The Bowmaker's Wood

Bow makers continue ancient traditions, but will they be soon among the last masters of their craft?

  • The Bowmaker's Wood | Copyright: © 3sat/Peppo Wagner

    The Bowmaker's Wood © 3sat/Peppo Wagner

  • The Bowmaker's Wood | Copyright: © 3sat/Peppo Wagner

    The Bowmaker's Wood © 3sat/Peppo Wagner

The production of exclusive bows for musical instruments is still real craftsmanship. Bow makers have been using Brazilian Pernambuco wood for more than two hundred years. Yet the stocks in Brazil are running low and the precious Brazilian wood from the Pau-Brasil tree is actually endangered and therefore protected. More than 250 bow makers worldwide have joined forces to form the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative (IPCI), which aims to save the precious plant through reforestation programs. But is there any progress and is the initiative successful?

In October 2019 a group of Austrian and German bow makers visit the Brazilian Mata Atlantica and meet their local project partners. Most of the visitors will see the tree which they have been working with for years for the first time.

In the documentary “The Bowmaker’s Wood” we provide unique insights into the craft of bow making and let renowned musicians talk about the benefits of violin bows made from Pernambuco wood. We accompany a group of bow makers on their journey to the Serra Grande region in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Local experts will talk about the history of the Mata Atlantica and they will explain the ambitious afforestation projects and the ecological and cultural importance of this tree that many years ago gave its name to the country: Pau-Brasil, the wood with the color of red embers.

Production year 2020
Duration 52 minutes
Production Company ORF/3sat and Peppo Wagner Filmproduktion funded by Austrian Television Fund and Land Niederösterreich
Director Peppo Wagner
Author Peppo Wagner



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