Wood carving
Shepherds whiled away their limited free time using great sensitivity and skill to carve a wide variety of utensils.

With the sole assistance of a razor-sharp Cretan knife, they made lavishly tooled flutes (thiambolia), lyres, distaffs, spindles, shuttles, thread spools, spoons, cups, plates and shepherd's crooks.

Geometrical designs were the most popular decorative motifs, though not employed to the exclusion of human figures, snakes, birds, lizards and even dragons.

Lyra with carved decoration (Historical Museum of Crete, © S.C.H.S, Heraklion)
Intricately carved wooden spoons (Heraklion)
Thread making and weaving tools 1. Shuttle, 2. Distaff, 3. Spindle, 4. Winder (Heraklion)
Wood carver at work (G. Ekaterinidis)
Thiamboli (reed pipe), 2004 (photograph: Multimedia Lab)
Carved drone from an askomantoura (Cretan bagpipe), 2007 (photograph: Yiannis Harkoutsis, Andreas A. Giacoumakis)