A modest sign directs me to the slanted-roof Emmental farm house tucked away in the small village of Rohrbach. Here lives Esther Gerber with husband Röbi. It’s the town where they were both born and raised, became high school sweethearts and raised their four children.
There can’t have been any looking back I realize as soon as I meet Esther at the door. She greets me with a warm smile and a hearty handshake. In unmistakable Bern Dütsch she introduces herself as “I bi’d Gerber Esther” and bids me to come in.
I follow her up a narrow staircase and as we enter the workspace, her passion, immense creativity and imagination immediately spring to the eye. Framed on walls and unframed all around me on the floor, tables, chairs and every other surface in sight there are intricate paper cut designs of trees, people, landscapes, animals, Alpaufzüge and more. All Swiss themed, in varying sizes from tiny to several meters long; winter and summer scenes; day and night; but always alive in action and teeming with detail. Here the Matterhorn, there the Titlis and Finsteraarhorn – immediately recognizable! A farmer’s wife extends her arms in a welcome as her husband returns from the alp, cows in tow. Flag swinging Sennen on meadows, surrounded by goats. August first celebrations with jolly dancers and fluttering flags next to Christmas scenes. A magnificent winter tree with bare branches reaching into the moon lit sky, throwing shadows onto the frosty ground and a warmly beckoning village in the distance. Two little birds snuggle against each other on a bare branch. I can almost feel the wintry air and hear the crunch of footsteps in the snow. Esther with her specialty scissors is a gifted artist and story teller. All on double folded silk paper.