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Štefan Smržík, a tinker from Orava

by Katarína Hallonová

Cock, 2008A native of Orava, Štefan Smržík began his career in the folk craft in 1998. He comes from the renowned family of blacksmiths from the village of Vavrečka. Trained to be a machinist, he is a skilled maker, similarly to his ancestors. His grand-father taught him how to forge metal. Later, his brother Ľubomír taught him how to make objects from wire. Štefan Smržík joined traditional techniques of blacksmiths and tinkers into unique combination of art and craft activities.

Štefan Smržík is a self-educated person in both fields. He learnt from literature, from his brother, studied objects in museums and was influenced by ÚĽUV designer Janka Menkynová. He gets inspiration for his products from traditional folk crafts. Štefan Smržík preserves main characteristics, simplifies and minimises forms and shapes, thus producing contemporary expression of his products. He prefers combining wire and forged steel or wrought sheet. He focuses on making utility objects by producing fireplace tools, shelves and baskets, spits, wood baskets, birdcages or hangers and dining sets. He likes making candlesticks and safety lamps as they are symbols of endless desire of humans for light and warmth for him. Recently, he does free style art experiments. Štefan Smržík uses traditional techniques for his work. He has been an active maker for the ÚĽUV in Bratislava since 1999.




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


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