Maskenschnitzer Timm Buckley

Sinister characters with loud bells

Mask-Carver Timm Buckley

Sinister characters with loud bells

Mask-Carver Timm Buckley

Perchten and Weibsdeifl, Krampusläufe and Rauhnächte – traditions that probably didn't start in the Upper Palatinate. And yet, explains Timm Buckley, there are many rituals in the north east of Bavaria from a time in which people believed in the help of Perchten and all kinds of wild spirits.

Timm Buckley can carve extremely intricate masks.

In his spare time, the 24-year-old mask-carver from Neunberg vorm Wald is currently enjoying his twelfth season of instilling fear in others on his rounds as a Krampus. The qualified carpenter has been refining his mask restoration skills for almost as long a time. He can now carve extremely intricate masks.

Maske von Timm Buckley

"Our club, the Schwarzachtal Pass, appears at lots of events in the region: from Twelfth Night celebrations to the Midsummer Night's Bonfire. It is, of course, quite wild; some of the masks often require one or two repairs."

'It takes 35 to 40 hours to create a mask from a trunk of wood.'

Whether there is damage to the paintwork, or a horn has broken off, or a mop of hair needs to be restored, The Upper Palatinate mask wearers used to have to travel far and wide to have their masks repaired. "At one point I had the thought: I will just do the refurbishing and revamping myself; after all, as a carpenter I know all about working with wood." And thus, Timm Buckley is now a key name for all of those who want their masks restoring, or who want a whole new mask carving.

"Traditionally people use Swiss pine for the masks. It is really soft and reasonably lightweight", explains the mask-carver. He needs 35 to 40 hours to create a mask from a trunk of wood. Intricate extras need more time.

Maskenschnitzer Timm Buckley bei der Arbeit

Over the years, Buckley has developed a style that is well-received, especially amongst the younger Perchten. "They tend to be wild, more extreme satanic masks." The man from Neunberg carves these masks especially for events during the year – for Walpurgis Night or for the Midsummer Night's Bonfire. "In the traditional season, in the time around the winter solstice, things are a bit calmer."

'They tend to be wild, more extreme satanic masks.'

Interest in the old traditions has been visibly growing in recent years in the Upper Palatinate too. "There are now more Perchten groups; more and more people come to watch events." They marvel at the gruesome masks with the hairy furs, long horns and noisy bells. And they marvel at some of Timm Buckley's masks, which are certain to give you goosebumps.

Masken von Timm Buckley

Timm Buckley

address: Vorstadt 12, 92431 Neunburg vorm Wald
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