Beiträge

Schliersee’s Wood Whisperer

“Turn left at the old dead tree” this was a small descriptive part of the directions for our meeting that I received from local chainsaw artist Peter Ertl. We planned to meet on a spectacular spring day on a farm, which is allowing him some external workspace. In a cloud of saw dust, under the clear blue sky, I found him. Surrounded by nature and working to the roaring song of his mechanized tools.

Peter is a free spirit who obviously cherishes his ability to work freely amongst the spectacular landscapes which surround our beautiful village of Schliersee. He is a warm and open personality who shared his creative process with me. You can see and feel his passion for art in every precise cut.

 

Surrounded by piles of preciously acquired historic timbers and 100 year old tree stumps to Peter, each scrap of wood is a possible work of art. He sees in each line of grain or chip a part of its life story. What seems like a worn, scarred, off cut, could be transformed with his skill and imagination into bookends. It is really quite amazing what this “wood whisperer” can coax out of a block of ancient wood. It is not only hard work and talent which guides Peter but also a great knowledge of wood and its individual properties. For the past 4 years he has worked tirelessly to hone his craft. Each species of tree will react differently under the teeth of his powerful saws. Controlling the power blades of a chainsaw to manage these intricate cuts is very difficult and in a second, a piece of art can become firewood. The whole process takes great strength and patience.

 

With this patience, Peter finds inspiration in an ancient Chinese philosophy. Wǔ Xíng, also known as the Five Elements. Wood (木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ), Earth (土 tǔ), Metal (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ). These symbols or design elements occur often in Peter’s carvings. It is this oneness with Nature that guides and inspires him. To him, when the piece of art seems to carve itself from the wood with almost no effort on his part, in a kind of  Zen state, then he feels it is a success.

 

 

If you have been to Spitzingsee you may already be familiar with some of his work. He is the artist who carved the wooden sledder installation at the entrance from the saddle up to Obere Firstalm. I really hope we will be seeing more of his unique sculptures in Schliersee soon.

To learn more about Peter Ertl of Brain Ticket Products, please click on his links below.

 

https://www.facebook.com/brainticket.products/

http://www.kettngsaagt.de

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).

 

 

 

Feel the Burn & Get Stacking

There is a universal saying, that wood warms a person three times; once when you cut it; once when you stack it; and once when you burn it.

 

This was told to me in my first year in Schliersee by the man delivering my firewood. I think he saw panic in my face the moment I realized I faced days of moving and stacking seven Stere of wood. To give you a little perspective on firewood sizes. A “Stere” is the German measurement of wood. In the US we measure our firewood by “cord” which measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet. The German measurement, “Stere” measures 1 cubic meter. That is a heaping pile of winter heat.

 

What is wonderful about wood other than its warming properties, is that wood is sustainable. We made a plan when we decided to rent an old Bavarian farmhouse or “Landhaus” we would install the best Swedish style wood stove and heat the house using wood as much as possible as a way to cut cots.

 

As you wander around Schliersee in autumn you will be keenly aware that it is time to start planning the year’s firewood order. Heavily laden trucks and tractors are on the streets bringing the residents their wood deliveries. Many times you might see small mountains of wood occupying someone’s parking place in front of the home and everyone is busily moving and precisely arranging and stacking their woodpiles.

 

These diligently and impressively exact stores of logs are creatively tucked into any spare covered nook and cranny. Under bench seats, as bench seats and climbing right up into the eaves.These towers of future warmth become architectural features, not just utilitarian lumps of lumber to hide out back. Many are simply works of art which bring not only a warmth to the inside of Schliersee homes but also add a welcoming dimension of home and hearth to the beautiful exteriors of local buildings both modern and historic.

 

 

I hope some of these designs inspire you to get “stacking” and add a bit of Bavarian Schliersee flare to your home this winter season.

 

Here’s some more interesting firewood facts:

 

FIVE BEST BURNING TREE SPECIES

Hickory – 25 to 28 million BTUs/cord – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.

Oak – 24 to 28 million BTUs/cord – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.

Black Locust – 27 million BTUs/cord – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.

Beech – 24 to 27 million BTUs/cord – density 32 to 56 lbs./cu.ft.

White Ash – 24 million BTUs/cord – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.

 

 

Laura Boston-Thek Laura Boston-Thek

American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).