Zakopane in the SierrasTraditional Exterior, Sacramento
These window carvings are inspired by carvings in the choir stalls in Dom St. Petri, the Cathedral in Bremen, Germany. They were painstakingly replicated in 350 year old reclaimed TEAK from old farmhouses on the island of JAVA. The rafter tails are reclaimed OAK from old barns in Ontario. The corner posts in TEAK are classic Norsk chip carving (karveskurd), inspired from old mangleboards. The foundation is dry joint Montana Basalt.
We found this chip carving pattern ("karveskurd") while looking through pictures of old mangleboard examples.
Mangle Boards (called Mangletrær in Norwegian) were long, flat boards with a single horse-shaped handle. They were used to roll the wrinkles from linen cloth which had been wound on a round stick. Mangle Boards could be very plain with very little carving or very complex with wonderful acanthus or chip carving over the entire board and horse handle. Mangle boards were also used as betrothal gifts.
A young man would make a mangle board for the woman he hoped to marry. He would carve a design on the top of the board. The story is that a young man would then hang the finished mangle board on the door of the house where the young woman was who he wished to marry. If she accepted his proposal she would bring the board into the house. If she refused his betrothal she would leave the board hanging on the door. The man could not use the same mangle board for the next woman he proposed to, so he had to carve a whole new board and design.
Because of having to continually carve new boards they say the best wood carvers in Norway were bachelors! I don't know if that is true or simply folk lore, but it makes for a good story.
A distinctive type of wood carving called “karveskurd” or chip-carving has rich traditions in Norway. This type of ornamentation is recognizable by its geometric patterns made with the help of compass and ruler. With a compass one could compose stars with both six and eight points and also triangular and square patterns. Many variations within this framework were possible and produced an unbelievable number of different designs. Chip -carving was usually done with the aid of a v-shaped chisel (geisfuss), so that the pattern emerged with sharp surface edges and a pointed finish in the bottom of the groove. Chip-carving is a very widespread technique and may be found all over Europe. In Norway, it is found especially in the western part of the country and the coastal area further north and south.
The origin of chip-carving is difficult to trace. From the seventeenth century on, however, many decorative articles were imported from Denmark and Germany with a thinner and denser ornamentation than that of the older Norwegian chip-carving. It is evident that these items sparked new interest in the decoration of smaller wooden articles, such as chests, boxes, caskets, and mangle boards, with this more delicate carving. Chip-carving existed side by side with other forms of wood carving and rosemaling in country districts, although in certain areas rosemaling completely replaced it.
Check out the 8-page feature article in the August issue of Mountain Living magazine: