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If you have the chance to travel to Europe, visiting museums is a pretty traditional thing to do. This summer, I had the chance to travel to Switzerland – and to visit a couple of museums with close ties to woodworking.
In and near the town of Brienz, you’ll find both the Swiss Woodcarving Museum and the Ballenberg Swiss Open-Air Museum. The Swiss Woodcarving Museum is a fairly new entry to the country’s cultural options, opened five years ago and run as a public/private partnership involving the local government, woodcarving associations and the private, century-old Jobin family woodcarving business.
On display this summer was an exhibit showcasing the work of members of the Swiss and local woodcarving associations, which merged last year. Most of the pieces were made in the last two or three years. “It’s good to have a platform to show this living tradition,” said Flavius Jobin, a fifth-generation member of the family carving business.
Although Flavius himself is trained not in woodcarving but in cabinetmaking, and his own work focuses more on