Random Memories of Germany-The Wood Carver

14 Nov


Judy Wills

I am re-blogging this piece, as it is a wonderful memory we have of Germany.

….Someone told us about a Master Woodcarver in Oberammergau, and insisted that we visit his house/workshop.  Fred was chosen to attend a NATO school in Oberammergau.  So we hired a single friend to stay with the girls in Heidelberg, and I went with Fred to the school.  Again, we stayed in a B&B, and I was able to explore the town while he was in classes at the school.

As I explored, I found the house of the Master Woodcarver.  His wife seemed pleased to have me invite myself to their house, and took me to his workshop, where he was working on one of his creations.  To say I was entralled would be an understatement, for sure!  He could carry on a complete conversation and continue to carve at the same time – without missing a beat or a stroke!

They showed me samples of his work – different sizes and different themes.  They told me that the tourist shops in town had offered him exhorbatant commissions, if he would just allow them to sell his craft/product in their stores.  He rejected them all.  The only time he allowed his product to be in their stores was when he was carving a very large (sometimes life-sized) piece, and needed their large machine to work a particular piece.  Their bargaining chip was – “you can use our equipment, but we get to sell (blank) number of your works in the store.”

I was in love.  I purchased two pieces of his art, and have enjoyed them all these years since.  In later years, when my Mother came for a visit, we took her to Oberammergau, and to the carver’s house.  She purchased another one – a “happy” monk with a beer stein in his hand.  They told us that, the larger the size of the monk, the “happier” he appeared!  I was given that piece when she passed away.

We had dinner in the NATO Club several evenings while on that trip.  While looking around the shop within the Club, I found a wood carving of an eagle – one of my favorite creatures.  And guess who the artisan was!!  That’s right – my favorite Master Woodcarver!  It is now hanging on my wall above the door.

When my best friend came to visit from Panama City, Florida, we took her to Oberammergau, and – of course! – to the woodcarvers house.  The lady of the house told us that he had been commissioned to do two life-sized pieces for a Catholic Church in Panama City!  The next time I visited her, we went to that church to see the statues.  They were magnificent!

So many items we were able to purchase while in Europe, to remind us of our times there, and the places we visited.  But these wood carvings are some of our most favorite pieces and memories.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

3 Responses to “Random Memories of Germany-The Wood Carver”

  1. miltonlites November 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm #

    Check my recent Facebook post about my sister Gerry’s writings.

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. divoran09 November 14, 2021 at 8:48 am #

    That was a lovely post. I didn’t remember it so all the better to see it again.


  3. Espirational November 14, 2021 at 7:37 am #

    What wonderful art! Love the story that goes with it. Actually meeting or knowing the artist add a whole new dimension to their work.

    Liked by 1 person

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