Freier Begegnungsschacht

The FBS (Freier Begegnungsschacht – Guild of Free Encountrance) was founded in March 1986. The FBS is a society of travelling and former travelling journeymen that have completed apprenticeship in a traditional handicraft.

The travelling journeymen of the FBS obey the traditional duration of the journey, a minimum of three years and one day, the radius of 50 kilometers around their hometown which they are not allowed to enter during that time and dress according to the traditional appearance of travelling craftspersons, wearing the so called »Kluft«. The »Kluft« consists of: a white, long-sleeved shirt with a banded collar, trousers, vest and jacket in the traditional colour of the respective craft with buttons made of mother-of-pearl, a black hat, either a »regular«, bowler or top hat, black shoes and the grey »Ehrbarkeit« (Honourability), a band-tie which is attached to the shirt and is worn as

an external sign of belonging to the FBS.

The words »Free Encountrance« emphasize each member being equal in right to the others. Male and female journeymen are experiencing their years of travel in common. Another point distinguishing the FBS, apart from the communal travelling of men and women, is the connecting communication among each other and the frankness and openess towards all traditional crafts being part of the FBS.

Journeyship in the FBS

... does not only mean ritually leaving one‘s home, one‘s family and old habits behind, but also continuously examinating the world around one and one‘s own self.


With frankness and tolerance, in search of the secrets and unknown techniques of one‘s own craft, the members of the FBS are travelling in the awareness of respecting and conserving the traditional handicrafts.

During their travels, the journeymen experience the kind support of their surrounding. To give back at least a part of the support we are getting from society, the FBS once a year is having a socially relevant, beneficial construction project. This might be i.e. a children or youth centre, a site of social encounters or a public cultural object in which all travelling craftspersons take part with their workforce and thus actively contribute to society.

Thus, crafts travelling or having travelled as part of the FBS so far are:

carpenter, cabinetmaker, plastermolder, bricklayer, tiler, stonemason, potter, painter, gilder, bookbinder, typesetter, brass-instrument-maker, silversmith, goldsmith, blacksmith, metalworker, plumber, baker, confectioner, cook, shoemaker, tailor and dressmaker