The Woodcarver

31 Mar

I have titled this post The Wood carver, an extraordinary talented Chilean Artisan who makes his livelihood out of Beautiful intricate wood carvings. The wood carver’s shop is in Pueblito Los Dominicos, a village of quaint adobe brick shops, I think of it as a Hamlet housing around 200 unique Chilean shops, located on the outskirts of Santiago in a Heritage listed zone. I won’t go into the history of Pueblito Los Dominicos, as you can find its colourful history by Google, I prefer to let you see it through my eyes. This captivating village with its 200 craft shops is a veritable wonderland of Chilean and Mapuchee culture. A sample of the shops include, Wool work with Alpaca Fleece, Clothing, Jewellery that includes the semi precious stone, Lapis Lazuli which is mined in both Afghanistan and Chile, Chilean paintings, original Mapuche Pottery, Silversmithing, Leatherwork, Sculptures and Copper cookware.

This is the second time that I have visited this Craft village, the first time was in 2009 when I was first introduced to the fascinating craft of Matchstick carvings, I was not disappointed on this occasion and was again able to add to my growing collection, I now have over twenty beautiful pieces, the carvings are so intricate and unbelievable, all carved out of a simple matchstick depicting various scenes, some Religious and some with incredible imagination, The Artisan advised that due to age and eyesight, he was coming to the end of his career as a Master Craftsman of Matchstick Carving, understandable but a magnificent talent. I have posted before on Matchstick carving with a few examples, however the photographs do not do it justice, I need a very small lens to illustrate the small intricate carvings. From Matchsticks we go to the opposite spectrum of carving, Artisans who carve monstrous pieces, pieces that are displayed in Churches around Chile, Crucifixion statues, Virgin Mary’s, various Saints, pieces so large they adorn many churches and are monstrous in size, not only Religious Icons, but huge pieces that adorn the Bow of old sailing ships, much as you would see in old Pirate movies, there are large Book shelves, intricate furniture pieces, and a myriad of pieces that the mind could imagine.

I selected this one Master Woodworker to illustrate his skill, Shop and Wares, he has an extensive array of wares for sale, some tourists may think them highly priced, I certainly didn’t as I watched him work, some pieces take many months to complete, his skill and efforts in his intricate trade are well worth the price, we bought a few pieces and are proud to display and celebrate his Craftmanship.

Our visit to Pueblito Los Dominicos was, and always will be, a very culturally and memorable experience, I leave you to enjoy a few photographs of a very talented man, The Chilean Woodcarver.



Posted by on March 31, 2016 in Uncategorized


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38 responses to “The Woodcarver

  1. mateuszcarver

    October 31, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Really nice sculpture. Awesome man!

  2. jacksjottings

    April 18, 2016 at 3:07 am

    All wood and wood carving fascinates me so this post is special.
    Thank you for showing the tools and the workshop and the whole display so well.
    Maori carving, inspired me to have a go but to be good at anything takes time and dedication.
    I try to be Jack of all trades and that helps me understand the craftsmen and artists. But it is not the way to achieve anything admirable it just increases my appreciation. _/\_

    • The Emu

      April 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Greetings Jack, the word carvings intrigued me also, from the tiny matchstick carvings to great Totems, the Chilean people are exceptional craftsmen.
      With your Jacky Howe singlet I envisage you being a wood carver with a chain saw.

      • jacksjottings

        April 21, 2016 at 9:47 am

        It is discovering those places adds to the pleasure of traveling. Then there are all those magnificent natural wonders.
        I started carving with a penknife but later picked up some wood carving chisels, chain saws are noisy and too much like hard work. Not that I am afraid of hard work, an American said to me “You Aussies are not afraid of hard work,you’ll lay down aside of it and go to sleep.” A chainsaw would make that difficult. All the best _/\_

        • The Emu

          April 21, 2016 at 10:58 am

          You look like you would have a natural affinity with any type of wood Jack, a man who would be at home among the tall Gums and Scrub.

  3. reocochran

    April 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    This was such an extraordinary man who you showed respect and honor to his craftsmanship, Emu. You impress me with listening and observing his time and skills, along with making this journey back to this quaint town. Your purchases were appreciated, I am sure. I think about how warm this makes you feel knowing the time each piece of art takes while gazing at them in your home.
    My brother likes to carve large sculptures out of chopped down trees, one he called “Ah, Wind.” I admire how carving, then sanding along with adding painted details, make unique and beautiful presentations, Emu.
    I hope you make crossover references on your other blog for those who may miss your fantastic trips through Chile!
    By the way, when you write comments tobme, they don’t have to be approved but mine to you get a message, awaiting approval. I wonder why since I follow you? . . .

    • The Emu

      April 12, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      A beautiful response Robin, really great to find someone who does actually appreciate a shared love of wood carvings, no matter what size, Your brothers carvings must be a large work of exquisite art, I love the description you have given of Ah Wind, would definitely love to see a picture of it, maybe you might think of a post detailing his works.
      I don’t know anything about crossovers or references on my posts Robin, I just add a few references in the side bar, to technical for me, if people read and like then that’s all I need.
      I wrote in another comment that I have rectified the approval part of comments, I hope it works.

      • reocochran

        April 26, 2016 at 2:55 am

        Thanks for pre-approving me now, dear friend! 🙂
        I meant like when you have a post about travel on your Emu blog, you could say on the last Ian post you write, “Come see my Chile trip on The Emu.” I don’t add links too often and if I do, I write them out. Just a suggestion but no worries. The people who care come to find YOU! 😉

        • The Emu

          April 26, 2016 at 9:20 am

          Hi Robin, yes I do see what you mean , I didn’t initially, I need to put a link across to each of my sites.
          I thought of closing down one site but they have actually grown on me, and they are both different types of writing.
          Sometimes I get confused as to whether I am in Emu or Ian, but I enjoy sharing both sites.
          Kind regards and thanks for your friendship Robin.

  4. Andrea Stephenson

    April 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Some great carvings, it must be a fascinating place to visit – I can’t imagine the skill it would take to carve a matchstick.

    • The Emu

      April 9, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Hi Andrea, thank you for visiting and commenting, the Matchstick carvings are fantastic, I collect more each visit but these artists cannot continue too long in life, the strain has its toll, however their prodigy’s take up the art, I tried to post on Matchstick art once but the camera lens doesn’t do the carvings justice.
      Kind regards.

  5. Euphie

    April 6, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Wow, Looks like a fantastic place.

  6. Sue Dreamwalker

    April 4, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Oh boy Ian.. if I had been with you, then you would have had to pull me out of the shop.. I so love wood that is carved with so much love.. These pieces were beautiful .. You can not resist touching wood.. Its because the energy of the tree is still present.. 🙂
    Love and Blessings to you and Ana.. and I am enjoying Chile so much 🙂

    • The Emu

      April 5, 2016 at 2:52 am

      Hi Sue, we did bring a few pieces of his intricate works back with us, there was a lot of care in packing to survive the journey back to Australia in a suit case, our home is taking on an Art Gallery appearance with paintings, antiques and other bits and pieces, we love beauty around us and are not ashamed to appreciate the works these Artists are gifted with.

      • Sue Dreamwalker

        April 6, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        And I am pleased you managed to bring a few of these treasures with you.. My own home is filled with various kinds of artwork from wooden bowls to a hand made bow and arrows I brought back from Canada in 2000.. I just adore wood and carvings.. :-)..

        • The Emu

          April 7, 2016 at 9:52 am

          We have collected quite a few treasures over the years Sue, Carvings, Statues, Pottery and Paintings, they are lovely to have around, even if a few become dust collectors, they are items we purchased together and hold great memory’s. They are just material items that will be gone in years to come, but it’s examples of simple beauty we like to have around us as we age.

          • Sue Dreamwalker

            April 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

            Like wise Ian.. I like to look at beauty and remember the memories from where they were purchased.. I have many from around the world.. Including a small water colour painting of a bear eating a salmon on the edge of a snowy lake.. Which I purchased from a Student selling his paintings on a street in Canada.. I am sure I paid over the odds, but I made his day as he was thrilled someone from the UK bought it .. I often think about what he now may be doing in life some 16 yrs later 🙂

          • The Emu

            April 7, 2016 at 10:20 am

            We have had a few overseas Artists who really enjoyed having their work purchased from overseas.
            Worth the price to see their gratitude.

          • Sue Dreamwalker

            April 7, 2016 at 12:41 pm

            I so agree 🙂

  7. giselzitrone

    April 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Danke wünsche eine gute Woche lieber Gruß Gislinde

    • The Emu

      April 5, 2016 at 2:36 am

      Thank you Gislinde, Best wishes and Kindest regards to you.
      May your life be full of Happiness and much Love.

  8. Mél@nie

    April 3, 2016 at 7:05 am

    very interesting and nice… I have NO artistic talent, therefore admiration and respect for all artists!!! have a fine week, lots of inspiration and friendly thoughts from France, “old Europe”… 🙂

    • The Emu

      April 4, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Thank you Melanie for that comment, I also have no artistic talent and have great admiration for those who do, I think they have been Blessed with a special gift to share.
      Kind regards and Best wishes.

  9. giselzitrone

    April 1, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Einen schönen ersten April schöne Sachen und ein schöner Beitrag.Ich wünsche ein schönes Weekend alles liebe und Umarmung Gislinde

    • The Emu

      April 2, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Thank you Gislinde.
      Kind regards and Best wishes for a great weekend

  10. prenin

    March 31, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Beautiful work Ian! 🙂

    This guy is certainly talented!!! 🙂

    God Bless!


    • The Emu

      April 1, 2016 at 3:32 am

      Agree Prenin, I was amazed with his work, pity my Matchstick carver is retiring.
      Cheers mate and enjoy a great weekend.

  11. george parsons

    March 31, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Hi EMU,

    You are certainly correct mate, he doesn’t produce beautiful work.

    You are blessed to own some of his carvings, will be worth a pretty penny in the future.

    Cheers for now and I hope you had a wonderful Easter,


    Sent from my iPad


    • The Emu

      March 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Hi George, great to hear from you mate, hope your travelling okay, backs bloody killing me after my last excursion up the Glaciers in Chile, but will keep going old mate, refuse to slow down, hope you don’t mind but I added you to the SOAH staff Facebook site, only for members of the staff back in our days George, we have had two reunions and quite interesting to meet up with our old staff, John O’Brian recalls you with great memory’s, we have lost a few over the years, Peter Oliver left us a couple of weeks back, old Mrs Prowse went about a year ago, aged 100, Les Ring, Shorty Turnbull, Mick Dolensky still floating around, Doug Sharper still kicking on, could go on forever mate, saw the old School a few years back mate, only thing standing is a trashed Officers mess, hope you can join in our elite group George, it’s been great catching up and looking out for each other now, Chippy still around, Greg Gavin running a Motel in NSW,Terry Drake, Blue Conolly, Spud Judd, Rose, the switchboard girl, Erika Harvey, Dental, Les Ring Dental, anyway mate , enough of my memories, keep in touch mate and thanks for following my adventures in life, I recall you with great fondness George, you were a special part of the School and Orderly room, Cheers, Ian aka Lizard aka Emu.

  12. GP Cox

    March 31, 2016 at 10:55 am

    This sort of talent is called a gift! He really is quite good! Great pictures too.

    • The Emu

      April 1, 2016 at 3:33 am

      Hi gp, his craftmanship was amazing, agree with you it’s definitely a gift.
      Pity my Matchstick carver is retiring, he is bloody good also.
      Enjoy a great weekend Mate.

      • GP Cox

        April 1, 2016 at 10:14 am

        You as well.

  13. auntyuta

    March 31, 2016 at 10:24 am

    These pictures are absolutely wonderful, Ian. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Emu

      April 1, 2016 at 3:35 am

      Thanks Uta, glad you enjoyed the pictures, unfortunately they do not really show this Man’s exquisite close up carvings.
      He definitely is Blessed with a gift.
      Best wishes for a great weekend.

      • auntyuta

        April 1, 2016 at 7:00 pm

        Thanks, Ian, and have a great weekend too


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