Woodworking in Estonia by Ants Viires

Viires cover

A cult classic “Woodworking in Estonia” by Ants Viires, Estonian grand old man in ethnology, is now available also in Vanaajamaja training center in Mooste.

We also send it by SmartPost in the country.

Price: 32,70 eur + shipping 2,60

For ordering send a letter info@vanaajamaja (Name of the package recipient, phone number, location of the package terminal).

You can order it also form many re-cellers in America and Europe.

You can read from the publisher’s page: “Woodworking in Estonia” is an important piece of evidence in understanding how our ancestors worked wood and understood it more intimately than we do. Viires records in great detail everything from the superstitions surrounding the harvesting of wood (should you whistle in the forest?) to detailed descriptions of how the Estonians dried the wood, bent it, steamed it and even buried it in horse dung to shape it for their needs.”

Photo contest 2016

Autor: Tuule Müürsepp

Autor: Tuule Müürsepp


Vanaajamaja has carried through a photo contest “Old times house” for three years now to bring the beauty and value of old houses onto the spotlight. The winners of this year’s contest are presented here.



Winners of the photo contest 2015

It is the second year we carried through a photo contest “Old times house” to bring the beauty and value of old housed onto the spotlight. Participated 181 photos from 50 authors.

It was a pleasure to get so many works into the category “before and after”. The selection on the website tries to inspire every old house owner – look and you’ll believe that everything is possible!

Here are the winners and selection of contest works.

Conservation works of Puutli church

Vanaajamaja in cooperation with the Estonian Heritage Board has initiated conservation works of tiny wooden Orthodox Church in South-East Estonia, close to the Russian border. The church is not in the active usage and the state of the building is dilapidated, but it has essential place in the identity of local community and important part in the local history.

In the fall of 2015 the log walls will be reinforced by the forestry students of Estonian University of Life Sciences under their practice lessons. In the spring of 2016 a crew of international volunteers are invited to restore the tower and change the roof cover to wooden shingle roof.

Read more

YAKISUGI seminar, 13th October in Mooste

Architectural office TEMPT together with the Estonian Woodhouse Cluster are the organizers for
the Yakisugi workshop and lecture on the 13th october 2015 in Mooste, Põlva county. Yakisugi,
also called Shou-Sugi-Ban is a centuries-old Japanese wood surface carbonisation technique –
this is probably the oldest method of protecting wood known to man. For this we invited the
unique Japanese architect and professor, a living legend, Terunobu Fujimori, to visit Estonia. He
will teach us this peculiar wood finishing technique by giving a lecture about traditional
japanese materials and later on conducting a workshop for making Yakisugi. This unique event
will be another cultural bridge between Japan and Estonia – countries so similar, but so far apart
at the same time.

Lecture and workshop takes place 13. october starting at 13:00 in Mooste, Põlvamaa.
Participation fee is 50€ until 9.10, later 70€. The event is in japanese, translated to english.
For registering email tempt@tempt.ee or register HERE .

Public lecture: A World Wide Survey of Log Crib History and Traditions

Douglass Reed, historic structure consultant from US, will give a lecture The Log Crib As Shelter: A World Wide Survey of Log Crib History and Traditions on September 22 in Tartu for the students of University of Life Siences and other interested public. He will present what little is known of a historical review concerning the pre-historic origins and developments of the log crib as shelter and give a brief survey of log building traditions as they have been practiced around the globe.

Find out more and come to listen to Doug

Handbook “Woodworking in Estonia” by Ants Viires

“Woodworking in Estonia” by Ants Viires, according to Christopher Schwarz one of the most detailed studies ever written about an active hand-tool culture, will be newly translated and expect to release by the end of 2015.

“It really is like stepping back into the 17th or 18th century. Viires dedicated his life to recording this vanishing Baltic culture and recording their tools, processes and products.”

Ants Viires, the pioneering Estonian ethnographer and author of “Woodworking in Estonia,” died on March 18, according to friends and family.

At the time of his death, Lost Art Press was actively preparing an all-new translation of the landmark “Woodworking in Estonia,” which Roy Underhill listed in 2011 as one of his three favorite woodworking books.

Read more from Lost Art Press.

Ilmunud on uus Seto arhitektuuri käsitlev raamatuke

Seto Instituudi ja Vanaajamaja koostöös on ilmunud Ahto Raudoja poolt kokku pandud raamat “Setomaa. Traditsioonilise arhitektuuri põhijooni”. Seto traditsioonilise taluahkitektuuri tuntuimad sümbolid on suured seto väravad, kinnised hoovid ja katmata palkhooned. Raamat õpetab märkama ja säilitama neid ja teisi iseloomulikke jooni seto taluplaneeringus ja arhitektuuris.

Raamat on tasuta kättesaadav Seto Instituudis ja Vanaajamaja koolitustel. Elektroonselt loetav siin.

Raamatu väljaandmist on toetanud Eesti-Läti Programm ja EV Kultuuriministeerium.