"Nearly famous since 2001"
From all that I have heard, read and seen it is most likely that wooden molds began to appear somewhere around the late 1400's to early 1500's. In the same thought, I do not know if it is possible to absolutely say where the first were made and used. If I had to name a place, I'd say the area where Southern Germany is now. Molds were carved for one reason or the other but all seem to have symbolism that is either hidden or obvious and common. Molds were commissioned by the elite, the government, the church and others. Many were carved by professional wood carvers that were masters of their trade while some were carved by folk artists and apprentice bakers. Bakers often hired a master carver to produce a cookie mold for them but some bakers had to also learn to carve their own cookie molds. The baker with the most elegant, detailed and impressive design would certainly have the best sales of Springerle and gingerbread.
This is a section that I would like to be educational, informative and a source for you to connect with a carver. It is a section that will be devoted to those who are masters of their craft. A craft that was almost totally forgotten and lost. I take pleasure in presenting them to you and I thank them for allowing me to do so. As others come to my attention I will add them to this section as well. If you enjoy their work perhaps you will write them to let them know.
Clinton, SC 29325