Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

The gunsmith´s craft in Ferlach

Applicant: Kulturring Ferlach, Dipl. Ing. Rainer Adamik
Province: Carinthia
Domain: Traditional Craftsmanship
Year of inclusion: 2010

The gunsmith´s crafts in Ferlach (Carinthia) are based on specialist work. The shaper works on the wood of the gun shaft and the engraver on the surface of the metal parts, while the gunsmith himself assembles the different parts, depending on the use of the object. When orders from the general public decreased during the 19th century, the gunsmiths started to mainly focus on the production of hunting weapons.

Austria currently has eleven gunsmith master craftsmen, who all employ up to ten co-workers in their businesses. They also employ home workers dedicated to the aforementioned fields. Each weapon is individually crafted according to the buyer’s guidelines and wishes. The client’s measurements are taken to adapt the length of the gun shaft, while the wood for the shaft is taken from the roots of a walnut tree together with the customer. The Ferlach gunsmiths have received international recognition for their craft for centuries.