Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wood Carving in Oberammergau...

Andrew and I bought our first nativity set last week. We had a special experience picking it out. As I mentioned the post below, Oberammergau is famous for their word carvers. But there are only 50 left in town with the trade. Every cutsie shop is inviting with the frescos on the outside to then find great woodcarvings inside. Andrew and I must of walked in 15+ little shops looking for a nativity set that stood out to us. We were drawn to the depiction of Mary with this one set. We met the carver who was so nice and of course I asked a thousand questions. He is a 7th generation wood carver coming from the oldest family is town. His relatives have been here since the 1500’s which goes back before the passion play. He played John the Apostle and Nicodemeus another year in the PP.

This nativity set was for sure our favorite of all we had seen. The set has a lot of pieces which gives us the flexibility to add to it in the future. He has little angels tucked in the scene too. For example, the donkey can come over Mary’s shoulder and he had an angel that fits on the donkey’s back perfectly that is leaning forward due the hush sign with her finer. It’s sweet. And Jesus is a separate piece too. In most we saw, He was attached to the manger. Simple things but after seeing many nativity sets, these things stick out to me. You can get a set ranging from an inch tall to 2 feet+. You can get them painted or not. It's was neat for me to explore.

The best part of the story is that Andrew called home to chat with his mom about her beautiful nativity set because she was here ten years ago. She highly recommended the shop she got hers from. She went to look up the name and we realized it was the exact same place. What are the odds? This shop isn't in the main city square either.

Andrew couldn't of been better about nativity hunting. We took the search very seriously as this will be the nativity we anticipate teaching to our kids about.

The name of the store is Albl-Krippe and his site is here.


I wish I new the name of this piece of art. It is a pic of a pic so not doing it justice but this is what inspired the way he made Mary as well as the others.

We went to a local wood carver's house to see the demonstration. He doesn't have a shop. He just doe work as he is commissioned to do so for people. It is a fascinating trade really. His wife does the painting. He has huge planks of wood outside under a shed that is drying out. It has to dry for almost 5 years before it can be worked with.

He is working on a crucifixion for a church in Germany.

I took a couple strokes at it. Either the wood is soft or the tool is sharp but it glided through the wood.


Steve and Stephanie Anderson said...

oh now this is awesome...yall will love that for the rest of your lives

Heather and Taylor said...

I went in that same shop! The guy was so nice and we bought a Santa from him! Can't wait to see your nativity scene!

Diana Hulme said...

seriously amazing. so beautiful - and how cool to be hand carved.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mary,

my family and I loved your post on your blog! We are very proud to have such fans like you :)

I wanted to write you that we have launched a new website about 2 weeks ago. My family and I have spend so much love and commitment into the site. I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

The domain is:

Thanks you - I am looking forward to hear from you.

Best regards and warmest wishes from Oberammergau

Josef Albl & Family

Daniel Berner said...

When you buy art from the Family Albl you buy from the best!