Christian Werner, wood hoop turner

DE_08_Werner_Wood Turning_Portrait_3

“Reifendrehen” originated in the Erzgebirge around 1800 and is only applied in Seiffen. Handcrafted “Reifendrehen” has become rare due to increasing automation but has lost none of its fascination for visitors. The Werner Reifentiere is the only remaining manufactory of its kind still in existence. The hoop animals are made by hand and exported all over the world. Demonstrations of the technology from the USA to Japan have aroused and spread interest in this unique type of woodworking.

Name of Craft in the local language
Christian Werner, Reifendreher
Type of Craft
Production of approx. 300 different types of animals from turned spruce wood hoops, pyramid candlesticks.
Knowledge Holder
Christian Werner, Andreas Werner
Location, Website
Reifendrehwerk Werner/Werner Reifentiere, An der Binge 5, 09548 Kurort Seiffen Link to website
phone.: +49 37362 8259, e-mail:
Type of Business
Newly founded company, emerged from a family business that has existed for 6 generations, 3 sons now each with their own companies and specialization in toy manufacturing
Year of Establishment
Yes, the son Andreas Werner

Workshop and sales space
Workshop room with lathes, painting room, packing room, warehouse, sales room
Wood (spruce), paint, adhesives
Technology / Tools / Machines
Lathes, lathe tools, knives, carving knives, hammers, brushes
Techniques / Processes
Drawing of the design: All drawings and designs of the figures and the construction of the pyramid candlesticks are created by Christian Werner, logging on steep northern slopes in the Austrian Alps; turning, carving, painting, assembling, packaging in his own workshop
Members / Employees
Team of 6, including two master craftsmen (father and son)
The theoretical part of the training to become a toy maker takes place at the vocational school centre for nutrition, technology and business in the Erzgebirgskreis Seiffen - the only school for wooden toy makers and wood turners in Germany.
Education of the Craftsperson
Polytechnic secondary school, skilled worker for wooden toys, work as a house and furniture restorer (restoration of houses) in the Seiffen open-air museum, “Reifendrehen” as a sideline, then training with master “Reifendreher” Paul Preißler

Best-selling product
Wooden animals
Average time of production
Approx. 800 figures per day, turning a single hoop takes approx. 15 minutes
Average price per item
7-20 €