For 30 years, Buntspechte has been creating the most beautiful and enchanting wooden figures using extensive hand work, complex machines and high quality materials.
"We wanted them to live, to be sensual, colorful, heart warming - that was the idea that got us started 30 years ago." - AnnMarie Burger and Guido Hertlein, founders of Buntspechte
Since Buntspechte's founding, thousands of wooden figures have come to life and found their homes and friends.
In a very complex and laborious process, they are created by the industrious hands of a skilled workforce.
The demands on quality are high. Top priority is given to the essence of the figures - the peaceful ease of the cow, the jauntiness of the kid goat, the loyal truth of the dog, the calm majesty of the swan, the Holy Family united in solemn prayer. That`s what the people at Buntspechte want to do best.
The large amount of work done by hand, with its many difficult work processes, create a uniquely distinctive figure that started as one small piece of wood.
They are convinced that consistency and timelessness needs its space in this restless world. And that is what they work for.
With high-quality and precious raw material from our domestic forests, plant extracts and varnishs from natural resin, they wish to put something special in others' hands.
For the playing child as well as for the adult, the collector and connoisseur.
Some of the steps that are used to bring each figure to life...
At the very beginning drafting of the figure design requires many animal studies and drawings.
The wood procurement
Native German woods such as alder, birch, maple and lime, are selected from local sawmills. The trees are from the annual timber harvest in the local forests. Healthy timbers, cut into the required strengths, dried and stored properly, are the source materials which gives the final product a high strength and long life.
From wood purchasing to the the Milling Machine. Here the boards are sawed and then milled into single figures in their raw form.
Then the pre-milled figures are cut on the table saw and trimmed.
On the belt sander comes the "coarse" grinding work which requires high accuracy. Since this machine rotates very quickly, one has to be careful of fingers and of the figure. If too much of the figure is ground off, it cannot be undone.
The grinding plate
Here begins the exact "modeling". A critical eye and a good sense of form are required to bring each figure's body, ears, head, face, tail, etc. into the desired shape.
Now that the form has been well developed, it is still rough. To smooth the surface the roller grinder is used. All the surfaces and spaces are ground to an even smoother surface. (A dusty business, especially with the large elephants).
You can still see the "scratch marks" of the grinding work, so next comes polishing. It starts with a coarse grinding brush, then a coarse emery cloth and finally fine linen to get the desired surface.
Now the figures leave the woodworking shop. They are dusted off in the painting workshop and checked with a critical eye. Is the shape correct? Subsequently all figures receive the Buntspechte (spotted Woodpecker) stamp of approval on their base.
With a steady and practiced hand the figures now get their typical colors (Stockmar DIN EN 71). Important here is that the wood-grain remains visible through the transparent colors.
Next the figure gets a bath in shellac to give it the necessary seal against contamination. Scented vegetable oils with beeswax further polish the paint and provide durable protection.
Information from Die Buntspechte