This art developed and became a major industry in Bethlehem and nearby towns like Beit Sahour in the 16th and 17th centuries. This craft has continued by the descendants of the original local carvers.
The process of producing an olive wood craft requires labour intensity and consists of many stages, Drilling machines are used initially then passed onto a skilled artisan who transforms the rough outline into a finished product by chiselling the details. Finally, the finished item must be sanded down and polished, then coated with olive wax to give the object a “natural shine” and ensure its longevity. The process could take up to 45 days.