Saaremaa stone sheep flock continues to grow

Riddle – where can you see a herd of sheep, gaining in size outside of lambing season, and whose specimens don't mind the public sitting on them, weigh over half-a-tonne and are immortal?

The answer is Saaremaa, of course, more specifically the village of Karala in the southwest of Estonia's largest island, where Mart Maastik has been busy putting together a larger "flock", soon to be open to the public.

Maastik told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) that the numerous rocks to be found on the island, including red granite, are used to make a "sheep", which can double-up as a sitting area or other functional item.

Whjile he started his project 15 years ago, in the past 18 months the collection had started growing more rapidly.

"First you bring the rock, then come up with some kind of sketch to make it look fun. After that you start animating it - legs, arms, heads, ears, eyes etc.

The flock now numbers over 200, and has a hierarchy of sorts, he said, adding: "If you look at this assembly of sheep, in front of you is the chairman of the assembly, the vice-chairmen and the prime minister, 'Härra oinas' ('Mr. Aries')".

"'Härra oinas is making a speech, but if you look around here, not a single sheep is listening to what is being said there and everyone is doing their own thing. Everyone are divided into such small sketches, and each part has its own text," Maastik went on.

In one case (see gallery) a sheep is playing an "accordion" - in fact an old radiator, while others play musical instruments.

Janek Teller, a stonemason helping with the project, told AK the work is laborious and tough, not only maneuvering the rock, but also the drilling, welding, bending, cutting, smoothing etc., though red granite is slightly easier to drill into than some other materials.

The exhibition at Karala will be open to the public in around a fortnight, Maastik added, though this does not mean the total flock size is now set in stone, as it were – more sheep can be expected to be added to the total, over time.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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