Span Trees: A German Craft Tradition

comments (10) February 12th, 2014 in blogs, videos

DillonRyan Dillon Ryan, assistant editor
thumbs up 63 users recommend

Video Length: 4:08
Produced by: Werbung Fischer

This woodworker uses a lathe, hand tools, and an astounding feel for the material to create these traditional Span trees for Seiffener Volkskunst, a craft company in the Erzgebirge region of Germany.


After shaping the sapling spindle on the lather, he hand cuts hundreds of precisely curled "branches" made with only a chisel. If the end product doesn't impress you, his accuracy and consistency using only his hands and eyes most definitely will.


These trees are priced from $9 for the 2 in. model to $290 for the 39 in. model and are available in sets.

posted in: blogs, videos, workshop, carving, wood turning, lathe, Chisel, christmas, crafts

Comments (10)

jimmytom jimmytom writes: These trees are made of linden wood and I bought several in Seiffen, Germany, last summer. Google "spanbaum" (spanning tree) and a number of shops should come up.
Posted: 12:57 pm on February 21st

user-2554451 user-2554451 writes: Just one correction. This guy is not called Werbung Fischer. That's the name of the advertisement agency filming him. (Werbung = advertisement).
Posted: 12:04 pm on February 15th

61A 61A writes: What a great video. Its amazing the accuracy achieved just with a hand chisel. I wonder how many would end up in the fire if I tried to replicate his skill !
Posted: 11:20 am on February 15th

johgre johgre writes: Amazing talent and fine craftsmanship.
Posted: 10:12 am on February 15th

slip_not slip_not writes: You get a sense that this is not the first one of these Werbung made! That's a smooth operator there...let's have more videos like these!!!!!
Posted: 10:09 am on February 15th

Pilot189 Pilot189 writes: A few years ago, one of the carving magazines had an article on a miniature Christmas scene inside a Walnut shell using Spanbaum as the background. These also came from the Erzgebirge region. I made five of them for family and friends using an HO scale train Santa as a model and cats, baby dolls, trucks, planes, etc. to fill out the scene as appropriate to the recipient. The carving article did not name the trees, so it's great to know the name and I may have to try making a couple. Loved the video and appreciate the talent.
Posted: 4:16 am on February 15th

DillonRyan DillonRyan writes: Theodin:

After doing some research, these are traditionally made using linden or lime, which are very similar to basswood. They are both very easy to work and have been used in European carving and instrument making for centuries.
Posted: 10:37 am on February 14th

user-3071495 user-3071495 writes:
Posted: 12:04 am on February 14th

JBracy JBracy writes: Mr. Fisher, That is amazing and a thing of beauty. What type of wood is used?
Posted: 10:07 pm on February 13th

Theodin Theodin writes: Where do you buy these kind of things?
Posted: 10:22 pm on February 12th

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