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Ľubomír Medveď: the art of bag and belt making in Čierny Balog

Natália Fungáčová

Ľubomír Medveď: the art of bag and belt making in Čierny BalogĽubomír Medveď (1956) was born and still lives and works in the village of Čierny Balog. It is a village surrounded by rich forests which had predestined it to become a significant centre of timber processing industry. An essential part of Čierny Balog woodcutters‘ clothes used to be a wide leather belt with several buckles protecting the backbone and the belly, a leather bag and good quality moccasins. It is just these products that Ľubomír Medveď has been working on.
He grew up in a family that lived with folklore and he, himself, has been active in this area since his youth. He says that his prime interest was in moccasins which later made him produce also other leather items. As a self- taught person, he first had to find out carefully which kind of leather is suitable for use, learn the techniques of its processing and decoration. Master Medveď’s wide offer includes, in addition to moccasins, also leather bags unadorned or decorated with silver studs, made of treated light or dark leather, leather belts from different regions of Slovakia, with or withour brass clasps. He endeavours to keep their specific regional qualities thus making a contribution to the maintenance of traditional folk culture elements. One could also mention other every day products such as leather purses, pouches for ‘phones, documents, pocket knives, as well as bottles and small glasses decorated with leather. In addition to leather products, Master Medveď is devoted also to the production of woollen wristbands woven on timber forms that used to be a functional as well as a decorative accessory of both men’s and women’s folk wear. In 2014 he was awarded the title of Master of Folk Art Production for the quality, precision and elaboration of details by which he helps to keep the traditional craftsmanship production procedures.


Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2015:


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