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Summer
Tessa Mellinger

von Tessa Mellinger

August 28, 2018

Summer

Craft fair: Old craft revived

It is impossible to imagine our event calendar without the craft fair. A day in which the old traditions are lived and celebrated. Values that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. We met in advance with two "masters of their craft" to get a glimpse of what awaits us on the weekend. And this much can be revealed: It will be impressive!

Carved from hard wood: sculptor Karl-Josef Röck

He can create true masterpieces from an inconspicuous piece of wood: Karl-Josef Röck is a sculptor. I met with him in his quaint store in downtown Seefeld. This is where he works and sells his art on site. As soon as I enter the store, I smell the wonderful scent of wood. Not only my nose, but also my eyes are immediately engaged: I see hundreds of small and large works of art. Karl-Josef is already at work: He has created a sculpture for the Kunst Handwerksfest, which he will complete in front of the visitors during the festival. What it is exactly, we do not reveal yet - only this much: It is imposing! It is a beautiful sculpture made of his favorite wood: the Swiss stone pine. It grows in the Alps at an altitude of 1800m. Karl-Josef loves them: "When you cut them, their scent goes through the whole room," he enthuses. The wood of the Swiss stone pine is extremely resinous, but also durable.

From carving to sculpture: the love of wood

Karl-Josef started carving at the age of 15. But first he decided to learn bricklaying and carpentry. Later, however, he did turn his dream into a profession by successfully completing his training as a sculptor. "This is my working dream - what I love to do!" he says. Sculpting is more than a profession - it's a passion.

From the idea to the sculpture: the working process

"How does a work of art like this come into being?" I ask Karl-Josef, looking at the huge sculpture next to us. "First I draw a lot," he explains to me. "And I also tear up a lot of it again," he adds with a laugh. So the idea goes from the head to the paper. And then from paper to wood. He gets his inspiration primarily from nature - and from the Lord God. This can also be seen in his art: Nativity figures, Mary figures, crosses and all kinds of animals can be found, among other things. Karl-Josef shows with his art that thousands of years old handicraft is still modern and fascinating today. He lives his passion - you can feel and see that in his store. Not only at the Kunst Handwerksfest, but also during a stroll through Seefeld's city center, you should definitely pay him a visit!

Playing with fire: designer blacksmith Martin Albrecht

My next visit takes me to the forge workshop of Martin Albrecht. He has a passion for the hot elements: Fire and iron. I also get to feel the heat directly: as soon as I enter the workshop, the hot furnace makes me sweat. Not only is it hot, it can also get loud - a job for real men! The fact that Martin's art is something very special and unique can be seen in his design workshop: There are many works hanging on the walls that amaze me.

Passion lived

Born in Leutasch, he made his apprenticeship as a blacksmith at the young age of 15. Since then he has developed his own style and found his own approach to this craft. In the truest sense of the word, he is "on fire" for his profession! Perhaps the greatest compliment was once paid to him by an old blacksmith: "Thank you for making our craft modern again!", he said to Martin. That probably sums it up: Old tradition lived in a modern way.

Fire, power and precision: the work process

Until a work is completed, Martin holds it in his hands many times. The iron lies in the hot embers up to three times. Up to 1100 degrees prevail in the furnace. Then it is worked with various tools. For example, there is the spring hammer, which dates back to 1926 - an almost frightening device. With a "bear weight" of 80 kilograms, it strikes the iron. I prefer to keep a little distance... Even when Martin demonstrates the plasma cutter to me, I keep a safe distance: The sparks spray in all directions! It looks beautiful and I am fascinated how detailed and accurate he can cut with it.

There are no limits to Martin's art: from filigree skiers to giant 3D eagles, he creates it all! The Tyrolean eagle is his favorite motif, as it also expresses his love of his homeland. By the way, his works are known far beyond Tyrol: Andreas Gabalier got a pair of lederhosen made of iron, and the Tyrolean eagle hangs on the fireplace of skier Lindsey Vonn's parents in America. Martin never seems to run out of ideas: With so much creativity, he almost doesn't have time to make them all real. I, too, "caught fire" for the art of blacksmithing after visiting Martin Albrecht's design forge!

The craft festival in Seefeld: colorful traditions and impressive handicrafts

Every year, the crafts festival takes place in Seefeld. Not only Karl-Josef Röck and Martin Albrecht will be represented. Many talented and captivating craftsmen more await the visitors: mask carvers, fabric printers, felters, glass blowers, saddlers, mountain pine oil burners, hallmarkers, gold embroiderers, and many more! Culinary delicacies are conjured up by the bakers in the wood-fired oven, and there are also specialties from grandmother's kitchen. The folk and brass musicians will provide the right music.

Tip: On Saturday you should not miss the Historic Tractor Parade: The oldest tractor dates back to 1939! On Sunday, the Great Traditional Costume Parade is the absolute highlight: hundreds of traditional costumes from all over the Alpine region can be admired. The arts and crafts fair is an inspiring event where centuries-old traditions are shown and celebrated. In this way they are preserved and passed on to younger generations. Values and customs that are lived in the Olympiaregion Seefeld!

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