Though the materials, and even some of the tools may be consistent, woodworking takes on a remarkably different character depending where on this Earth you currently stand. Whilst only the trained eye can identify and envision the various techniques, technologies and other trappings of these oaken and ash masterpieces, even one who's a layman when it comes to planed timber can see the clear cultural signifiers. Saving you the trouble of booking a flight, a boat or a bus, we've gathered examples of amazing woodwork from around the world, focusing on the relics of the following 5 countries:
Traditional Japanese tables, houses and tables can be made without the use of a single nail, and the project is often chosen for the wood, giving the whole craft a natural feel. From the sensitive nature of Kumiko to the many types of saws, Japanese woodworking is an encyclopaedic topic well worth exploring.
Moroccan woodwork is so intrinsic to the country's history, that in 2013 several artisanal schools were set up in the country to preserve the heritage of the craft.
In terms of carpentry, the Urnes Stave Church is a notable meeting point for Christian architecture and artforms of the Viking Age, whilst the Gokstad Ship is an excellent archaeological example of early wood-painting.
Whilst in the past these traits were only a supplement to other crafts, in the era of socialism Slovak folk wood-carving underwent a major development. The outcome of this was an increase in "traditional manufacturing", however like Norway, Slovakia enjoys a rich history in wooden church architecture, notably in articulation-style joints.
Vietnanmese woodblock prints, also known as Đông Hồ painting, is a folk art with a huge history. Considered a fine reflection of traditional aesthetic value and humanitarian desires, organic materials are used to make special paints that are applied to the wood and pressed on paper, before the process is repeated with various colours. A single woodcut is used for the image's outline, and several others for each of the printed colours, but all are carefully engraved by hand, so that woodcuts can be preserved throughout each generation.
Of course, these are only a handful of woodwork traditions from around the world. If you are familiar with any styles of global carpentry that you would like featured in a future blog, share them with us over at the Woodshop Direct Facebook page,Twitter and/or Google+.