Farm Handcrafts im Sarntal
Fam. Helmuth Hochkofler
- special designs
Schneiderhof farm enjoys an idyllic spot right on the banks of Durnholzer See lake, at an altitude of 1,560m. the 300-strong village of Durnholz, next to the crystal-clear mountain lake at the furthest end of Sarntal valley, can boast lots of hiking options. Schneiderhof farm is a typical mountain cattle farm. Guests can enjoy peace and quiet in the two new holiday flats overlooking the lake. Helmut Hochkofler has set up a small workshop between the stalls and the farmhouse, where he expertly carves sculptures out of wood whenever he has a spare moment away from his duties on the farm.
“I cannot imagine a life without wood“, says Helmuth Hochkofler. He has carved wood with a passion since he began at the age of 14. It could have all turned out differently, however. “I would have been interested in leather embroidery, too”. Then he decided to do his training in St. Jakob in Ahrntal and Wolkenstein in Gröden valley, where he obtained the necessary equipment for his wood carving and sculpture work, and his enthusiasm is still obvious today. “I prefer carving in winter when it’s stormy and snowing outside”. His workshop then becomes a really cosy place to be and lots of ideas for wood carvings come to him.
Helmuth Hochkofler has wood working in his blood, which becomes clear when you watch him at work. “Every stroke has to be just right”, he emphasises. Precision is a valuable commodity for the skillful Sarntal valley native. The numerous wood carving knives in all sizes lying on his workbench waiting to be used bear witness to this. From Jesus Christ to animal motifs and rocking horses, from the rustic and traditional to the slick and modern, Helmuth Hochkofler’s work displays a lot of variety. He is only satisfied when he gets the tiniest details right. The passionate wood carver is convinced that “less is often more when it comes to catching the character of a piece.”
It is still a challenge finding the right shape even with around 30 years‘ wood carving experience. “That’s what makes this handiwork so interesting and appealing to me. There is usually a moment when you know that you’ve got it right, and that’s when it’s better to just leave it there”, says Hochkofler. While he looks over the raw lines of the wood, he adds, “It’s very important to have a keen eye.” As there are stone pines growing right outside his door, these have a special place in his workshop. But he also enjoys experimenting with other types of wood, ranging from lime and chestnut to ash. He makes a habit of collecting suitable specimens with the intention of sooner or later transforming them into detailed works of art.
Coming from Bozen, turn off right into Durnholzertal valley at Astfeld and follow the road to Durnholz. Schneiderhof farm is 500m past the centre of the village, right on the lake, opposite Fischerwirt restaurant.