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The colourful roads of Modra town – an essay on Modra ceramics

Agáta Petrakovičová Šikulová

The colourful roads of Modra town – an essay on Modra ceramicsThe traditions of Modra ceramics date back to 1636, the year of the first written mention and guild charters documenting this craft. After that, Modra has gradually become one of the most renowned ceramics centers, its products being well-known all over central Europe. After the abolition of the guild in 1873, the local potters were challenged as far as selling their products was concerned. In addition to this, they encountered difficulties in training and nurturing a new generation of potters. To keep the ceramics traditions in Modra alive, a school for ceramics apprentices – Ceramics Industrial School – was founded in 1883, becoming a basis for a future company, Slovak Folk Majolica. It experienced its golden age after 1918, when demand for Modra ceramics was truly unprecedented. Throughout the seventies and eighties of the 20th century, the competition in relation to meeting deadlines and keeping plans made, so to speak, a painful impact on the production of the workshop; ever growing interest in Modra majolica being yet another factor. The company was producing large quantities of ceramics, but their quality was decreasing. Moreover, the public was, due to market saturation, somewhat losing interest in this type of product. Recently, the media released a piece of information claiming that Slovak Folk Majolica in Modra was closed. Polemics concerned with future vision and aims of the company followed, contemplating possibilities of rescuing traditional Modra faience. They concluded this would be possible, if specialists from the world of crafts, history and design worked together, availing of international experience. The ultimate aim is then to rescue this significant part of our cultural heritage, heal the wounds of previous decades and revive not only the tradition, but introduce modern approaches to its use so that Slovak majolica is in demand again.


Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 04/2016:


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