Shepherd's cup

Wood carving has a thousand-year tradition in the Bulgarian lands, and during the Renaissance period it reached its heyday as an artistic and folk art. Probably the oldest form of expression is the so-called pastoral carving. As the name suggests, it was initially done mainly by shepherds, who had the necessary free time and access to materials while grazing livestock. For decoration on the tree, usually only a knife is used, with which shallow cuts are made. That is why it is often defined as a shallow carving. Every object made by the craftsman has its functionality and is used in everyday life. Shepherds made gags, cups, cutlery, musical instruments for themselves or loved ones and rarely sold their produce. The exception was the patterned coats that the shepherds made and gave to their loved ones. Such khurkas were ordered to be made by craftsmen for weddings, where they were given as gifts by newlyweds to brides.

Usually the carving was done in its pure form, without additional coloring, and its natural patination could only increase its artistic value. As a method of decoration, rubbing with fine gunpowder or charcoal is used, which penetrate into the grooves left by the knife and thus the incised elements stand out.

The khurkas could be decorated with small colored beads or mirrors, but this was mostly done in the workshops of the artisans from the urban settlements.

In addition to wood, shepherds carve horn and bone. Gunpowder horns, pieces of bone to decorate the handles of firearms and knives, bone plates, which, in combination with tassels and blue beads, serve to decorate the leather shepherd's bags are decorated. In addition to carving, craftsmen also use engraving for decoration. It is engraved with a red-hot needle, the ornaments being similar to those on wood.

They are engraved with a red-hot needle with the same shallow ornaments as with wood.

The shepherd's mug is made in such a way that it is practically related to everyday life. It is made in a suitable shape to be able to draw water from a spring or river, as well as to be hung for convenience during the constant movement of the shepherds.

Scroll to Top