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Jewellery with ÚĽUV´s stamp

Tomáš Mikolaj

A session devoted to jewellery in ÚĽUVThe Centre for Folk Art Production (ÚĽUV) would like to introduce jewellery in connection with famous jewellery artists active from the 1950s onwards. It could be stated that, in that era, ÚĽUV enjoyed a certain exclusivity in relation to traditional crafts and home-made products in Slovakia, being able to create and fine-tune procedures regarding research, development, distribution and sale. We discussed these issues with a long-serving ÚĽUV’s employee, artist Janka Menkynová. Having graduated in textile design, bobbin lace being her main area of expertise, she joined the institution in 1967. Paradoxically, her work description involved non-textile areas – natural materials for basketry and wickerwork, leather, metal, customs objects – whose technologies were then unknown to her. So much higher was her motivation to study these topics thoroughly. She reminisced about her initial years with ÚĽUV, mentioning a leather, wood and metal artist Jozef Lenhart senior, a master of Bojnice. For Janka Menkynová, their meetings meant learning about traditional folk jewellery and folk art in a broader context. During her career, she has met with outstanding personalities, each of whom left their mark on ÚĽUV’s history. Janka Menkynová explains the importance of symbiosis between ÚĽUV’s two crucial areas of expertise. “When a skilful craftsman had submitted his works to ÚĽUV but the art commission did not approve of them, it was an ÚĽUV’s representative, their artist, who was to judge such craftsman’s potential and skills, and advise him accordingly, including the variety of products he could concentrate on. If the latter simply closed the door on the former, many a craftsmen would not today cooperate with ÚĽUV. Lead by the institution’s artist, a great number of craftsmen fine-tuned their skills and manual dexterity, eventually becoming exceptional,“ she said.


Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 02/2016:


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