Wooden vessels - from Bowls to bathtubs
Made by the Cooper
Practical and decorative wooden vessels are produced by three coopers in Vorarlberg, two of them already in the 6th generation.
What does a cooper actually do? If you talk about a “cooper” – as coopers are also called – you have more of a picture. Building barrels is one of the tasks of a cooper. In the Alpine region and in agricultural areas, coopers mainly devote themselves to other tasks: They produce those wooden vessels that are needed for alpine farming. Vats for cheese production, for example, milk vats, butter churns and wooden bowls to keep food warm. These wooden bowls, also called “Brenta” or “Gebse”, are particularly popular in Vorarlberg. They are used to serve Kässpätzle or Käsknöpfle, as they are called in some regions.
In the process, coopers do not hollow out a tree trunk or a piece of wood: They assemble the vessel from staves and do so in such a way that the vessel is tight. The “cohesion” is sometimes provided by bands of wood or metal.
There are three coopers working in Vorarlberg, two of them already in the 6th generation: Fredy Welte in Frastanz and Peter Lässer in Hittisau. In Montafon, Jürgen Tschofen works as a cooper.