France | Brittany

The hoop maker

The hoop maker or cerclier used chestnut strips to make the hoops that enclosed barrels and casks. Chestnut branches would be cut from the tree and their nodes removed, using a two-handled blade known as a drawknife. The wooden strips were then put through a bending machine to give them their circular shape. After this, 24 of them would be put into a wooden mould, then linked together with iron rods to form the final hoop.

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Hoopers near Dinan
Hoopers made the wooden hoops that held barrels together.
France, Brittany, Côtes d'Armor, near Dinan
Study, gouache, on Canson paper
Credit: Frédéric Back
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