The Art of Olive Wood Carving

Could this be the evolution of the wooden horse?
This was my first perception when I saw a wooden motor cycle at an olive wood craft shop on the road between Corfu Town and Paleokastritsa.
However, this was to be no toy, but a serious work of art – a brilliant example of what the wood carvers of Corfu can conjure.
With an estimated three to six million olive trees on the island there is an abundance of olive wood, a sought afterwood to shape with a carver’s tools.
Into the bargain the island’s tranquil, unhurried ambiance is conducive to the creative spirit.
Starting with the more mundane concepts, carvers – and there are quite a number of workshops and outletson Corfu – produce kitchen stuff like spoons and bowls, pestles and mortars, cutting boardsand lidded jars.
Shapely pepper mills are also extremely popular; although, apparently, the oil in olive wood reacts adversely to salt, preventing the success of salt cellars.
Olive wood toys of many a kind will entertain kids of all ages.
Functional and decorative objects like wall clocks, jewelry and pens combine beauty with usefulness.
Inspired wooden ornaments becomes sheer works of art.
At the top end of the scale you will find all kinds of furniture, some ingeniously crafted, where nature and the artist combine creative forces to produce unique masterpieces.
And, of course, enticing wooden motor cycles.


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