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Rastislav Haronik
Ceramist and collector with sun in his heart

by Nora Čechmánková

Rastislav Haronik (born in 1948, Prievidza) studied ceramics at the Secondary School of Arts and Crafts in Bratislava under the guidance of sculptor Teodor Lugs. In addition to ceramics, he has been a lifelong collector and supporter of folk crafts. He has been a resident to Vyšehradné (part of village of Nitrianske Pravno, originally resided by the German immigrants) and lives in a German house built in 1873 that he reconstructed into the original appearance for which he was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize by the Danish Prince in 1993.
07 The house of Rastislav Haronik in Vyšehradné When he had graduated from the secondary school, he had a job as a restorer of ceramic archaeological findings in the old town of Bratislava. Then, he had a job of a visual artist in the ÚĽUV. Later on, he started to work as a lecturer for amateur artists’ courses in the Cultural Centre in the town of Prievidza. In 1975, he started the reconstruction of his house and he used clay he found in the surroundings to make jugs, baking forms, roasting pans, salt-and-pepper boxes, bottles, food and books containers, tiles. Haronik has always had a specific range of products he has decorated with a specific technique called engoba and engraved and glued decoration. His inspiration comes from traditional ceramics of the Prievidza region. He started to work as a self-employed person in 1990. He started to build tile stoves, some of them for museums, according to the archaeological findings. He also is a free style artist – he makes plates, bowls and sculptures in relief.
He has been a long-time collector of wooden sculptures, wicker, splints, toys, tinkery items, paintings on glass, traditional glass items, textile; ceramics from around Slovakia, local furniture and clothes. He established the Club of traditional textile techniques in his home village 12 years ago the objective of which is teaching females various textile techniques some of which have already become extinct. He organises local exhibitions of ceramics and clothes. Currently, Haronik has participated in the reconstruction of a German house in which he plans to locate the public exhibition of his collections. Haronik has also formed civic association Vyšehrad the objective of which is to realise various local activities (renovation of a former mill, construction of a small open-air museum of historical buildings, construction of a sports facility, organising traditional productions, summer courses for children, etc.).






Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2012: