chip trees from the Erzgebirge - chip trees artfully stitched by hand

Cutting chip trees requires a lot of patience and skill - a craft that only a few toy makers can master today!

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chip tree

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Chip tree under the Christmas tree as a special Christmas decoration

Chip trees from the Erzgebirge enjoy great popularity, especially for decoration in the Christmas and Advent season, the small works of art in different sizes find their place in your living rooms. The original chip trees from the Erzgebirge are elaborately handmade in several workshops in Seiffen. The production of a chip tree is very time-consuming and more than three hours can pass before the completion of a larger chip tree. In the Erzgebirge there are very few craftsmen left who have mastered this art. Buy chip trees as individual pieces or candle arcs and Christmas pyramids equipped with chip trees on seiffen.com.

chip trees - history

The initially inconspicuous wooden trees turn out to be impressive works of art on closer inspection. For more than a hundred years, people who understand and appreciate this craft have enjoyed the chip tree. The beginning of chip tree cutting probably developed from the simple activity of making a fire. So that the wood burned better, chips, so-called "beards" were lifted off a block of wood. In 1920, Professor Alwin Seifert from Seiffen developed a completely new woodworking technique - the chip tree cutting, it is called in the Erzgebirge : "Beemel stachen".

How is a chip tree made?

The production of the chip trees requires the highest level of skill, strength, experience and patience. Linden wood that has grown in a straight line is used exclusively for production. A chip tree consists of two parts, the turned foot and the tree blank in the form of a spindle. The special craft of letting the tree blank “grow” into a tree even has its own name: chip tree cutting!

With a chisel, the blank clamped in a vise is evenly lifted chip by chip. It is attached just before the top end of the blank. Then the blank is pierced and the stem iron is guided upwards in the direction of the point. This step continues until you reach the bottom. This creates curls that are arranged in a ring in 6 or 8 rows, each curl is worked individually by hand. The curls are then aligned, giving the tree its beautiful shape. Depending on the size, up to 200 curls are created on a chip tree.

Where can I buy chip trees?

The filigree trees are almost exclusively made in the area around Seiffen. Here the art of chip tree cutting is usually passed on to family members. The families named Beyer and Rudolph from Seiffen are among the best-known manufacturers of this extraordinary technique. Falko Beyer manufactures chip trees from 4 cm to 150 cm. Martina Rudolph uses chip trees to make her popular window and Christmas tree decorations. A huge selection of chip trees is available in our online shop at www.seiffen.com under the Christmas decorations/chip tree section.

How do I decorate with chip trees?

The particularly fine chip trees are suitable for many decorations and not only at Christmas time. In the showcase between your collector's items from the Erzgebirge, they are certainly beautiful to look at. Larger chip trees work very well alone. Placed in a central place, they attract everyone's attention. The many articles of folk art from the Erzgebirge offer a multitude of possibilities. You will find chip trees on candle arches, Christmas pyramids, music boxes or plinth boards. You can also use the chip trees to design your own creations.

Chip trees in various sizes are available on our website.

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