Karin Wunderlich from Clausnitz keeps an almost forgotten handiwork from grandma's times alive. She threads dried grass and grain through the prongs of a rake and gives the plants a second life after flowering.
"Once peasant women used to take care of the hayweaving, but not until late autumn, when the work outside was done and finished." The mats were a comfort and source of warmth in the cold winter. Today, hay carpets are more of a decoration for rustic style interiors. Layer by layer, structures are created that end up serving as wall decorations or - as was common in the past - as foot scrapers. The use of different kinds of plant for hay weaving creates wonderful patterns.
Two thirds foliage, one third softwood: that's the mixture Silvio makes charcoal out of. in the past, it took a week in the pile before the charcoal was ready for harvesting. Today it's one day. The family-run business' piles have been smoking in tranquil Sosa since 1937. Gläser knows that he and his brother are probably the last of his family to pursue this craft.
The craft, however, must never be forgotten, it is an immaterial world cultural heritage because it has great significance for the mining cultural landscape of the Ore Mountains - and Sosa is a certified "Köhlerdorf", charcoal making village. The former Margraf charcoal burner in the village is being turned into a visitor exhibition area. The Ore Mountains' charcoal making association is working hard under the umbrella of the European "Köhlerverein" to preserve the gem that holds many facets of the craft.
Rabenau has maintained its position as the centre of chair manufacture in Saxony to this day. More than that: the traditional art of chair building has been preserved here more than in any other region in Germany. And the tradition of chair making has been maintained to this day. Chair builders, weavers and woodcarvers still manufacture Rabenau chairs today.
The former Saxon timber industry company in the city centre has developed into a modern upholstery company today. You can admire 120 chairs from Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicism, Biedermeier and Art Nouveau styles here. The Rabenau chair builders became particularly famous for their bentwood furniture - a sort of Thonet chairs, i.e. curved Viennese coffee house chairs.
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