maintaining cooperage at Barrel Builders where French oak and American oak are used for wine barrels. From the type, age, grain to treatment, oak barrels provide flavor and aromatic support to the wine that they have been used in wine fermentation and aging for centuries.
As Santa Cruz is renowned for the exquisite craft of the lutherie, Santa Cruz Guitar Company (SCGC) is described as one of the star luthiers in that area. SCGC, a manufacturer of acoustic guitars founded in 1976, makes the best out of wood in the realm of music by using reclaimed wood and harvested new wood including Rosewood, Walnut, Sycamore, Red Maple, Cedar, Spruce and more, in a responsible approach. From time to time, Richard Hoover, the founder, selects the best sounding wood materials possible among downed trees, sunken logs, old tenements and building beams with his team to make the sophisticated stringed instruments.
Mamoiada is situated in the centre of Sardinia, the second biggest island of Italy. Sardinia’s Mamuthones is an ancient carnival which can dates back to 2,000 years ago. During the carnival, people wear black mask to scare devils away, and wear white mask to embrace the incoming spring. Next time when you visit Sardinia, besides the delicious cuisine and the fascinating Mediterranean, why don't you stop by Mr. Ruggero Mameli's workshop? He's been working on these traditional masks for more than 30 years, his collections will absolutely amaze you.
(*Correction: At 30:27, the name of the International NGO in this video is Ocean Revolution.)
A glimpse of Seri’s tribal life and culture in Sonora Desert. This fishing village with brilliant desert ironwood carving technique is unique and can only be found in Sonora desert as a symbolic memory of their daily lives and ancient stories. Nevertheless, with the population number less than 500 and the poor financial condition, Seri people is facing the crisis of preserving their original traditions and language.
The Peruvian territory was once home to ancient cultures spanning from Caral, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America. Cusco was the historic capital of the Inca Empire, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Today, rich and ancient traditions are still preserved by Quechua people, such as; gratitude to Pachamama through Holy Wood, traditional weaving with simple wooden tools, a carefully guarded bread recipe that uses eucalyptus wood in the process and, musical instruments connected to Andean cosmology.
A thousand years ago, Saint Romuald founded the Sacred Hermitage and Monastery of Camaldoli in the forest a thousand meters above the sea level in Tuscany, Italy. The resources provided by both exotic and regional trees have been a support for the daily life, and as a protection to the monastery. The beauty of the mutualism between the monks and the trees is well demonstrated in this forest.
Burno Barbon is a carver, a restorer, and an artist. Growing up in old workshops, Mr. Barbon has been attached to wood since 14 years old. At the age of 75, he still keeps creating exquisite pieces with his passion and outstanding talent at his studio in Venice, Italy.
This natural forest, which is called Original Laurel forest, is a mix of conifers and broadleaf evergreen trees, but the main body is still broad-leaved forest. It is noticed that the "Ash-wood" is the most important water-conservation trees in the area of Himalaya Mountains, even the entire Asia.
Mt. Changbai Valley was formed by a process of long term erosion of rocks and lava after volcanic eruptions and solidification of lava. The valley is about 100 meters in depth, and 70 kilometers in length. Some says the beauty of Mt. Changbai Valley could be compared with the Grand Canyon in America.
zi River is an underground river, with a bottom at 40 meters. Tizi means ladder in Chinese and it gets the name for two reasons. First, the steep rocky valley is like a ladder, which is hard to climb, and second, the shape of the valley is like trapezoid.
The freezing weather in the northeast of China is suitable for white birches. Like its name, the trunk of white birches is snow white all year round. For people who enjoy outdoor activities, white birch is a great tree species partly because the bark of white birches can be made as firewood, and partly because people can get liquid from the tree to quench their thirst.
The best environment for Pu'er tea leaves to grow is under camphor trees. Camphor trees produce camphor which helps the tea leaves fight against pests and disease. The tea leaves will absorb camphor which will intensify the aroma and taste of Pur'er tea. Camphor trees themselves have developed an ecological protective system and have existed for more than 3,000 years.
We took a long journey to Nannuoshan to look for the oldest tea tree ("king") that has existed for 800 years. Professor Shengji Pei explained that the tree belongs to the Spondia family. It was exciting to see an 800-year-old tree still flourishing.
Nannuoshan is located between a monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest and a mid-montane humid evergreen broad-leaved forest. Species found in each climate can also be found in Nannuoshan. The Hani people have acclimated to living in the mountain and therefore tea has become their economic crop.
We came across a tea house built from wood standing in front of the oldest tea tree. A Hani woman made a pot of tea for us. It was really refreshing to take a rest there after a long day of walking around in the mountains.
The Nepali hog plum is highly nutritious. The fruit is oval-shaped, turns yellow when ripe and tastes sour but sweet. These two tall trees seen here have grown together since saplings. Their reliance on each other truly touched us.
Bamboo is divided into sympodial, scattered and mixed bamboo species. Sympodial bamboo is the original species. 18 of the ancient bamboos are of the sympodial bamboo species and among them, 14 are found in Yunnan. Bamboo can be found in Yunnan between 74.5 m to 4,500 m of the Gaoligong Mountain despite the vast climate range from the hottest to the coldest area.
The video introduces the local agroforestry and ecosystem of Xishuangbanna. The local Dai people plant camphor trees mixing with tea trees as seen in the video. As a result, the tea leaves have a distinctive flavor and the camphor acts as a natural insect repellent so pesticides are not used. This is a good example of a balanced ecosystem.
We were honored to see the Hani people making tea. The elders have grieved that most of the younger generation have moved into the city for work and only those over forty years old know how to brew tea using natural materials.
All the tools and materials used to brew tea by the Hani are from nature. A wild bamboo culm is used as a cup and leaves can be folded into a funnel to pour water. Fill the bamboo cup with the natural mountain spring water and boil over fire. The fire can also be used to bake fresh wild tea leaves. The tea is done when the wild tea leaves are softened by the fire after about 15 minutes brewing.
Dai village is in transition from traditional materials to modern ones. Traditional Dai-style houses retained original topography for decades, but many wood, stone and other natural materials are being replaced by modern materials.
Birch may be your best option for survival if you ever get lost in a forest - it can be used from root to top, core to bark and has been one of the best solutions to everything from clothing, transportation, to curing diseases in many cultures in the Northern hemisphere. It is also an excellent raw material for art and handicrafts. Watch the video and find out all you need to know about this amazing gift from nature.
Finger spinning tops are not merely toys but can be a token of love. A total of 150 tops traveled far and landed on the hands of the students of Wenzhou School for Special Education. It was a kind gesture by Australian woodturner Erine Newman, who was invited over to lead a two-week woodturning training course for the collaborative project of IWCS-AAW beginning September 15, 2014.
A fifth generation wood worker, Newman is active at woodturning events worldwide. Wholeheartedly involving himself in the project, Mr. Newman exerted special efforts in intriguing students’ curiosity about wood as well as instilled them with safe operation guide beyond demonstrating the skill of woodturning.
More information World Wood Day.
IWCS had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) 26th International Symposium on 8-10 June 2012 at the San Jose Convention & Cultural Facilities. It was 3 days of interesting demonstrations and exhibits that showcased the art and craft of woodturning. Turners and collectors from around the world attended. It was great meeting fellow wood enthusiasts dedicated to the art and craft of woodturning.
The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of woodturning.
From 19th to 22th January 2012, IWCS went to Tokyo, Japan for a Japanese national woodcraft competition for the juniors. After witnessing the keen and fascinating competition, we eventually obtained the whole picture of the Japanese wood education and its strategy.
Last year, 311 earthquake stroke Japan severely. Therefore, the “12th National Woodcraft Competition for Juniors” set the contest theme as “earthquake-proof cupboard.” 12 regional champions gathered in Tokyo for a total 4-hour-competition. The details of requested items for the cupboard design were announced merely one week before the contest. It required not only creativity but practical skills to complete the work.
Although coming from different regions and backgrounds, every student had an enthusiastic attitude towards woodcraft. This was supported by an ideal and practical education system. As the chief judge Professor Ozaki Shiro had told us, “The competition goal is to make students understand the meaning of wood use, and furthermore, to improve human life by the correct and efficient use of wood.”
With a nice outcome from AAW's San Jose meeting, IWCS was honored to have Terry Martin as a guest speaker representing AAW to symposium at ZHEJIANG Agriculture and Forestry University in China in September 2012. To spread the idea of Turners Without Borders, Terry showed a different aspect of woodturning and knowledge to local wonders through an excellent demonstration.
The IWCS video crew had flew to Ireland and captured the making of this amazing "stone wall," created by collective efforts of international wood artists. This collaborative project is curated by Australian wood turner/artist Terry Martin.
Éigse Carlow Arts Festival
Come along to VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art to see this wonderful sculpture!!
This exhibition brings together ten of the most intriguing and creative wood artists practicing today from all over the world, alongside ten of Ireland’s leading practitioners. This group of sculptors, furniture makers, carvers and turners will work together under the artistic direction of Terry Martin (AUS). Over a week-long studio-based collaborative work creative week-long process in Carlow this June, they will assemble a large-scale sculpture in the form of a wall, approximately 12 feet in length. This work will be installed in the VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art.
The tactile experience in the 2013 AAW Symposium is an enjoyable program designed especially for the visually impaired participants. The video presented shows the participants turning pens with instructors’ assistance and experiencing fun and joy of woodturning. Through this video, the viewers will have very different understanding of the art of this woodcraft technique.
The 2nd National Vocational & College Student Carpentry Skills Competition, hosted by the International Wood Culture Society (IWCS), was held in Changsha on Oct. 27, 2013. It was co-organized by the Central South University of Forestry Science and Technology.
Concurrently with the 2013 International Wood Culture Symposium on Taxodiaceae, a competition was held on making wooden stools using Chinese fir. The aim of the activity was to promote the culture of traditional Chinese woodwork, to display and improve vocational & college students' hand carpentry skills, and inspire creativity and passion for carpentry among students.
Applications for the competition opened in July this year, the competition theme was confirmed in September, and design drawings were submitted a week before the competition. Sixteen students from four vocational schools and eleven universities came together on Oct. 27 to show their talents. During the four-hour competition, the students completed a variety of creative work using saws, chisels, axes, planes, using snap lines, drills, and making mortises. Later during the assessment, every competitor explained to the audience their ideas and purposes, and the functions, features and technical difficulties of their work.
The judges were Professor Yang Ping from the faculty of education, Kumamoto University in Japan; Mr. Yang Jinrong , director of the Jiangsu Gongmei Hongmu Culture & Art Institute; and Professor Li Zhen from Tongji University College of Architecture and Urban Planning. They evaluated the works with seven criteria: design and creativity, production skill, the completion of the works, accuracy and quality, structure, material utilization and interpretation. Li Nie from the Xiuning First Senior Vocational School won first place.
Wood, being a naturally eco-friendly and renewable resource, is fundamental for sustainable development, and a low-carbon society and environment. How to master the properties of wood, make full use of the material, and combine theory with practice are key elements. Wood education teachers have a long way to go and expectations on students are high. Such carpentry skill competitions should inspire more passion for wood and carpentry among young people and promote the culture of traditional Chinese carpentry to create competent practitioners for the future.
Dongyang Woodcarving, developed in Zhejiang Province, China since Tang Dynasty (618-907), is characterized by its exquisite relief carving. Each piece of work goes through 6 making processes and requires excellent craftsmanship to accomplish the delicate design. Despite its fame, it encounters the problem of shrinking number of new blood and lack of creativity. Alerted to the worrying situation, institutions and individuals have taken steps to reverse the situation and it has been proved to be a successful story of preserving traditional craftsmanship.
Woodcarving Introduced to School Campus
The opening ceremony for the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition and Student Woodcarving Art Festival was held at Guangxi University.The exposition was held in the leafy, shaded square behind the Forestry College at Guangxi University. A large audience, mainly teachers and students, visited the on-site wood carving show over the first 2 days. 20 students from the university also joined the carving team for the festival, while learning and communicating with the artists.
More than 200 students pursuing majors in wood science and technology took part in this activity. In tandem with the exposition and festival, Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Chinese Hongmu art and culture, and Mr. Terry Martin, Australian wood artist, gave the students two very impressive lectures.It was a good opportunity for the students to communicate with professional wood carvers face-to-face, and also to start the process of combining wood science with culture. Wood carving, as an art form, has taken its place on the campus.
Different Cultures, One Homeland
The 11 sculptors were from different cultural backgrounds and use different carving styles, but all of the works were created under the same theme, Homeland, and they all used the same scented wood, Camphor.The art works of the 4 artists from ASEAN countries reflected their lifestyles and beliefs. They shared the history and culture of South-east Asian countries with us.Malaysian artist Taufik carved the national flower of Malaysia, the Bunga Raya, while Indonesian artist Sutarya Hrfsor carved the Lotus Flower that is common to both Buddhism and Islam. Indonesian artist I Kadek Parta selected the Ramayana story from Indian history.
Nature and Home, Full of Humanity and Spirit
In the Chinese group, the 7 artists came from Dongyang and Yongjia of Zhejiang province, Xianyou of Fujian province, Lushan of Sichuan province, and Jianchuan of Yunnan province. Their creative works combined modern and traditional skills, reflecting their feelings and dreams about homeland.
Both Xu Yongping and Jin Liquan chose the subject of mother to show their ideas about homeland. Zheng Guodi used the Chinese traditional subject Three Sheep keeping watch on the home. Yang Huanpei’s carving was like a poem and depicted his fantasy homeland, Dali.
Wang Haibo, from Dongyang, Zhejiang province, was the youngest wood carver. He applied Dongyang relief carving skill and used his lively imagination to present us with a Chinese traditional scroll painting, a whole dreamland picture of Peach Blossom Valley.
Wu Xiaomei’s piece was particularly thought-provoking. She showed us a broken house after the earthquake this year in Sichuan, quite a courageous choice.
Wang Guohua, from Xianyou, Fujian Province, took just 2 days to finish his work. He generously incorporated the natural bark and growth-rings of the tree in his piece. As he said, “Human beings need generosity and tolerance, and so does nature. Our home should be a tolerant home.”
During the event, Terry Martin, Australian wood artist and a representative of the American Association of Woodturners showed his splendid woodturning technique to the audience in Guangxi University and CAEXPO. His demonstration aroused considerable interest among the crowds.
Highlight of Forest and Wood Products Expo
After Guangxi University, the 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition continued at the International Conference and Exhibition Center on 15-17 November, and was a highlight of the Forest and Wood Products Expo.
Mr. Terry Martin, Mr. Feng Wentu, Master of Chinese arts and crafts, and Mr. Yang Jinrong, expert of Hongmu art and culture, were the judges. Zheng Guodi, Yang Huanpei, Sutarya Hrfsor, I Kadek Parta, Taufik and Duangmala Wanlop won prizes for “Outstanding Traditional Value”; Xu Yongping and Jin liqun won prizes for “Special Design”; and Wang Haibo, Wang Guohua and Wu Xiaomei won prizes for “Special Creativity”.
The 2013 China-ASEAN Live Wood Carving Exposition was organized by IWCS, and co-organized by the China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat, Forestry College of Guangxi University, and Jiangsu Hongmu Culture and Arts Institute, and Supported by the China National Forest Products Industry Association, IUFRO-Division 5.
Concurrently with the wood carving exposition, IWCS also organized the 4th China-ASEAN International Wood Culture Forum. Both activities promoted communication, basic academic research and the practice of wood culture in the China-ASEAN area and contributed to the integration of art and culture into the Forest and Wood Products Expo.
A girl interprets her vision and hearing about the village where she comes from, the Wa tribe in China, and the imagery of the village and movements of villagers are like a documentary vividly presented within her mind. The Wa tribe is undergoing the cultural transformation, and Wa wood drum becomes the crucial cultural element for them to reclaim and preserve what they have missed from the ancestors.
The Pilátovás persist in keeping the traditional marionette in Slovakia despite the fact that new technology has almost taken over the younger generations’ lives. To revive the beautiful tradition, the Pilátovás have devoted their time and energy to teaching people of all ages the fun and spirit of marionette. They enjoy the feel of wood and the fun of marionette. Their joy we now share with you.
The City of Georgetown, Penang, is known for its ancient, tropical ambiance and laid-back pace of living. Two-to-three-story wooden houses built during the western colonial era stand in exotic colors. While windows may be cracked and paints peeled off with time, age only adds pride to the antique houses. Where buildings are too old, they are torn down, and the old tiles, blurred glasses and oxidized wooden pieces are recycled by those enthusiasts who care to revive the ancient elegance.
Bucheli and Chlefeli are two charming wooden instruments that are not widely known, and rarely played and manufactured nowadays. Although they are simple and easy to play, the unique sound features enabled them to accompany well with other musical instruments.
The beautiful Venice Gondola made with the skill that represents the refinement of Italian craftsmanship passed down from 16 and 17 century, is a cultural heritage that embodies values and stories of it. The launching ceremony for blessing presented in this video enables viewers to have a better insight of this traditional woodcraft.
Uilleann Pipes has been long known for the symbolic instrument of Irish music. The word "Uilleann" is the homonymic word of union and also a reflection of the history of Ireland. Unlike the Scottish pipes which is known as an outdoor pipe, Uilleann pipes is an indoor instrument and requires more care of the maintenance. John Butler, who was obsessed by the unique sound of Uilleann pipes and traditional Irish music since sixteen, devotes his passion and enthusiasm in pursuing mastership in pipe making.
Located in Central Japan, Gifu prefecture connects main roads to the west and the east coast. This makes it a suitable hub for log transporting and trading.
In the auction season, people come to Gifu Precious Wood Market and try bidding the precious wood they want. Auctioneers open the bids and start to read each specific price in a unique rhythm repeatedly to maintain the intensity of the atmosphere. In such an ambience, people will raise their price continuously and get the bid in a snap!
In front of the office, there stands a monument engraved with the words “Wood’s Soul”, which shows the homage Gifu people pay to the wood. They believe that the wood has guarded and protected them for hundreds of years.
Nagoya is in the west part of Aichi prefecture. It is located in the Chubu region between Tokyo and the ancient capital Kyoto hence people also name it Central Capital. Famous for its car industry with Toyota and other brands, Nagoya is the fourth most populated city in Japan.
In this industrialized city, there still lives a group of people who try to preserve the ancient Japanese wood culture. Some are struggling between the reality of life and their ideals of protecting traditional techniques, while some has made a fortune transforming wood art into business.
For example, Mr. Makoto Kuroda is a famous wooden chessboard master who insists to make woodcrafts in a traditional way in spite of the fierce competition of machine products or Chinese hand-made products. On the other hand, Mr. Tatsuro Hioki owns a chain restaurant serving crabs and Japanese cuisine. The restaurant is famous for its wooden interior design and it is popular among Japanese and people from around the world.
Kyoto, a city in central Honshu Island in Japan, had been the capital for Japanese emperors for centuries. Here, you can find abundant traditional craftsmanship and wooden architectures that embody the culture of ancient Japan.
Many traditional wooden constructions are still well-preserved in Kyoto. For example, Ryokan-Tsukimikan, the historical hot spring hotel established in the vicinity of Ujigawa, Kyoto in 1937, features Momoyama hot springs, ancient Japanese style design and delicate wooden furniture.
(Mandarin subtitle video: http://iwcs.com/archive-single-page.cfm?id=77)
The architect Yoshiaki Nakamura is a master of Sukiya-zukuri, a traditional wooden architecture style incorporating tea house aesthetics with natural materials. Also, he blends in foreign elements in the hope to explore more possibilities for the traditional Japanese architecture.
The Makonde tribe, an African tribe, was regarded as the cradle of woodcarving in East Africa. They live in Tanzania, Mozambique and have a small presence in Kenya. Makonde people are famous for their fanciful woodcrafts, embodying their spiritual beliefs and family life. Let’s take a look of the video!
Have a careful look inside of your house and you just might find a couple of wares made with birch bark, a great gift from Mother Earth that has transcended from utilitarian wares to a form of art. In this film, birch bark artist John Zasada not just demonstrates birch bark peeling and weaving techniques, but embodies a style of living filled with passion for birch bark handicraft.
Eoin Donnelly, a carpenter and project coordinator in the Irish National Heritage Park, often demonstrates traditional woodworking in the park. He is also the founder of a group named Muintir na Coille committed to the education and development of sustainable use of local woodland. In this video, Eoin shows how a traditional pole-lathe works, and talks of the ideal based on which the group works.
Portugal is the leading country of cork exportation in the world. From cork oak forests to manufacturing factories, every step is strictly legislated for protecting precious tree species. Apart from producing wine stoppers, cork bark is also used to develop eco-fashion and various items, including accessories, furniture, even clothes.
Kilwa Kisiwani (which means "Kilwa of the Island") is located off the coast of Tanzania, East Africa. This thriving seaport was once being forgotten, but now is a protected site in the list of UNESCO world Heritage.
Kilwa Kisiwani was subjugated to different races, including Persian (Iranian nowadays), Portuguese and Arabian due to its superior geographic location for trading. It was once a famous seaport but lost its glory since the mid-19th century. There are still around 1000 residents living in this tranquil island at the present time.
People dwell in huts that are made of palm leaves and logs, which are collected from trees on the island. Villagers build and repair dhows for fishing. Fishing is the main economic activity, but after Kilwa Kisiwani being listed as the world heritage, the newly developed eco-tourism has brought in additional income for villagers.
Bagamoyo is a tranquil harbor filled with Islamic fishermen and westerners who come here for vacation in the east coast of Africa. It’s about one hour drive toward north from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Fishermen build traditional dhows for fishing and transporting daily goods, such as palm oil and fuel from mainland Africa to nearby islands, for example, Zanzibar.
In Bagamoyo, most fishermen still use traditional dhows while only very few of them with better economic status can afford engine boat. A traditional dhow has one or more masts and is usually made of local timber. To sail the dhow, it requires 4-5 people, one operates the oar while the others spread out the sails on the mast. Today, fishing is still the main economic activity along the Bagamoyo coast.
The region surrounding the Moshi Town, just at the bottom of the great Mount Kilimanjaro, is known for its forest resources and lively communities. Wood-related industries such as wooden box beekeeping and banana brewing prosper in this area. To help advance the development of the beekeeping business, the government, academia and local business owners have worked together to improve the business by modifying the traditional wooden bee boxes. On the other hand, many banana beer brewers have kept the traditional way of brewing with wooden barrels. Despite their different paths, people involved in these two sectors have worked to maintain the tradition and the culture related to wood utilization in the country.
The Usambara Mountain is part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, which stretches from Kenya to Tanzania. The mountain range in North-East Tanzania extends approximately 110 km long and 64 km in width. Although the altitude is not as high as Kilimanjaro, the Usambaras are recognized as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
The Usambaras are commonly spilt into two parts, the West Usambara and the East Usambara. Since the East Usambara is close to the coast and receives more rainfall, the geographic feature makes it abundant in plant species.
We visited Magamba Nature Reserve, which is in the West Usambara, to see different tree species in the natural forest and how local people utilize wood in their daily life.
Located 180 km west from city Arusha, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a reserve with 8292 km2 land and is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main feature of NCA is the Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera formed around 3 million years ago when a giant volcano exploded. This natural enclosure is populated by a wide variety of wild animals, including herds of wildebeest, zebra, antelopes…etc.
Apart from wild life, Maasai tribe is another feature to observe in NCA. The Maasai is a semi-nomadic group of people whose lifestyle centers on their cattle. Moreover, around NCA, there is a lake named Eyasi where Hadzabe and Datoga people still live in a traditional life.
It is rare to see wood sculpturing competition in Kenya, not to mention in Nanyuki, a town located north of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. In August 2012, 22 local wood artists assembled to reveal their true talent.
Ifugao is a province in Luzon Island, the Philippines. The mountain tribe lives here is also called the Ifugao. The life of the aborigines from their dwellings, transportation, to woodcraft industry, is mainly relied on the surrounding natural resources such as forests and rice terraces.
Ganvie is a lake village in Benin, with a population around 20,000 people. Life in Ganvie is strongly bound to wood, from the fish traps, canoes to their dwellings. There are only 3 boatyards left in the area. Mr. Tammassebomou’s boatyard is one of them and still devotes to the boating industry.
Robert Grieshofer is a luthier for 15 years. He also teaches at the Lutherie School in Hallstatt, Austria. Born in a carpenter’s family, he “inherited” the knowledge about wood as a material and applies this knowledge in violin-making.
Patapum, a wooden boat built in 1931, is now under repair in the Maritime Museum of Barcelona. The Museum dedicates to the education on seafaring history and tradition of Spain, and passes the wooden boat construction technique onto the interested public through an outreach program. While in Ovar, Portugal, there is a wooden boat association, CENARIO, focusing on the restoration and sailing of wooden boats.
The Race of Rabelo Boats is an annual competition which first started in 1983. Held in the second biggest city in Portugal, the competition aims to preserve the tradition of Porto wine transportation. Cellars alongside Douro River are sponsors who are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of each Rabelo boat.
The traditional Malay house is a wooden one and serves the housing needs of people living in the rural areas of Malaysia. Since Malaysia is located in the tropical area, the house is designed to meet certain standards to adapt their needs, culture and climate.
Changbai Mountain, located in the northeast of China, has abundant natural resources. Long ago, the forest industry was a rather prosperous industry. However, due to forest protection policy, nowadays logging has strict limitations. We were lucky to be there at the end of logging season observing the whole process of logging, classifying and storing.
The town of Baham is located at the Western Province of the Republic of Cameroon. Given that Baham is close to rainforests and up on a mountainous region, the temperature is rather mild. In the region around Baham there are a total of 16 villages. Residential settlements disperse from the center of the town, and one can see lively neighborhood. Peasants and children either stroll or do house chores along the sandy trails that go up and down the hills. Most of the residents still lead a relatively original life and live on farming and trading. Therefore, the use of firewood and wooden construction materials for small residential cabins are easily seen everywhere.
Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, owns the biggest port in the country. It is the commercial capital, majorly handling the export of oil, coca, metal, fruits and timber.
Wood is the most accessible natural resource in Cameroon and is therefore widely used in people’s daily life. We traveled to Youwpe and Miwake, villages around Douala, and collected plenty of precious information about how local people make good use of wood, and make products ranging from artistic sculptures and accessories, to canoes and charcoal. The people also maintain a sustainable way of using wood. For example, charcoal makers in the Miwake region, which is located southwest to Douala, pick only naturally dead trees as their raw material. By doing so, the timber is transformed into another form and becomes another useful product for the people.
At Speicherstadt near downtown Hamburg, museums scatter on the grand harbor. The International Maritime Museum, opened in 2008, showcases Peter Tamm's collection of over 40,000 items of model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art. Besides the exquisite and overarching exhibitions, the building itself is a large, old wooden structure that was formerly a warehouse.
On the other hand, the Speicherstadt Museum exhibits objects about trading, especially coffee and tea trading. All of the business activities played an important role in carving the modern look of the Speicherstadt harbor. Several wooden items used in the old day to transport goods are displayed, so are photos and stories about the timber poles that bolster the foundation of the buildings at Speicherstadt.
The house of Rieck, built in the 16th century, was restored in 1949 and handed over to the Altona Museum as a branch open air museum. The house reconstructs an image of the life of a rich peasant family back in time. Because of its large amount of wooden structure, furniture, and objects, it was subject to woodworms’ attack and was taken care of by scientists of related profession at the Johann Heinrich von Thunen-Institute (vTI) several years ago.
Bothwell Park, formerly an industrial waste dumpsite now being regenerated as woodlands, is located at Glasgow. It is a 49ha land owned largely by North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) and managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, at an area that is in one of the most economically-deprived communities in Scotland. Playing a part in the regeneration process, the Forestry Commission has worked with the NLC to restore the land and turn it into a public green space that could serve recreational, educational, and environmental purposes to the people in the vicinity. There will be a wetland, woodlands, and an open space in the park.
The Highland Folk Museum is a living history site with an area of 32 hectares. In 1955, the open-air museum is open to public with portray of domestic and working condition of the old highlanders, showing how they used to build homes, decorate houses, till soils, weave wools and dress. It encapsulates aspects of 200 years of Highland rural life, starting from the early 1700s until the present day.
According to the stone remain of each house base, the carpenters and archaeology professors from University of Glasgow are working together on an experimental project on how the wooden roof would be built and how the interior would be arranged in the past.
The museum interpreted the highland folk history by re-locate and re-create buildings and features, such as schools, farms and shops, plus monthly programs, including various workshops and music events held to provide visitors an engaging experience of the town life.
Built in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is a zoology park with an area of 82 acre. It lies on the Corstrorphine Hill, which not only provides extensive view of the city but also offers environment features that shape several microclimates. Therefore, Edinburgh Zoo is also characterized by collections of at least 1,200 different tree species and 3,500 plant species.
In order to create a suitable habitat for the animals, a group of trained botanic gardeners collaborate with the zoo keepers to manage the enclosure for the animals. Moreover, since the climate has changed dramatically over the past few years, the gardeners are now facing the challenge to cope with the issue.
Wood pasture, a historical land management system in the Europe, is an open woodland providing shelters for cattle and sheep, as well as the timber products including charcoal and house construction.
Glen Finglas is a glen in the Trossachs, which has been described as the miniature Highlands. Part of the region within the area was the Royal Hunting Forest from the King David and James II onwards. And wood pasture is restored across the estate, creating a vast mosaic of woodland. Glen Finglas was once covered with plenty of different tree species, including alder, birch, oak hazel, rowan and willow, but over the centuries, the wood pasture has been decreased to scattered remnants.
Located in the northeast of Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park is the largest one in the UK, covering an area of 4,528 km2 (1,748 sq mi). The Cairngorms was established in 2003, and inhabited by a population about 70,000 people in the area, where 75% of the land is privately owned by individuals or companies, while 10 to 15% is possessed by NGOs; and the rest is governmental property. The Cairngorms National Park Authority has therefore devoted its efforts to collaborate with the landowners, and encouraged them to plan their lands beyond boundaries. This idea and the economic value of joining the national park have interested the neighboring citizens and led to the park extension in 2009.
Cairngorms owns Britain’s highest and most massive mountain range and also the biggest native forests. Most of the forests and woodlands are well managed not just for timber products, but more importantly, to sustain the biodiversity, habitats, and landscape value.
Inaugurated in 2006, The National Museum of Scotland is located in central Edinburgh. The galleries have a wide-range of collections from the age of dinosaurs, related to the technology and about the history of art and design. The museum, exhibition of which covers both natural and cultural displays, is one of the most important places to discover the story of Scotland.
Starting from relics of Iron Age, to the Formula racing car, the gallery exhibits a series of collections that present the origins of Scottish history to the present day. Wooden collections are various in the museum, including the oak sculpture of St Luke back in 1500s, the industry mining machines, etc.
The name Salzkammergut, meaning “Salt Chamber" in German, was derived from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority that ran the salt mines during the Habsburg Empire.
The salt mine, located at Hallstatt, dates back 7000 years. There are many wooden relics left in it by the miners back in time. It has therefore been an important excavation for the archeological projects conducted by the Naturhistorisches Museum at Vienna. In addition to wooden digging and collecting tools, there is a world-famous Bronze-Age wooden staircase lying deep in the mine. The staircase was used by the miners to transport goods in the mine.
Also in the region is the Anzenau Mill Museum, the first building in the town of Bad Goisern. Originally a farmhouse when it was built in the 14th century, a watermill was added to it to saw wood and make bread in the 18th century. Up until now, tasty bread is still being made and sold in the house. In 2005, the building was transformed into a museum to display the traditional lifestyle of the residents.
Bregenzerwald is in a valley situated between Lake Constance and the Arlberg Mountain that was once completely covered in woods, thus the abundant wood cultures exist in the region. The IWCS visited Hittisau, where the renowned Women’s Museum, set up in a modern wooden building, locates. We visited the wooden houses designed and built by a local architecture Mr. Nenning, learned about the local’s philosophy of natural wood use, and saw how the people preserve old wooden bridges. The people in the region also put great efforts to develop sustainable green energy by operating a biomass plant that consumes wooden residue left after constructions and so on.
The Nutcracker Museum at Neuhausen, Germany has over 5,150 nutcrackers from 28 countries that make the world’s largest collection. The museum has both the tallest and the smallest nutcrackers in the world. The largest is 10.1 meters tall while the smallest is merely 4.9mm in size. All the items were collected out of sheer interest of the owner, the Löschners family, who initially was in the business of manufacturing woodwork machines. Having business relationships with woodworkers and artists, the father of the family, Jürgen Löschner, has gradually developed his passion for the nutcrackers and now it is his son Uwe who manages the property.
First established in 1153 at Neusass by Wolfram von Bebenburg, Schöntal was formerly a Cistercian monastery. It is located in the nature sublime at Jagsttal near a valley. This is why it is called Schöntal , meaning “beautiful valley” in German. The monastery is mainly constructed with wooden material from the local area. Adjacent to the solemn, grand wooden monastery is an educational and assembly center for the Diocese youngsters of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. In the building there are grand wooden sculptures of saints and magnificently-designed and painted wooden stairs that were made of oak and pine. They are well-maintained as the building is constantly in use.
The Hohenloher Freilandmuseum is located in the village of Wackershofen. This fantastic open air museum, which has collected hundreds of ancient, reconstructed rural wooden buildings from around the Badem-Wurttemberg region, serves as a popular educational and tourist destination for visitors to learn about peasant life in the past. The wooden houses are constructed with local woods such as pine, oak, and beech, and in each of the houses there are traditional wooden objects that faithfully demonstrate how people live with wooden tools back in time. There are also staff members demonstrating wood turning, crafts, and wooden furniture production.
Founded in 1898, the Royal Museum of Central Africa has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful museums devoted to display the culture of Africa. The idea to establish it germinated from the 1987 Brussels International Exhibition that displayed ethnographic objects from the Congo. Currently, the museum aims to preserve and manage its collections from countries in the central region of Africa, such as Cameroon and Congo. Imported hand-made wooden objects--such as canoe, masks, and tools—are in profusion and are accompanied with depictions that explain their cultural contexts.
Dr. Pieter Baas, an expert of wood anatomy and former scientific director of the herbarium, guided us through the wooden specimen collection at the university. The herbarium is one of the world’s largest with over 5.5 million plant specimens collected from around the world over the last decades. The wooden specimens are also in profusion and they go through a series of bug-removing and maintenance processes before being stored. The experts on wood at the institution conduct researches around the world.
The museum, once an orphanage, mainly displays objects and paintings related to the city from the 17th century onward, including numerous ancient wooden artifacts created by local artists. There are also wooden miniatures on the city’s infrastructure such as the canal and the city hall. Vivid large biblical figures made with wood stand in the public access area, and samples of large wooden poles immersed under water that support the city’s older buildings are also in display.
Previously a carpenter, Mr. Ojārs Narvils now has turned himself into a rabbit-lover and has built the whole Rabbit Town because of love revenge. This small wooden rabbit town started with Mr. Narvil’s unsuccessful love story and it suddenly dawned on him that rabbits are actually easier to handle with than women. He said rabbits return your love by giving you the warmth and staying with you. Now he only uses those skills of carpentry to do nothing else but build more wooden rabbit houses. Each house has its own characters for rabbits whose temperament suits the house. The whole rabbit town is actually a typical Latvian town in miniature.
AUSEKļi MILL is a private open-air museum run by an enthusiastic local man, Mr. Martins Medins who is now a member of local council. He has turned his passion for culture and life into a practical idea in which demonstrations of traditional ways of living a country life and activities that engage people in fun atmosphere are helpful for raising people’s awareness of culture preservation. On our arrival, Mr. Martins Medins showed us all the equipment and objects from the olden days that he collected from all over the place and told the stories of those objects and the history of them.
Latvia does not have any mountains, but yet is covered by forests for about 60% of land. In Gauja National Park, people can operate their own land and run the business in relation to nature. The Archaeological Museum where the buried houses of 9th -10th Century were revealed represents the life of then, including tools, weapons and daily objects, up to medieval time. While in Latvia, one thing you cannot miss out is that refresh your energy in a traditional Latvian Bath house which usually lies on the imaginary ley line full of spiritual power. Having a land mostly covered with forest urges people to learn to respect the nature, and the Educational programme is committing to this very concept and brings it to the global level.
The biggest open-air museum in Latvia, Ethnographic Open-air Museum serves various purposes for tourists and citizens in Riga. The way in which they manage this open-air museum is so unique that certain houses are open to traditional craftsmen for the purpose of demonstrating their skills and selling their work. The benefit of doing so is that craftsmen’s real time demonstration attracts people and on the other hand, people get to learn the traditional woodcrafts and the museum achieve the aim of, apart from preserving historical buildings, educating people and preserving the tradition of olden day. Dr. Mārtiņš KUPLAIS, a professional historian working in this museum, guided us around and told the stories of traditional Latvia life.
A young renovator, Mateusz Niwiński, devotes himself to his favourite job, renovating old wooden house. He has showed us the houses he renovated and his own workshop, and briefed us the current circumstance of the wooden house renovation in Poland. Due to the particular history of Poland, wooden houses in Poland were mostly built up after World War II and many shabby houses are inhabited by the Jews. In Otwock, wooden houses scatter over the whole town. Many of them need proper renovations to sustain for a longer time, but some are even illegally occupied without being claimed by anyone.
A private museum, located in a small village STUDZIWODY adjacent to the border between Poland and Belarus, is run by a Russian-origin Polish man, DOROTESZ FIONIK, who is enthusiastic about reviving the local tradition of his clan and soon expanding to the Belarusian culture revival. Half of his own wooden house has been turned into a museum displaying tools and appliances of the old days. He has then bought another wooden city house and placed it just across the dirt road as his second collection for the museum. He strives to keep and revive Belarusian rituals, traditions and language by holding Belarusian festivals with people who are passionate about their own culture.
The tale that makes the Holy Mount of Grabarka become a centre for pilgrimage for Orthodox Christians since the 18th century is that, while the whole country suffered from a cholera epidemic, a man dreamed of being called to this mountain and washed his feet in a mountain stream in this area. He was cured by washing his feet here, and therefore this place has become well known for its miracle cure. Throughout a year thousands of Orthodox Christians carry crosses on them, be it small or big, walking to the Holy Mount of Grabarka, from far or near, to show their respect this holy sanctuary.
Folk Architecture Museum in Sanok is a young open-air museum aiming at bringing the ethnographic knowledge of different period of time in history to the public, especially school kids. The most particular wooden house of all is the Jews house of 100 years old which was the first house moved into this museum. Being the only open-air museum in the most southerly point of Poland, Folk Architecture Museum has gained in popularity among all levels of schools and all age groups. All the wooden houses are relatively new as most of the houses were destroyed during World War II.
Being one of the UNESCO heritage sites, St Michael the Archangel Church in Dębno was a Gothic church built of larch wood in the 15th century. It’s still in use at present for the locals and tourists. On Sundays, the church is always packed with faithful disciples for the Sunday service and curious tourists waiting for going inside the church, opened only 10 minutes for tourists each weekend, to witness the well-preserved interior fittings and paintings. The maintenance is down to the priest who is not just the ‘tour guide’ of this historical church, but also works as a guardian of this small village and surrounding area.
Right at the border between Poland and Slovakia, only 17km northwest to the most popular ski resort Zakopane, Chochołów had an interesting history of ‘making independent’. The uprising in 1846 fighting against the rule of Austria-Hungary made Chochołów known, and this part of historical fact is kept in the small museum and a craftsman’s private museum in this village. We were lucky to meet the owner Mr. Jan Zieder, a self-taught carpenter running a wood workshop and a private museum collecting daily objects of the old days and documents/photos/letters from the war time in the village. Every year before Easter women will scrub and wash the outer walls of their cottages to make them look nice after winter. It's interestingly only women's job.
Čičmany, one of the most famous living villages in Slovakia, has the least information distributed on the internet. Having been a mysterious village to the world outside Slovakia, Čičmany needs to gain more recognition from the public to publicize the characteristics of the lime painted wooden houses. Painting lime on the wall is not just for decoration, but also to prevent the wood from cracking up with the result that these residents then start painting patterns to beautify the house. Northeast to Čičmany lies the wooden Bethlehem in Rajecká Lesná made by an enthusiastic carpenter who devoted his life on this project which was unfinished by the time he passed away. A priest afterwards was then by his passion and continued to accomplish the carpenter’s dream.
The significance of Kysuce village is the historical forest dead-end railway. Connecting two independent forest railwaysin both Kysuce and Orava regions, this forest railway offered the shortest transportation route of logging industry between these two mountainous regions in the early 20th century. The whole track length extended from 61km when it was first constructed to nearly 110km at the end of 1920s. The most valuable part of the track overcame a noticeable rise of 217.69m on the shortest distance (air line) of 1500m with three pointed dead-end system. This tailor-made narrow gauge railway serves the main purpose of transporting logs out of the forest up in the Tatras Mountain.
Being one of the few living villages listed in UNESCO heritage, Vlkolínec was reluctant to turn itself into a proper museum. A group of volunteers found this remote mountainous village and were stunned by which they still remain the old way of living. As time goes by, however, people move out into the city gradually as there is not much to do in this remote area other than herding animals. Up until now, there are 55 houses standing in the village, but only 6 of them are inhabited by 19 people. Some of them are kept as it was and some are turned into cottages in display. People living there are actually feeling hassled most of the time with people walking around their houses. Occasionally some tourists would abruptly walk into people’s house without knowing they have intruded resident’s privacy. We were lucky that a half-drunken man invited us into his house and told us his stories and the history of this village with a big happy smile on his face.
Arriving in the Liptov Village Museum, we were welcomed by a lively performance telling a story of highway man in Slovakia. Over 80% of the whole country is covered by mountains and therefore the country tale of highway man has been always a notable story to be told. The director of Liptov Village Museum, Dr Iveta Zusinova, a local grown anthropologist, commenced this museum for the sake of keeping important parts of 22 villages at which the area was wiped out to build up a dam. This museum holds various events in order to form an image of the country life in the olden days for tourists.
Spreading over the meadows at the bottom of the Western Tatras, Orava Village signals a good location for an open-air museum. Orava village museum is aiming to represent the exterior settings of settlements and the living environment of these villages of the 12th to 13th Century, and brings the visitors closer to the wooden structure and furniture with which the life of village people are connected. Scattering as a real village setting in Orava, the Latin school, the market, cattle place, fire alarm bell and the surrounding settings of the whole village compose the image of a mountainous village of the old time and offer the pleasant atmosphere for visitors to experience the country life.
East Carpathians Biosphere Reserve stretches across three countries, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine and constitutes one of the best protected areas for endemic and threatened animals. The part in Slovakia is Poloniny National Park, the only national park in Eastern Slovakia. The national park contains not only the primeval forests, but also normal villages and a huge reservoir. People who have lived in this area own their houses but share half of the land with the council and can do whatever they want to the house. Unfortunately, people still intend to move out of the most eastern end to big cities to earn their living.
The Viking ship museum is located at the Roskilde, Denmark. The museum focuses on the preservation, reconstruction and investigation of various Scandinavian boats and ships in the prehistoric and medieval times, but distinguishes itself from others for its hands-on activities.
Visitors not only learn traditional shipbuilding techniques, such as wooden nail making and rope making, but also come on board to experience the real Viking ship cruise!
The museum has many shipbuilders in charge of the ship reconstructions on which they apply the techniques from the old time. Shipbuilders reconstruct ships in the open-air exhibition area, so the public can take a close look at their works.
The SIIDA (the Sami cultural and natural museum in Inari) was opened in 1962. It provides visitors knowledge and information of Sami culture and Arctic Nature in the northernmost region of Finland.
In the exhibition hall of the SIIDA, numerous Sami wooden crafts, such as baby cradle, dishes, drinking cups, butter box, and jewelry box, etc., are well preserved and displayed. Also, there is a photo exhibition of the Sami history that tells stories of their life for generations.
In order to make a living, the indigenous Sami people have some customs, such as domesticated reindeers herding and fish catching in the river. Traditionally, the Sami lived a way of life based on seasonal movement from their winter sod dwellings or log cabins to spring, summer and autumn camps. These Sami sod huts, log cabins, and wooden boats for moving along rivers, from the 18th to 19th century, have also been collected and exhibited at the open-air area of the SIIDA .
Old Rauma is the largest Nordic wooden town with over 600 well-preserved wooden architectures from the 18th -19th century, and most of which are privately owned. It is valued for its vernacular architectural heritage, and these houses, workshops and shops are still in use today.
Back in the old days, almost every household had lace-makers making bobbin lace, a technique believed to have been brought by sailors in the 18th century. Although, lacemaking had once brought wealth into the city of Rauma, it is now a declined industry and a cultural heritage practiced and preserved by local people. When making bobbin lace, lace makers need a lace pillow with pin set and wind threads on wooden bobbins, to determine the lace pattern according to the placement of wooden bobbin and pin.
The City Renovation Center exhibits tools and materials used for constructing and preserving Rauma wooden houses, and photos documenting the preservation history of these traditional buildings, are valuable and worth visiting. The center is a place where people can acquire techniques, and obtain knowledge of conserving and renovating the traditional Finnish wooden architecture.
Not only does Vasa War Ship Museum in Stockholm, Sweden preserve a magnificent warship of the 17th century- Vasa, but thousands of wooden objects that were salvaged from the wreck along with the ship reveal the detail of naval warfare, shipbuilding techniques, aesthetic sense and the way of life at that time.
On January 16, 1628, Vasa sank on her maiden voyage after departing from Stockholm and sailing for just 1,500 meters. Vasa was decorated with sculptures carved in oak, pine or lime, and each of these sculptures has its underlying significance. For example, the sculptures of Roman emperors, which stand along the sides of the beak head, represent the glory and the power of Swedish King Gustav II Adolf (King Gustavus Adolphus); moreover, a male figure in a crouching position under the cathead signify that Polish men was inferior to Swedish men, because Poland and Sweden were at war in the 1620s, and more.
For over 300 years, Vasa had been lying at the depth of 32 meters in polluted water, where various bacteria and fungi had attacked the wood, and the rusted bolts of the hull had diffused into the wood and water. Today, researchers, conservators and technicians are still endeavoring in preserving the ship for the future.
In 1997, Eksjo was awarded the Europa Nostra Diploma for its remarkable renovation of the traditional buildings gives a new life to the old town. Today, Eksjo has become one of the best-preserved timber-built towns in Sweden.
The city of Eksjo has burned down twice throughout its history. In 1568, the town was burn down during the First Northern War, and subsequently rebuilt in a different place that was easier to defend. In 1856, Eksjo burned down for the second time, and the fire had destroyed all of the southern part. In the 1860s, the area was re-planned and re-built, and the fire-protection system was taken into account at this time; therefore, most of the traditional buildings we have seen today are from the 17th - 18th century.
In order to protect wooden houses against fire, Eksjo has several fire-protection measures, for example, using fire-resistant glass windows, and sealing the not-in-use gate, door or window to prevent wind-driven fire from spreading; and installing water sprinkler system on the roof of houses to extinguish or suppress fire, etc... In addition, the old town has efficient alarm system where, when the fire occurs, firefighters will arrive within 5 minutes to put out the fire.
Norsk Skogmuseum (The Norwegian Forest Museum) is located at Elverum, Hedmark County, Norway. The museum aims to provide the knowledge of Norwegian forest culture and life related to forestry, hunting, fishing, and aquarium.
In the museum main hall on the ground floor, many aspects of the forestry, such as timber floating, hunting, forest industry in the old times and the present times, and social conditions in forestry, including living conditions, forest fare, clothes and dress, etc., are well introduced with pictures and exhibits of forest tools and machinery. On the first floor, visitors can see numerous exhibits of hunting, trapping, and fishing in Norwegian’s everyday life.
Outside the museum, there is an arboretum, a botanical garden of trees and bushes, situated in the southeast part of the museum. The outdoor exhibits consist of various devices employed in hunting and trapping, and cabins used during logging, hunting, and fishing from 17th -20th century.
Bergen is a city and municipality on the west coast of Norway. The economy of Bergen today is based on tourism, fishery, shipping, and offshore petroleum industry. Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen, has a series of North European wooden houses from medieval time aligned on the side of fjord. Back in Hanseatic period, Bryggen was a business district and now is preserved and listed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The museums in Bergen University with rich collections of the Vikings’ hut, appliances and wooden ships are also worth a visit!
On the campus of University of Bergen lies the Cultural History Collections of University Museum that exhibits wooden axes, huts, and shipbuilding tools used by the Vikings. Bergen Maritime Museum presents Norway’s history of shipping from the past to the present; its collections of shipwrecks and ship models include Viking ships, archeological ship remains, and artifacts.
Ski museum is located in the beautiful valley of Morgedal, in Telemark. In the ski museum, visitors can watch the video introduce 4,000 years of skiing history in the multimedia room. The exhibition zone presents many kinds of skis made of wood and artificial materials. There is also a ski-making workshop demonstrating process for making wooden skis.
Part of the collection in the museum is made in the museum workshop. The workshop also accepts custom orders of making wooden skis. The handmade wooden skis were once taken as winning rewards for Australia ski competition.
All the wooden skis produced from the workshop are made by two museum ski makers - Tarjei Gjelstad, and Terje Nilsen Haugen, who also have undergone a project of making the largest wooden ski in Norway. They hope this largest wooden ski in Norway will become a representative landmark of the museum.
Located at Heddal in Notodden municipality, Norway, Heddal Stave Church (Norwegian: Heiterdals kircke) was constructed in the early 13th century. It is the largest among the 28 stave churches remained in Norway today. Stave church is a medieval wooden church of traditional Nordic style.
Heddal stave church is a timber-built church with three small turrets. The church contains numerous symbols of old Christian and heathen traditions. The holy cross on the turrets is the symbol of Christianity, whereas the dragon heads at the gable ends represent the old heathen motifs rooted in Celtic and Germanic sources.
Situated at the Northeastern side of Parc Naturel Régional de la Forêt d'Orient (Orient Forest Regional Natural Park), in Champagne-Ardenne, France, Ecomusée de la Forêt d’Orient (Ecomuseum in the Orient’s Forest) well preserves abundant traditional agricultural machinery from the 16th to 17th centuries.
The open-air museum is dedicated to the memory of agricultural life of the Champagne region in the old days. There are three sites of the museum: the Maison des Jours et des Champs (The “House of days and fields”) where there are several wooden houses exhibiting chisels, ploughs, old tractors, axes, and other farming machines and tools, Boutique du charron (The Cartwright’s Workshop) where the traditional wooden wheels and wheel-making machinery are displayed, and the museum park where visitors can see several wooden barns and feel not only the beauty of France farming village but the tranquility of the country life.
The Maison de l'Outil et de la Pensee Ouvriere (Tool and Trade Museum) is located in Troyes, in a Renaissance style mansion, called Hotel de Mauroy. In 1966, the city of Troyes acquired and entrusted this mansion to the Compagnons du Devoir du Tour de France, an association comprising craftsmen and artisans from the Middle Ages up to now. This association has carefully renovated the mansion and has turned it into a museum.
The museum has a rich collection of over 10,000 tools that were once used for cutting, crafting, and measuring wood by craftsmen, from the 17th to 18th century. Father Paul Feller, a Jesuit priest, is the person who first started to collect these tools since 1958. The museum also displays photos telling the history of logging, sewing, building log houses, making barrels, wheels, and more. Through these tool and photo exhibitions, the museum intends to provide knowledge and arouse the interest of apprentices, craftsmen, amateurs, and many others, about the history and the tradition of craftsmanship in the old days.
Laténium Museum is an archaeology museum located in Hauterive, suburb of Neuchâtel. Its name is a combination of “La Tène”, the name of archaeological site of the Celtic civilization back in the late Iron Age, and the word “museum.”
Inaugurated in 2001, the museum has rich archaeological collections of Celtic artifacts, and those from both older and more recent periods as well. Laténium Museum has a collection of 3000 objects, including a 20-meter long Roman wooden ship discovered in Bevaix.
Apart from indoor exhibition, there is another open-air area within the museum park. The dwellings of the lake villagers could be dated back to 1,000 BC, and the museum has reconstructed several architectures in order to demonstrate the history to the visitors.
Bönigen is a small village in the canton Bern, which is located in the central Switzerland. This small village has an area of 15.12 square kilometers, where steep mountains surround a large part of the area.
The village of Bönigen is famous for its unique decorated wooden houses. Radiating from fountain square, which is the former town center, numerous frescoed houses are scattered within the old town area. Dating from 1549 onwards, these buildings functioned as either dwelling for people or storehouse for cheese.
Many of these wooden dwellings had expanded to house the enlarged family. The original structure and the expanded parts of the house could be differentiated according to the doorway or color of paint. These well-preserved wooden houses in Bönigen are decorated with colorful patterns and images, plus biblical quotes in Gothic and Roman letters that inscribed on the exterior wall of the building. Visitors could easily perceive and understand the value of these cultural legacies.
Schwyz is the capital of canton Schwyz, which is located in the central Switzerland. It has an area of 53.3 square kilometers and a population of 14,331. German is the main spoken language within the region.
People in Schwyz still preserve many traditional ways of wood use, and musical instrument is one of the examples. Büchel, also known as Alphorn’s brother, looks like a trumpet but has brighter tone, is a handmade instrument mostly made of fine spruce. Chlefeli is another traditional wooden instrument, which is only played during Lent, is a clapping instrument that could only be found in the area of Schwyz.
Apart from instruments, other noteworthy crafts such as armbrust and sledge are also traditional woodcrafts that are still manufactured within the region.
In addition to handicrafts, there are a lot of wooden houses that have stood for centuries in Schwyz, and the oldest among these is the House of Bethlehem. Built in 1287, the house is well preserved and opened to the public as a museum today.
Located in the north-east of Italy, Trento is the capital of the autonomous province Trentino. Back in the 16th century, it was the location of the Council of Trent, an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church.
Stelvio National Park, near the historical city of Trento, with an area of 400,000 hectares, is the largest national park in Italy. Founded in 1935, the park is a reserve of several protected forests. A couple of traditional farm houses “maso” and log-cutting sawmills can be found in the realm of park. One of the mills has even been turned into a museum called Ruatti mill, which is open to the public for demonstrating the traditional way of utilizing water power for grinding the grains.
The foundation of Venice was constructed on vertical wooden piles, which has mostly remained intact after centuries of submersion. The piles penetrated through layers of soft sand and mud until they reached a harder clay ground. In fact, apart from the footing of the city, several buildings in Venice are also either built of wood or decorated with wood, such as Doge’s Palace in the Piazza San Marco, the well-known St Mark’s Square.
Quite a few chambers in Doge’s Palace including one of the most gorgeous rooms, the Council Chamber, are decorated with elaborated paintings and carvings on wooden ceilings. The roof of the Palace is also made of strong wooden structure; we were fortunate to be able to get up to the loft and see the structure under the guidance of a local architect.
Galleon Andalucia is a duplicate merchant ship of 17th century, which has 4 masts and 7 sails. The ship itself tells Spanish history and is currently berthed at Barcelona for the purpose of promoting tourism. There are 22 crew members on board taking charge of daily maintenance.
For safety concern, the way of constructing the galleon combines modern and ancient methods. The material, for instance, is a mixture of wood and fiber glass which is safer and easier for maintenance. The wood species used to build the galleon are pine and iroko, which are exactly the same materials used in the old days.
The construction of Galleon Andalucia started in December 2008, and finished in February 2010. Experts in different professions such as carpenters, fiber engineers and designers, had assembled in the south of Spain to collaborate on the project.
Established in 1905, the National Coach Museum was first named Royal Coach Museum by Queen Amélia, who was aware of the cultural value of royal ceremonial carriages. The museum had only 29 vehicles in its original collection, and has started to increase its objects of collections after the establishment of Portugal Republic in 1910.
The museum is located within the Royal Riding Arena, which used to be the place for horse-training and horse-riding exhibition and games. It is housed in a building erected in 1787 and decorated with painted ceiling and tiles by several Portuguese artists.
Today, the National Coach Museum has wide collections of objects, including: coaches, berlins, carriages, chaise, cabriolets, litters, sedan chairs, and children’s cart, etc. And the exhibitions in the museum are primarily concerned with topics about the technical and artistic evolution of transportation means used by the European aristocracy dated back from 17th to 19th centuries.
Lello Book shop is located in Porto. It was inaugurated on January 13, 1906, and designed by a noted engineer of the time, Xavier Esteves. The Lello Bookshop is housed in a white architecture with art nouveaux facade; its distinguished outlook stands out from the rest of the other historical buildings on the street.
When stepping inside the bookshop, you will immediately feel a welcoming and cozy atmosphere, and be amazed by the full wall height bookshelves, and the high ceiling which created an expanded view. Other magnificent wooden interior decoration, such as carved wooden spiral staircase, fine carving of famous local writers on the column, and intricate woodcarving ceiling are just as impressive.
This beautiful bookshop is now one of the attractions in Porto. It has been selected as the third best bookshop in the world by the well-known travel guidebook, the Lonely Planet.
Established in 1750, Burmester is one of the oldest cellars along the Douro River. This cellar has begun the port-shipping business, mainly to the British Isle and the rest of Europe since then, and now, it is a living winery showcased wine-making tradition of the area.
In Vila Nova de Gaia, the city located just across Douro River from Porto, Burmester and many of the other cellars took the advantage of natural moisture within the area, and built wine houses with thick walls and wooden ceiling to create a suitable environment for preserving wine. However, barrels of wine stored in this area were actually transported from the Upper Douro Valley, which is also one of the oldest vineyard regions that produces one of the best wines in the world, the Porto Wine.
One of the highest mountains in Romania, Apuseni Mountain, which belongs to the Western Carpathian, is dwelled by only small number of people dotted over the whole mountain range. Wood is the only and the main resource people have up in the mountain. They rely on wood to make a living and live their life. People travel on cart into the deep forest to log and bring their own supply home. We met a plank maker, a rich man who had hired two local young guys to build his new house and a poor family who has no job and only rely on the berries collected from the forest nearby to bring them some income.
Cut through by the Carpathian Mountains in the middle, Romania has the mountainous terrain from the centre to the west. Because of the geographic barrier, the north-west of Romania has a peasant life in contrast to the tourist-oriented prosperity of the south-east Romania. Maramure?, a typical mountainous area situated at the north-west border amongst Romania, Hungary and Ukraine, due to its geographic location, has been handed between Hungary, Romania, Ukraine and CzechoSlovakia over last hundreds of years, and therefore the wooden buildings, interior and exterior decoration, and people’s life style related to wood are all affected by the past sovereign.
The ASTRA Museum of Folk and Civilization, one of the ASTRA National Museum Complex, is recognised as the largest permanent open air ethnographic exhibition in Europe. The chief director of National Museum Complex, Valeriu Ion Olaru, kindly showed us the distinctive wooden architecture within the open air museum and allowed us to go into buildings to explore its interesting stories and facts.
Apart from the museum, Mr. Olaru guided us into the largest restoration institute, situated next to the open-air museum, to show the scientific way of restoration and preservation of various types of material, including wood, metal, fabric, etc.
National Village Museum, located in the Herastrau Park, north of Bucharest, was created by Dimitrie Gusti, Victor Ion Popa, and Henri H. Stahl in 1936. From 33 units of authentic wooden constructions on the first phase of building up the Village Museum to the present 272 units, village museum has strived to preserve the traditional farms and houses from all over Romania.
The homesteads including living houses, barns and stables from different area of Romania that are all displayed in this museum represent the various lives across Romania, from farmer life, poor peasant life, rich peasant life to merchant life. Various houses in people’s daily life such as public houses (pubs), churches, mills and even playgrounds are in the range of wooden representation.
Malacca, located in the southern region of Malay Peninsula, is the third smallest state in Malaysia. The capital Malacca City is 148 kilometers southeast from Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. And the city has also been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
Malacca has been colonized by the Europeans for more than 400 years. Portuguese was the first invader after Sultanate in 1511. Malacca then became a strategic base for expansion and also for spices trading. After Portuguese, there were also Dutch, British, and Japanese colonization. It was not until 1946 that the Malays toppled the regime and Malacca finally became part of Malayan Union, which later became Federation of Malaya and then eventually Malaysia.
Malacca is therefore deeply influenced by the history of foreign occupation, which can be found not only in material remains, but also in cultural tradition, such as food, dance, and festivals. The Stadthuys, Museums of History and Ethnography, has abundant records of the past stories, especially the sailing history, which includes models of ancient wooden boats and archives.
University of the Philippines Los Banos is a prestigious, coeducational university located in the Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines. UPLB started as a College of Agriculture and has become a comprehensive university.
Today, UPLB dedicates to advancing knowledge of agriculture and forestry. UPLB focuses on many research fields, including biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, strengthening agricultural support systems and more.
After decades of effort to collect forestry and wood resources, there are over 12,000 specimens of forestry herbarium and wood collection in the university today.
The Wood Library on campus has rich information of domestic and foreign wood collections, and they welcome any other universities abroad to exchange their wooden specimens with them.
Ifugao province is on Luzon Island, the northern part of the Philippines. It is located in a mountainous region with rice terraces, river valleys and forests, where people still make a living by mostly farming and wood carving.
We were lucky to meet an aboriginal priestess, Elena Anagiwan, introducing us the ritual of harvest, which is a way to show our respect to God.
Tam-Awan Village is located in Pinsao Proper, Baguio City, and it is famous for reconstructions of traditional wooden houses that recreate scenery of the native village in the area. Tam-awan now has seven Ifugao huts and two Kalinga houses.
The Ifugao hut is compact and relatively simple, and usually made of hard wood. The Kalinga house, on the other hand, is more spacious and is made of pinewood. All of these huts and houses are built by using mortise and tenon joint without a single nail.
Apart from wooden houses, Tam-awan village is also a venue for art exhibitions and workshops, with the aim to draw more people’s attention to the traditional culture and offer a platform for artists to perform their art.
Mines View, also Mines view park, is where visitors can not only see the breathtaking mountainous landscape, but a spectacular view of copper and gold mines of the early 20th century.
Mines View Park is one of the most popular/visited parks in the Benguet. There are many woodcraft souvenir shops in the surrounding area, where tourist can purchase unique aboriginal woodcrafts made by local carvers.
If lucky enough, tourists may also have the chance to see Ifugao teenager dress in their traditional costumes, and play traditional wooden drums to attract tourists’attention.
Asin road, a famous road in the Baguio City, Philippines, is known for its wooden lacquer painting and polishing. Almost all woodcrafts in Baguio city or from the surrounding areas are sent to Asin road to be painted and polished. Lacquer painting and polishing is the last step of woodcraft making. These steps can brighten the wood colors, prevent termites, and cover minor flaws of the original wood surface.
On Asin road, most of the painters are women, because men are usually involved in carving or working in the city. Women used to paint and polish woodcrafts at home or in the neighborhood to earn some money to support their family.
Asin road can be regarded as the hub of woodcrafts making where carved woodcrafts are sent for painting and polishing. After all the processes are completed, finished products will be sent to Manila city and to be sold domestically or abroad.
Penang, located on the northwest coast of Peninsula Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca, is the second smallest Malaysian state and the eighth most populous.
Penang is composed of two parts – Penang Island, where the governmentis, and Seberang Perai on the Malay Peninsula.
George Town is the busiest and largest city in Penang. The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are numerous century-old wooden houses standing by the street. Grand Chinese clan buildings and kongsi with magnificent structure and exquisite wooden carvings scatter in the city and tell of prosperity and the history of the immigrants.
The island of Langkawi, also named as the Jewel of Kedah, is located some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. It has been a popular tourist spot for its natural pristine beauty.
With a population of about 64, 792, the island has a rich culture of wood and timber use is embedded in the life of the residents. For example,the Temple Tree/ Bon Ton Resort has a collection of ancient houses from allparts of Malaysia that display the unique wooden constructions of each regionand culture.
There are also traditional Malay wooden houses scattering on the countryside. Among them, we visited a large, luxurious private residence,which is a blend of tradition and modern construction.
Carey Island, located 3hours of drive away at the southwest of Kuala Lumpur, is home to the native Mah Meri tribes, who are known for their magnificent wooden craft and masks.
The Mah Meri model the masks after the ancestral spirits,who they believe can ward off evil spirits and solve problems.
Samri Abdul Rahman, a renowned artist of traditional Mah Meri tribe wooden mask-making, shares with the world the mystic cultural significance of the Mah Meri woodenmasks. Through a demonstration of mask-designing and carving, Samri also shows how he blends in imagination and tradition believes into his profession.
Kuching is the most populous city of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, which is located on the island of Borneo. The city covers an area of 1,863 square kilometers (719 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1 million.
Sarawak has more than 40 sub-ethnic groups, including Iban, Chinese, Malay, Bidayuh, Melanau and Orang Ulu…etc. Since each group has their distinct language and culture, this multi-ethnic diversity has provided Kuching region a rich cultural and linguistic landscape.
We traveled to the suburb of Kuala Lumpur where we have visited National University of Malaysia and Seri Menanti. These visits allow us to understand better the uniqueness of traditional Malay houses.
National University of Malaysia is 30 km away from KL downtown, there is another delicately carved traditional Malay house, which used to be owned by an aristocrat back in the early 1900s. The structure of the house is well kept now for research purpose.
Seri Menanti is about 100 km away from the southeast of KL downtown,. It is the royal capital of the state of Negeri Sembilam. One of the landmarks within the small town is Istana Lama Seri Menanti, a 4-story wooden old palace, which was constructed without a single nail.
Kuala Lumpur is the federal capital city of Malaysia and located in Peninsular Malaysia. The city covers an area of 243 square kilometres (94 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1.6 million. It is the cultural, financial and economic center of Malaysia.
We visited Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, a preserved traditional Malay house, and an exhibition on wooden arches in the National Museum of Malaysia. In addition to these, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), a governmental organization in forest management and sustainable development is also one of the remarkable places we have visited within downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Erdaobaihe town is located in the south of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, the foot of Changbai Mountain. The town is rich in its natural resources and has 94% of forest coverage and 190,000 hectares area of forest.
Because of its average altitude of 800 meters, the freezing weather is suitable for growing pines and birches. Here in Erdaobaihe town, there are 120 different species of trees and 30 types of precious trees.
Erdaobaihe town is one of the most important lumber yards in China. Therefore, 300,000 cubic meters of lumbers are produced at Erdaobaihe town every year.
Changbai Mountain has rich natural resources with 190,000 hectares of nature reserve. It is also an ecological tourist attraction, including virgin forests, lakes, waterfall, hot springs, and valleys…etc.
The north scenic spot of Changbai Mountain contains the largest number of attractions among three slopes, including Small Sky Pond, Changbai Waterfall, Underground Forest and the Heaven Lake. During wintertime, the high altitude of Changbai Mountain causes the frozen surface of the lake and pool and it creates a beautiful landscape.
Apart from the natural sceneries, Changbai Mountain is also the origin of ethnic minorities. According to ancient tales, Manchu people originated at this “sacred mountain.”
Songjianghe Town is at the southeast of Fusong County. The area has rich natural resources with 89.2% of forest coverage and 17,000 hectares of forest. Here, lumber storage can reach up to 3.7 million cubic meters.
Songjianghe Town is only 41 kilometers away from Heaven Lake; hence, it is called the “First Town at the Foot of Changbai Mountain”. Songjianghe Town has convenient transportation, which provides good condition for developing tourism.
Ginseng and pine nuts are two specialties in this area. The folk tale of Laobatou – the ancestor of gathering ginseng - is prevailing in the area that people even build a temple to worship him.
Gudingzi village (now renamed as JinJiang village) is located in the Fusong County, is famous for its wooden constructions. It has a history of 400 years and there are 44 households left in the village. Here, Manchu is the main ethnicity.
Due to its high altitude of 900 meters, there is only little agricultural development in the village. Therefore, the villagers mostly rely on gathering and exchanging vegetable, medicine and pine nuts from woods for money and food.
The harmony way of living with the nature has captured the attention nationwide, so does the wooden houses. Gudingzi village is now preserved as the last wooden house village at Changbai Mountain.
Fusong County is located at the southeast of Jilin Province where Changbai Mountain is. Not only the magnificent natural landscape, but also the richness of resources attracts millions of tourists from the world.
Fusong County has a history of ginseng planting for over 400 years. In 1982, the total output of ginseng has reached 7,500,000 kilograms. Therefore, Fusong County is named as the “hometown of ginseng in China.”
Ginseng planting is the prominent industry in Fusong County where there is the biggest ginseng market in the world. Within the county, there is a ginseng museum that records and preserves the tradition of gathering ginseng in China.
Changbai Mountain is at the border of China and Korea, with the peak of 2691 meters. It is the highest mountain in the northeast of China. Due to its high altitude, the variety of plant species is rather great. From the river valley to the top of the mountain, there are various species of plant ranging from Temperate Zone to Frigid Zone.
There are three slopes, which are the north, south and west scenic spot, within the terrain of China all leads to the top- the Heaven Lake. The Heaven Lake is the largest and highest volcanic lake in China. Every year from November to the next June, the lake is frozen except only for the little area of the crater.
At the west scenic spot, the main attractions are the grand valley and the underground river shaped by glaciation.
The Camellia in Zixi Mountain in Chuxiong is world-famous and it attracts numerous tourists every year. The video is introducing the Camellia, including the size of flowers, the number of petals and the explanation of natural variation. Furthermore, we can see these 600-year-old Camellias and those with natural variation.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), founded in 1959, is the largest botanical garden in China. Under the leadership of the famous botanist Professor Cai Xi Tao, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden is a national research institution focusing on forest ecosystem ecology, conservation biology and resource plant development. It is a comprehensive research programme that engaged in biodiversity conservation and sustainable uses of plant resources. Nowadays, there are around 12,000 species of tropical plants are well preserved here.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has set a goal to be the World Class Botanical Garden with the support from Yunnan government. Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has also made outstanding contributions to the area of science research, species preservation, science education and the development of technology.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden preserves over 12,000 species of tropical plants in a large tropical rainforest of 1100 ha. Also, it has established regular cooperation with over 50 countries. In recent years, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has successfully organized and hosted a series of international conferences, and has also included outstanding scholars in the world as honorary professors.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden has been recognized as National Knowledge innovated Base, National Youth Base of Science, National AAAAA Rank Tourist Spot, and National Demonstrated Civilized Tourist Spot. There are more than 500,000 people coming to the garden annually for tourist and educational purposes.
Channapatna has already started producing sandal oil soaps since 1916. This sandal oil factory in Mysore is the only one in the world that manufacturing 100 percent pure sandalwood oil soap. However, the factory is currently only working 25 percent of its capacity because of the shortage of sandalwood resource.From the log to essence oil, the whole process is taken place within the factory. Apart from soaps, incenses and other sandal products are all of high quality with fair price.
Channapatna, located at the south-west of Bangalore, is well-known for its wooden toy-making. It has been estimated that more than 6000 people in Channapatna are employed in manufacturing toys in about 250 workshops and 50 factories. The prosperity of wooden toy-making has rewarded Channapatna as the “toy-town.”At the suburb of Channapatna, there is a traditional village. A row of bungalows, colorful walls, and lovely children portray the beautiful rural village. There are a few toy factories in the village. Although the exterior looking is not distinguishable, the buzz of motors gives the truth away. In the factory, workers share motor and use lathe to produce wooden toys.
There are two stories in the handicrafts shop in toy-town – Channapatna. The upper floor serves as a shop, while the downstairs is a manufactory. Here, visitors can closely see each process of toy-making. This is indeed a fascinating experience. All the toys are traditionally made of ivory wood by hand and are naturally dyed. These non-toxic toys are not only of high quality but priced fairly. In the shop, there are many other kinds of local wooden crafts. If you are interested in wooden handicrafts, Sri Kaveri is definitely worth a visit.
The Nannuoshan Tea Forest represents the tea culture of the Hani people, a minority ethnic group in Xishuanbanna. In addition, the biodiversity is so rich because of the elevation and climate. Forests located at an altitude between 1,500 to 1,600 meters are generally called monsoon evergreen broad-leave forests and forests above an altitude of 1,600 meters are called mid-montane humid evergreen broad-leave forests. Nannoushan is located at an altitude of 1,600 meters at the border of two climate zones, which explains why both tree species can be found in Nannoushan. High altitude areas in this region are also called High Altitude Wetlands because at higher altitudes, the air temperature drops, water vapor condenses, air humidifies and rainfall is more frequent. South Yunnan is located in a tropical mountainous area. The high elevation contributes to the vivid climate. South Yunnan is located in a high altitude area ranging from 67 to 3,000 meters, up to 4,000 meters above sea level. The mountain is located in a low altitude area which accounts for various climates and a rich biodiversity.The local economy exists symbiotically with the local ecology. The Dai people live in a low altitude region (the basin) and the Hani people live in the mountains. The local biodiversity is affected by the climate and living conditions of the respective groups. Both tea and bamboo cultures can be found in Nannuoshan. The blending of the two cultures is common in Yunnan.
The JinJen Octagon, built in 1703 A.D.was one type of Hinayana Buddhist architecture. It was used as a venue for meeting and chanting amongst monks. During the Cultural Revolution, Chinese government forbade people from participating in any religious activities. Many monks at the JinJen Octagon were sent back to their countriesor hometowns. The revolution ended in 1976. Restrictions on religious activities were lifted in the 1980s and JinJen Octagon gradually regained its vitality.
Experts congregated at the JinJen Octagon to discuss plantsspecies, tree growths and usage surrounding it. The biggest tree around the JinJen Octagon is the Bodhi tree (sacredfig). Next to it is a Blossoming Tree, which is known as the Golden Lotus forits shape. The Golden Lotus belongs to the Musaceae family. Growing on the Bodhi tree was Lumeria Rubra and ferns. Therefore, the Bodhi tree itselfis regarded as a botanical garden.
There is a wood carving factory located in Jinghong City. Because of governmental regulation as well as the rising environmental awareness, people cannot arbitrarily cut down trees, many factories are using abandoned wood to create. After the traditional wood houses in Myanmar, Laos, and China were tear down, these wood were giving second life in these carving factory, by using them to create antique furniture, which are the imitation of Ming and Qing dynasty.
Manyangguang Forestry mostly lived by Dai people now, who use Dai language still. Dai language is 80 percent similar to Thai language in Thailand. Some Manyangguang schools teach bilingual languages (Dai language, Mandarin). To the overall village, there are no much differences from a decade ago to now, but the original wood tiles have been replaced by modern cement. Traditional Dai houses - so called Ganlan-style Architecture (Stilt-style Architecture), which often kept animal on the ground floor, and people live above. The usually use selected wood to build the Ganlan- style Architecture, because selected wood can prevent termites from decay the wooden column. Dai people also know that chicken eats termites, so they raise chicken too. In addition, they raising buffalo and pigs, so that mosquitoes will attack livestock rather than human being, deducting the chance people getting malaria.
Manfeilong Pagodas are called “Tanuo” meaning “bamboo tower” in the Dai language. The pagodas were built in 1204 BC from brick and stone. There are nine towers total with the main tower in the center surrounded by the other eight forming an octagon. It is considered a valuable work of art and a national symbol for ancient buildings. The Manfeilong Pagodas and other Buddhist temples are built by the minority ethnic groups whose religion is Theravada. The trees and flowers to be planted around the temples are chosen according to Theravada beliefs. Each species of tree is a sacred representation of each generation of Theravada Buddha.