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Meet the Alpbachtal Locals

Get to know Georg, the feather quill embroiderer from Tirol, and Ander who runs the Unterberghof farm. Meet the locals that make the Austrian region of Alpbachtal so special.

Farmhouse Alpbachtal © Alpbachtal

 

Georg Leitner
Feather quill Embroidererlocal alpbach 

I am one of only 5 people in the Tirol region who practice the art of feather quill embroidery. I have learnt everything I know from my father who learnt his trade in this region years ago. He still helps me today and I am passing on my expertise and secrets to my own son - this art cannot be learnt through apprenticeship, it is passed from generation to generation through teaching and words. Our workshop is in our home and our materials are of the highest quality - we use peacock feathers for the feather quills and for the leather, we use cattle, goats or horse skin - it is important that the leather is smooth and thin. Our expertise lies in making belts, handbags, braces and cow bell collars and I begin my day at 5am as it takes time to produce good work. I've found the job of my dreams; I could probably earn more if I worked the same hours as a mechanic, but that wouldn't make me happier.

 

Ander Schießling
Farmer alpbach local
I was born here on the Unterberghof farm and my family lived here until it was turned into the present day Vorder-Unterberg museum by the Mayor in the Seventies. Today, I live next door to the museum (one of the Tirol's last) and I work as the museum's guide, as well as tending to the animals we have here - 3 cows and 15 hens - which provide me with fresh milk and eggs. The museum is full of history and gives visitors an interesting insight into rural life: there are the old butter churns, wooden skis, traditional costumes and even 18th-century toothpicks. The museum houses the only existing Alpbachtal four poster bed in the old farmer's bedroom and we also have a very special feature - the farm has its own chapel with an altar. There is much to see here and I enjoy guiding visitors through the house where I was born and reminiscing about my childhood and bringing the farm to life for others.