intangible cultural heritage


area : Steirisches Vulkanland
category : traditional craftmanship
The craftsmen of the region Vulkanland create quality of life – the master-craftsmen of Steirisches Vulkanland have honed their skills over generations.
The crafts skills and talent of Vulkanland are unmatched. In every community you will find jacks of all trades, masters of doing it yourself, cobbling together and “tinkering”. This talent has been passed down over generations – a feel for the materials, technical functions and practical solutions. Houses are built, devices manufactured, energy supplies devised and built, machinery repaired, costumes sewn for the ballet, the bathroom renovated, toys repaired, a framework for the roses welded together, a green house designed or the car maintained, work tools manufactured, gadgets devised and cunningly put to use. We are renowned well beyond our borders for these practical skills. They are part of our common sense. And they are central in their application in farm and house work, as well as the guiding lights in the realisation of our individual energy vision.
Doing it yourself has a long history in the Region. One had to make do with what you had. So a lot of things were invented, repaired and improvised. As the children would often help out, these skills are completely “incidentally” passed on to the next generation. This included working with tools and materials – again, the trick was to make skilful use of what was available. This requires a detailed knowledge of the materials and their characteristics. Designing our own living environment is not only fun, but it also increases our self-worth. By doing, we expand our capabilities and learn as we go. This crafts skill has a lasting effect – less waste, shorter travel distances; natural materials, repair and retaining value through maintenance. Repairing and maintaining an item has a special value. Not its price, but our relationship to a thing determines its true value. As we help our children by building something together with them, showing them how to work responsibly with tools and materials, we also give them the opportunity to experience the pleasure of having made something yourself, and to develop a valuing relationship with their belongings.
Our culture of craftsmanship is also on display in the regional economy: The region Vulkanland is a hub for craftsmanship! We are home to over a hundred vehicle workshops and carpentry shops, and over fifty installation engineers, builders, metal-workers, stylists as well as hairdressers and chefs – to name the most important sectors. Over 42% of value generation in Vulkanland originates from the crafts and almost 2/3 of all apprentices are trained here! Crafts provide a holistic education – skills, knowledge, brains and intuition for practicable solutions are developed in the student, and then matured to perfection in the master-craftsman. Crafts are a bearer of culture. Local raw materials, special materials, a specific design or typical manufacturing method make crafts unique. The master-craftsman is a living transmitter of tradition and lifestyle culture.
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