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Crafts in architecture – plumbing

by Ľuba Paučulová

Metal as a roofing material on a traditional minor´s house, Banská Štiavnica 2008In our times, plumbing is a construction industry craft that forms and sets in metal plate products which protect a building against leaking and drain water from the roof. In the territory of today´s Slovakia, metalsmiths were popular craftspeople as early as in the 15th century when they made wide range of tools for households (cauldrons, utensils, bottles) and religious and ceremonial items (baptismal fonts, collection boxes, etc). From the 16th century, metalsmiths added roof tiling to their skills. The production flourished due to the extensive copper exploitation in the region of central Slovakia and other parts of the territory (Banská Bystrica and surrounding area, the Spiš region and the town of Dobšiná).

Metal as a roofing material was used only for buildings of special importance. There are records of copper sheet having been used as small plates in the archives from the 16th century which is a clear evidence of plumbing works at the territory of today´s Slovakia. Traditional plumbing trade flourished in architecture of the 18th century when copper was available and copper processing skills were at the advanced level of craftsmanship. In the 19th century, plumbing developed a wide range of roofing components. The Industrial Revolution introduced mass production, new technologies and cheaper products. Today, plumbing is a popular trade. It is, however, the trade without any creative ambitions in the construction industry.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2008:


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