The wood sculpture of Val Gardena is probably one of the most ancient crafts, still practiced today. Our region is also known for its welcoming hotels and powerful sports facilities. For many hundreds of years Val Gardena farmers have used their relative inactivity in the winter cold months to acquire a supply of wooden utensils later adapted to sculpture. Cutlery, cutting boards, dishes and plates were often produced and then used for personal use or offered for sale in the markets of the valley.
With familiarity, the tools and the ability to work more and more sophisticated, the process of carving is increasingly moved away from the labor demand going to more extravagant and elaborated artistic sacred and profane objects, to new buyers, placed both in bourgeois and clerical area.
The job of an entire valley!
Already in 1730 there were several wood carvers in Val Gardena, and along with the wooden sculptures, angels and crucifixes were produced household items, such as toys, chess sets and chess, clocks or homes decorations. In order to preserve the knowledge gained from these generations of craftsmen and engravers, several art schools were opened in Val Gardena, to teach to the next, different and valuable techniques.
The tradition in the 2000s!
Even today, many works of wood art are often produced at home. In addition, though the current manufacturing processes are fundamentally simplified by modern machinery, there is still a high percentage of manual job in the preparation, completion and finishing products, a feature that gives to the wooden Dolfi figures an unique and exclusive personality.