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Arts and Crafts

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tramp/Hobo Art

Tramp or Hobo Art as it is also called, falls into the category of Folk Art.

Even though it is considered to be the same craft, there is a difference though. A tramp created functional and practical objects, while the hobo whittled more whimsical art objects.

It is very intricate, decorative, and detailed wood carving which was done by hand, utilizing left over wood which was thrown out such as cigar boxes, soap and fruit crates.

It required very few tools, just a pocketknife, and was crafted into small jewelry boxes, mirror and picture frames, figurines and other objects, and furniture.

You can usually recognize tramp/hobo art by the way it is decorated. It is chip carving which can include circles, squares, triangles, ovals, hearts, or a combination of geometric shapes, consisting of several layers. Each layer is a bit smaller than the previous layer and built on top of each other.

The project was nailed together with small tacks and left un-sanded and often untreated, although it can be found being lacquered, stained, or even painted though.

Most of this art was done by anonymous artists who would whittle and carve to pass the time, while sitting around the campfire.

Their handiwork was often sold, used as a gift, or functioned as a payment for room and boarding.

The invested time, effort, and huge patience it took to practice this type of art made them a legend in their own time, but is even more appreciated and highly sought after at present!

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