Woodcarving and how it began
Wood carving has been a great tradition in Val Gardena for centuries, which has always been passed on by our fathers and grandfathers. So it has developed that Val Gardena became known as the birthplace of wood carving.
Many years ago, woodcarving experts from Val Gardena were often commissioned to create life-size or oversize figures of saints. These were often used to decorate churches. So the carvers were often commissioned to carve an altar with all the accessories. Here, the carver had to decorate everything from the decoration of the altar to the decoration of the different niches with holy figures.
A great tradition for wood carving was developed in Val Gardena and many factory towns were built. These factory cities then passed on this tradition to the next generations.
The factory towns worked for the most part on the construction of larger figures of saints, but this tradition was also carried on in rural life. So also the farmers who sought shelter in their house during the cold season of winter began to make small figures to bridge this season.
So my grandparents told me how in the time of the World War they could not afford food or clothing. This was a very poor and anxious time, here they had to barter for every bit of food, since there was no money.
So my grandpa Richard Salcher makes carvings with great effort to exchange them with a bit of food for the family.
In the 1960s there was a boom and tourists came to the beautiful Val Gardena.
Richard Salcher passed on his artistic talent to his children, and my father followed his vocation as master painter. He developed his own painting technique and specialized as a Gold Leaf painter.
The striking feature of this technique is that the applied 23 carat gold leaf is polished to a high gloss and glows like a real diamond.
Years later, he began making the first models with his grandfather’s ability and founded the now well-known company Salcher Werner SNC.