SHINGLES AND ROOFING IN SLOVENE HIGHLANDS
Shingling is a craftsmanship of making shingles, split wooden boards made of conifers. The craftsmanship includes also covering of roofs of various structures between spring and late autumn, mainly in the higher lying areas of Slovenia. Straight growing coniferous wood with dense growth rings and without knots contains natural protection against various atmospheric influences; therefore, most shingles are made of pine and larch wood. Until mid-60-ies of 20th century roofing with shingles was present in higher lying forested areas of Gorenjska, Severna Primorska, Koroška, Štajerska, Dolenjska and Notranjska regions.
Shingle maker needs forester and carpenter tools to make shingles. To cut down a tree in autumn months he selects the one growing between 600 and 800 m above sea level. The tree is cut down in winter when the timber is at rest. In his workshop he saws it into smaller pieces, splits it into as even parts as possible removing a pith and bark. The wood is then split with a cutting knife and mallet in the direction of growth strands. Hand splitting creates tiny grooves on the wood surface causing faster water run-off thus providing longer life to the wood. Shingles made that way are then stacked into a woodpile which he weights down and let it air dry from one month up to a year. Shingling was listed into the Register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovenia in 2017.
In the frame of the ARTISTIC project, in the region very important pilot action “Wooden roofing” was launched. One of the goals of this action is to reach better usage of natural resources in connection with the ICH to foster entrepreneurship in the region. The aim is to use natural resources to preserve knowledge and skills in the field of woodworking in the region and Julian Alps. In the frame of this initiative Slovenian ARTISTIC partners organized among others:
- various workshops “From the forest to the wooden roof” in cooperation with THE SAW ROMAN KRAVANJA
- workshops for entrepreneurs to encourage them to preserve and pass the knowledge and skills in the field of woodworking
- workshops with high schools about sustainability of wood to help to develop the product.
Additionally project envisages 5 to 10 year monitoring activities, which resulted in many interesting observations and conclusions in the field of woodworking.