Wood crafting, the mindful use of timber as a renewable resource, has a long-standing tradition in Vorarlberg, where handcraft is privileged over industrial production. Bernhard Domig, born in 1973, and his woodworking business epitomize this philosophy. When carefully selecting and preparing the material, he always follows the same procedure. He sources the timber from a nearby forest owner. After the bark has been removed, it is taken to the sawmill just across the road from his workshop. The cut boards are then slowly dried for 18 months in a special timber yard, shielded from the sun, before ending up in a nearby drying chamber. Now, at just eight percent timber humidity, the material is ready to be processed.
Creativity as a Thank-You Gift
Whenever Domig finished a major job, such as building and fitting a solid-wood kitchen, he felt like giving the client a small, fitting gift as a token of gratitude. This is how he began to develop individual “accessories”: high-grade spice mills first, and wooden spoons later. “That is the beauty of our profession – we can be ever so creative”, says Domig with a smile. When designing his wooden spoons, he relied on real-life expertise and had his prototypes tested by housewives first.
Modern Technology Hand in Hand with Sustainability
Floor-to-ceiling windows flood Domig’s spacious workshop hall with light. He is very fond of this “work place which offers so much light and is connected to nature“. Here, modern technology such as a CO2 laser used for high-precision burning of customized logos, and sustainability complement each other: Domig uses the wood chips from his workshop to heat his private home.
“You need passion to do things right“, he muses. For Domig, quality means not buying in any ready-made parts, and working carefully with a visible and tangible love of detail. He believes in continuously developing things further, but with a casual and easy-going approach.
Pleasant to the eye, a treat for the palate – tasty food from select ingredients with a touch of refinement is all-important in Vorarlberg. This philosophy is equally embodied by Domig’s wooden spoons, no matter whether they are used in Vorarlberg or further afield, where they evoke pleasant memories as a tasteful souvenir.
There is a whole array of different high-quality products which Vorarlberg’s woodworkers manufacture with great passion. In addition to pieces of furniture, Gesers‘ solid-wood cabinetmakers manufacture individually designed bottle openers. And three young craftsmen from Bregenzerwald have taken their love of woodwork with them to Vienna. Under the brand name of Mo-Ni-Ka, they create bespoke furniture, but also accessories such as Pius, a shoehorn, from regional woods.