Craftsmanship in the Vaud Alps
Alpine know-how, traditional craftwork and authentic manufacturing are present and active in the Vaud Alps. Learn to discover them.
Lace, spinning, pottery or sawmills, the handicrafts of the entire region are remarkable for their diversity and dynamism. Whether they are tasty products or purely artistic, the works are representative of Alpine culture as well as the talent of cosmopolitan artists established in the Vaud Alps. Spinning wool, knotting lace, making paper cuttings or sawing boards, during your stay in the Vaud Alps, you will have the opportunity to discover the ingenious solutions, sometimes using natural resources, that our craftsmen have developed to make their work easier. Local craftsmanship is both artistic and practical. In the past, it provided an additional income, made it easier to carry out the heavy tasks inherent in construction work, enabled people to remain independent by maintaining their know-how, or transformed natural materials to add value. Meet the craftsmen and creators of the Vaud Alps and discover the local know-how.
Since 2018, the association La Filature de l'Avançon in Frenières sur Bex has been bringing together sheep breeders, wool enthusiasts, people who are sensitive to sustainability, and craftsmen committed to maintaining ancestral know-how. The association aims, among other things, to promote local wool and preserve traditional knowledge. The members meet to prepare the wool and organise workshops open to all in order to promote wool-related activities. These workshops take place in a friendly atmosphere and focus on the stages of preparing wool for knitting: harvesting, sorting, cleaning, washing, carding and spinning. The association has a dedicated space: the wool garage in Frenières-sur-Bex. It is open from time to time and offers discussions, sales and spontaneous workshops. Several objects and articles made by the Filature are available for sale at regional markets.
Paper cutting is very present in the Pays-d'Enhaut. A cutter is different elsewhere in the Vaud Alps. Delia Zimmermann is fascinated by this art. While cutting paper, her desire to create more imposing works led her to raw steel and laser cutting methods.
Delia's creations adorn living room walls, indicate the name of your house on the outside, decorate your dining room table or create a harmonious separation in your home. The themes are endless, just like Delia's creativity; peaks, trees, animals, landscapes, scenes of life.
The paper and steel cut-outs are displayed in the Salto shop where you will also find other items such as clothing, handicrafts and handmade jewellery.
The creations are created and laser cut in Switzerland. Stop by the shop to see Delia at work.
The daylight is fading, you have spent the day outside and are now settled into a cosy sofa. Light a candle and enjoy the warm and comforting atmosphere provided by the flame and the subtle scent that emanates. In the Vaud Alps, you will find handmade candles. The Boutique de Gryon carefully selects its partners and thus offers a local production made with quality raw materials. The candles are made on site in the heart of the authentic village of Gryon.
Similarly, the containers are reduced to limit the amount of waste, they are even reusable. The wicks are made of cotton threads intertwined with paper threads or cherry or pine wood. If you love your candleholder, the Boutique de Gryon will create a personalised composition according to your wishes.
Paper-cut representations of mountain climbs have found a remarkable boost in the Pays-d'Enhaut. Historically, the masters Johann Jakob Hauswirth and Louis Saugy brought the practice of decoupage to the forefront of this art. Originally, paper-cutting came from the East and the echo found in the Pays-d'Enhaut has propelled this tradition to the top of the local art scene. The Pays-d'Enhaut is pleased to promote artistic paper-cutting through exhibitions, paper-cutting days, the opening of craftsmen's workshops or even courses or initiations.
The inhabitants of our valleys used to have the ingenuity to use natural resources and facilitate certain hard work. The Scierie des Planches near Les Diablerets is a fine example. The waters of the Grande Eau river drive a wheel which in turn activates the saws to shape beautiful planks for the construction of chalets or other types of properties.
In 2015, the VD 3209 Foundation took over the sawmill with the aim of restoring it and bringing this witness to the past and mountain heritage to life.
Visits take place every Saturday during the summer season.
In the charming and picturesque village of Gryon, the Maison du Terroir promotes various forms of craftsmanship. In addition to delights to taste, the shop also offers many practical or decorative objects made by craftsmen committed to maintaining traditional know-how.
You will find articles elaborated with care and unique creations to offer, to yourself or to your loved ones. The exclusivity and artisanal nature of the products make them special gifts.
The Maison du Terroir organises themed markets according to the seasons: a flower market, an onion market or even an apricot market.
Go to the shop and meet the craftsmen who bring this space and these traditional practices to life.
Bobbin lace is a traditional handcraft. This technique consists of weaving delicate pieces such as doilies, handkerchiefs or lace embroidery. The thread used is linen, cotton or silk. The meticulous work gives fine and delicate results.
In the Pays-d'Enhaut, bobbin lace is highly regarded. This craft has become a hobby qualified as “craftsmanship”. The lacemakers gathered in association bring this tradition to life and make it accessible to all through initiations.
The Guichet du Terroir in Les Diablerets offers regional specialities, local crafts and everyday products, such as bread. Make a gourmet stop at the tea-room area to taste a local product or have a snack before setting off on the many hiking trails.
The Guichet du terroir offers several different types of services; take public transport tickets to get to the most beautiful corners of Les Diablerets.
And if you want a little more freedom for half a day, The Guichet du Terroir has electric cars for hire. One of the vehicles has 2 seats and a second is planned for 4 people.