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The Stuflesser Family

V. Generation

The Stuflesser Family

The Ars Sacra 1875 Ferdinand Stuflesser studio is privileged to be the studio with the most years of experience and existence in the Gardena valley. Our work has been carried out by the same family for 132 years and five generations.

The fifth generation will continue to mantain the high standards and positive reputation of the Stuflesser name. Both children, Filip and Robert Stuflesser, have been educated in Italian, Austrian and English schools. One of the main objectives of the art studio Ars Sacra 1875 Ferdinando Stuflesser is:
  • to build a long-term relationship with its customers and its collaborators, working with professionalism and dedication to the art.

Filip has impressive architectural and planning capabilities, while Robert shows strengths in marketing and customer service. The quality control of the works is still executed by their father Ferdinando, who has accumulated expertise in the field over the last 40 years. It is to his children’s merit that informatics have been introduced and integrated into the studio’s processes as well as the overall use of the personal computer in the studio, which nowadays plans its projects on paper and on screen. The two brothers continue this family tradition with initiative and enthusiasm.

Currently the studio works with approximately 20 professional collaborators. The number of craftsmen decreased due to technological advances and artist innovations.

Our primary strength is the flexibility and indisputable high quality of the Stuflesser creations. This is because of the following reason: Different artists work for the studio, which plans the artworks in incredible detail. In addition, the sculptor is chosen depending on the project; this is to ensure the beauty and precision of each creation and that the craftmen's abilities match the project's requirements. Every piece of work is scrutinized and checked by us. We direct our artists according to the standards and techniques which have evolved over the studio’s 130 years of existence.

OurChurch Interiors are conceived and carved to our drafts and sketches or to the ideas and advice of our customers. Our woodcarvings are, in contrast to other firms in the industry, exclusively created in our workshops here in Ortisei, Italy. We use raw materials of the highest quality.

Dear Customer, if the art studio Ars Sacra 1875 Ferdinand Stuflesser is still a healthy business, able to satisfy your every demand, it is also your merit. You have been supporting us and placing confidence in us for over a century. Thank you for this.

Ferdinando Stuflesser with Marlene, Filip e Robert, V. Generation


IV. Generation /1973 - 2004/

/  *1940

The fourth generation began in the 1960s, when Stuflesser Ferdinando took over the family business. Ferdinando, who still runs the studio, was educated in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. He is renowned for his tireless search for improvement, perfection and for the guarantee of quality necessary for a healthy customer satisfaction. He gives great importance to our vast Archive, which gives us the ability to trace sculptures carved in our workshops in the past. The Archive also gives us an indispensable selection of original sketches and drawings. Having travelled around the United States of America and Italy, he has built up an impressive network of business relations.
Ferdinando led this generation with the invaluable collaboration of his wife Marlene Comploj, who still works in the office.

Ferdinando is the creator of the present trademark and of the name Ars Sacra 1875 Ferdinand Stuflesser. Having chosen to specialize in restoring, Ferdinando also has had the pleasure of restoring works which were created by his grandfather and great-grandfather – a task which he considers to be a huge honor and privilege for him. He also carved quite a few monuments. One of the most appreciated works was the cast bronze carvings representing the four Evangelists St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. John and St. Luke in Miami, Florida.

III. Generation /1935 - 1973/

/  *1914  †1998  /

The third generation began with Ferdinand Stuflesser II, who had been managing the Art Studio from 1939 onwards. During World War II the workshops were closed. After having overcome the initial difficulties after World War II, Ferdinand II developed a type of wood treatment which is still used and praised in our workshops.
He made a distinct contribution to the growth and fame of the studio. Many of the creations of his period can be found in Italy, Germany and in the United States of America.

II. Generation /1910 - 1935/

/ *1883 †1958 /

The second generation of our studio was led by Johann Stuflesser, who was born in 1883. He continued this ancient tradition traveling mostly through the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Working for the Catholic Community, specialized ecclesiastical retailers and dealers, Johann was indisputably known for his entrepreneurial capabilities. It was his idea to set up an exhibition department as a part of the studio, where, to this day, people can admire our carved works. The second generation was, at one point, somewhat slow-moving, as a result of four years of inactivity during World War I between 1914 and 1918. In 1918, Ortisei, which now lies on the Italian-Austrian border, suddenly went from Austrian to Italian. This change in geographical boundaries led to an increase in Italian customers and sales.


I. Generation /1875 - 1910/

/  * 1855  † 1926  /

The originator of the art studio Ars Sacra 1875 Ferdinand Stuflesser was Ferdinand Stuflesser I, who was born in 1855. He was one of the most enterprising woodcarvers of that period. Having learned the art of woodcarving from his relatives, he registered the studio as a business in 1875 (first provable registration).

His father, Johann Evangelist Stuflesser, traveled around ancient Europe between 1840 and 1855, selling his skilled craft. Johann Evangelist was part of the business “Sanoner, Stuflesser & Mahlknecht”, which sold its goods in the Rue Mercière in Lyon, France. Johann Evangelist was found dead in 1857 in Marseille, France.

The founder Ferdinand, a pioneer in the field of ecclesiastical crafts, created this unique workshop because of his passion for the art. He was supported by his wife Anamaria Senoner, whose language skills were appreciated for the correspondence with foreign customers.

Experience, courage to develop new techniques and skilful artistic ability had always been the aim of the young woodcarver. His studio, which was sub-divided in three workshops, was situated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was able to organize and employ planners, 16 sculptors and eight carpenters. Additionally 100 sculptors worked for the firm in their homes. The painter master, Luis Kostner, employed around 24 craftsmen, ranging from painters and gilders. In the period between 1880 and 1914 the firm had so many clients that it was able to create 70 Altars in just one year (this from our yearbooks).

What was the key strength of this studio so that it was able to operate internationally at the end of the nineteenth century? Without any doubt the quality of the creations, the sense of responsibility we still have for the creations that leave our workshops, the communication with our artists and customers and the constant technological innovation. The carvings of this first era, which include Statues, Stations of the Cross and majestic Altars, can, to this day, be admired in churches, monasteries and convents in Italy and in the Austro-Hungarian nations, including actual Austria, Poland and Russia. Some of the creations also reached as far as Australia.
Ferdinand started with the Stuflesser Archive, which is still used to inspire our works and to identify and trace some of the works that have left our workshops in the past.
During the early days, the art studio was continually growing. It participated at numerous international fairs and won several prizes.
The Ars Sacra 1875 Ferdinand Stuflesser studio also won prizes for its activity in the ecclesiastical field. Around the 1890s, the art studio received important awards, such as:
  • Furnishers to the Holy See, “Fornitore di Sua Santità Pio X°”;
  • Prize by Pope Leone XIII°;
  • the honorary title “the order of Saint Sylvester”;
  • the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontefice” Medal.




Ferdinando Stuflesser - IV. Generation

He was born in Ortisei in 1940. Ferdinand Johann, who still runs the studio, was educated in Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. He is renowned for his tireless search for improvement, perfection and for the guarantee of quality necessary for a healthy customer satisfaction.
Having travelled around the United States of America and Italy, he has built up an impressive network of business relations.
Having chosen to specialize in restoring and renovation, Ferdinand Johann also has had the pleasure of restoring works which were created by his grandfather and great-grandfather – a task which he considers to be a huge honor and privilege for him.

Stuflesser Filip - V. Generation

Filip Stuflesser was born in Bolzano in 1976. He has been educated in Italy, in Austria and in the United States of America. Filip is in the studio since 1999, where his impressive architectural and planning skills for the Church Interiors are appreciated. Being 28, he is very dynamic and flexible.

Stuflesser Robert - V. Generation

Robert, V. Generation, was born in Bolzano in 1980. Educated in Italy, Austria and Australia, Robert is active in the studio since 2002 and takes care of customer service, marketing and the development of the internet site.

Comploj Stuflesser Marlene

As Ferdinand`s wife, she is in the business since 1970. Marlene’s contribution is highly appreciated. She does the accounting and takes care of the Exposition department.



The importance of a mission statement is clear and logic, because "if you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter which way you go”.
The ARS SACRA 1875 FERDINAND STUFLESSER studio is committed in guaranteeing its valued customers throughout the world a state of the art craftsmanship meeting their expectations; this, through the experience of 130 years and 5 generations of the same family, the assurance of superior quality and the continuous improvement of professional assistance.
Our aim is to build a long time relationship with our customers and collaborators.



Dear competitor, we are very pleased and proud, to see you scrutinizing our new Home Page. With this text, I wanted to make clear to you, that this site has been made up by my family, our collaborators and us with care, to get closer to our customers and to inform and advise them in a better way.

Our homepage has not been created to allow you, to take our legally protected and registered photographic material and our text. We hope that you are moral enough, to read out texts, but not to take any of our photographic material.

We believe in your correctness and thank you for your honesty as a good competitor.
Robert and Filip Stuflesser, V. Generation

(Text and photos used by permission from Robert Stuflesser)


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The trademark for wooden sculptures produced exclusively and entirely by hand.

In order to protect the sculptors of woodcarvings, which are exclusively produced by hand, the Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano has decided to certify the genuineness of this procedure. This certification is made in two successive stages: a trademark, duly registered, is attached to the object, and a certificate is issued declaring that it is entirely and exclusively hand-made.

The trademark, which must be claimed, consists of a metal disc, bearing the inscription “ENTIRELY HAND-CARVED”.
The application of the trademark is done by an expert chosen by the Chamber of Commerce of Bolzano. After the work has been completed and carefully examined, the expert issues the certificate, which is an official document of the Chamber of Commerce, numbered progressively and containing all the information necessary for the unmistakable identification of the woodcarving.




Since its founding, the Art Studio FERDINAND STUFLESSER has maintained a mission to preserve the beauty and vitality of the sculpted works.

Tradition und References:
Our long tradition has great value and is at the base of the work we still carry out: the past helps us to avoid mistakes. We are also sure that the given references give you trust.

The Art Studio gives you a guarantee of 5 years in case of natural decay (examples: color damage or clefts in the material). We do not cover theft, fire, or mistreatment.

The Art Studio has been working with hundreds of Churches in every part of the World. It wants to satisfy the special needs Churches can have. We don’t just offer you flexibility from us and our collaborators: we also offer you flexibility of payment. You can gladly buy on installments with 0% interest rate.

Professional Assistance:
All our collaborators have a professional diploma in addition to their years of experience. Additionally the Customer has the advantage to be assisted and advised in technical terminology in three languages: English, Italian and German.


If you had more confidence in another studio or woodcarver, we can’t stop you: the trust in the Artist is one of the most important pieces in the Art mosaic.

Like the quality, the Price also has its explanations. Guaranteeing an incontestable quality and the use of first class material, our Price can in some cases overstep the competitor’s Price. If the competitors give you the same warranty and inspires you the same trust at a cheaper Price, we don’t want to oppose. Don’t forget that the Price reflects the value of the work, which increases year for year.

Don’t take us into consideration, if we weren’t able to be in syntony with your wishes or to satisfy your needs.






Recognize the difference between unique creations and products from the pantograph

To see the difference doesn’t seem to be too hard– but in fact it is. Nowadays, through advanced technology, it is hard for people who don’t know the first thing about it. It is difficult to judge if a sculpture is entirely hand-carved (so it is unique) or produced on a pantograph milling machine (there are plenty of identical ones).
Firms or shops should always give their customers advice on how a sculpture is carved. Dear Customer, always remember to ascertain the origin of the woodcarving; e.g. the used method (hand or machine) and ask for the certificate in case you bought a sculpture exclusively carved by hand.

Ours is a creation, not a production of woodcarvings.


We hope that this list of references can additionally raise the trust in us. The Studio has realised several works, such as Altars, Statues and more also in:
Rome (Italy),
Bendigo (Australia),
Manizales (Colombia).
Dacca (India),
Drempt (Netherlands),
Jerusalem (Israel),
Istanbul (Turkey),
Kula-Maui (Hawaii),
Lodz (Poland)
Miami (United States of America),
Natal (South Africa),
Olomouc (Czech Republic),
Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina),
Teganfu (China),
Timisoara (Romania),
Vienna (Austria).


Church Size Statues and Altars


Cribs / Nativity Scenes / Church Statues

Crucifixion Groups and Church Interiors


Stations of the Cross


Lecterns / Ambos / Podiums


HISTORY AND TRADITION - The Stuflesser Family














Main Page of Custom Statues


More Photos (click on photo to enlarge):

All work executed in studio workshops according to sketches and models prepared by studio is hand carved and protected by law internationally and in Italy. Imitations are thus precluded.

Contact - Mailing Address:

2951 Marina Bay Drive
Suite 130 - PMB 501
League City, Texas 77573-2733

Phone: 281-538-7360 or 1-888-778-5442

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