Religious Gifts from Italy
The very earliest woodcarving displays date back to ancient Egypt around 4000 B.C. Woodcarvings from the Gardena area in Italy began around the 16th or 17th centuries, during the Renaissance Era. During this period, Italian woodcarvers became enthralled in the art of creating beautiful carvings for everyday use. Items such as nativity sets and scenes were made for their use in decorating. Later they began making beautiful pieces other than a single nativity scene. Dancers, clowns and other figurines were created by Italian woodcarvers for selling at local fairs and eventually this act became a well known tradition that is now appreciated throughout the world.
The traditional technique of woodcarving is kept intact in the Gardena area. Woodcarvers select their special wood and using a cutting tool or carving knife, create beautiful sculptures and figurines. Although the most popular items from Gardena today are still the nativity scenes and nativity sets, other hand carved items have masses of collectors. The woodcarvers in the Gardena area are members of the Chamber of Woodcarvings. This association from Bolzano issues a certificate which shows the works as "Entirely Hand Carved". Members of this organization are sure to provide their customers with wooden carvings that are made with the utmost tradition in mind.
Although Gardena lies in Italy, it is primarily of German and Austrian culture. The traditional German method of creating beautiful hand carved figures and pieces is well reflected in the works that the Gardena woodcarvers provide. From the beautiful religious nativity scenes to the simpler and lovely figurines of everyday people, Gardena woodcarvers, such as Anri, Bernardi, Demi Art and Deur, provide exquisite pieces of handcrafted wood that are even more popular today than they were centuries ago. Nativity Sets and Scenes are great gifts for Christmas time and the holiday season.