France | Brittany

The cooper

A cooper is someone who makes wooden barrels. Coopering has existed in France for almost 2,000 years. Casks, hogsheads and barrels were used to store and transport a wide range of materials. What mattered most was their watertightness, since they often contained liquids like cider, wine and alcohol. Traditionally, oak was used for barrel making, though other woods like chestnut or ash were also used. Barrel production was a very complex and detailed process, ranging from drying the wood to jointing and strapping the staves (thin slats of wood used to form the barrel). For a long time, coopers had the privilege of being the only ones authorized to unload wine barrels from ships.

[peinture #00822]
France, Brittany
Sketch, grease pencil, sketchbook page (disbound)
Credit: Frédéric Back
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