In Germany, in the town of Baden-Wurtenburg is a wooded mountain range commonly known as The Black Forest. The name derived from the dense growth of conifer trees that grew in the forest, therefore blocking most of the sunlight from entering.
Over the years, the locals have come to be famous for their wood carving abilities. These wood carvings are now a very popular source of souvenirs for tourists, the most famous of all being Cuckoo Clocks.
Because our weekend escape is a log cabin, it was very fitting to incorporate a lot of Black Forest pieces when planning the decor. I wanted to have more of a “Swiss Chalet” feel, so it was while doing my research that I discovered the beauty of these pieces.
The carving is not just limited to small pieces. Entire rooms have been created by craftsmen including the walls, ceilings, chandeliers and furnishings. A beautiful example is the Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube (German for Black Forest), where there is a seven month wait for a reservation.
Stateside, in Miami, is the Cruz Building, which hosts large events and conventions. One area of the building is also done in the Black Forest Style. The hand carving in both places is simply stunning!
My cabin pales in comparison to the work shown here, but in my travels I have managed to find my own little treasures. All may not be true or authentic Black Forest pieces, but to achieve the look can be affordable. So many home catalogs now sell reproduction pieces and the cost can be kept down because they are made from molds and synthetics instead of hand carved wood. A fun example is this bench, a birthday gift to me from my husband. Two bears hold the seat and to see it in person, one would never know it’s not wood.
Over this bench I hung a mirror, which is also made from a composite. Birds and leaves adorn the edges, and it too looks just like wood. (The reflection in the mirror is the front Dutch door and it’s original strap hinges, purchased at a salvage yard.)
This charming clock was found at a junk store and was very inexpensive. I loved the fact that someone’s elderly relative had lovingly carved it and even managed to find the metal deer statue attached to the top.
I have surrounded it with a bunch of real ancestors.
Old needlepoint House Blessings are fun to hunt for.
Detail of the frames..
In the Black Forest area of Germany are horses that are native to the area. They are appropriately named the “Black Forest Horse” or “Pferdeschitte”
They are mostly black with the flaxen mane and tail as shown in this photo.