Blogs » Articles » Notes from the Road - SLOVAKIA

Notes from the Road - SLOVAKIA

  • This week I flew out to Slovakia to meet our member, Rudolph Molnar and his family - I am staying in the old town in Bratislava - with  narrrow streets lined with pastel buildings decorated with ornate faćades - restaurants and pubs, and open walking for tourists -  My first day, we attended a jewelry exhibtion in a musem where Rudolph and several other well known metal and goldmisths had their work on display.


      Yesterday, we  drove along the highway, passed the Carpathian mountains, and visited a well known Pottery factory ( est. 150 yrs.) that produces original designs of Slovakian folk art - Hand thrown potters work the wheels, and once dried and fired, the work tables are filled with women artists hand painting designs with Glaze - To my amazement, there are no printed patterns for them to follow - every design is free hand and precise - As we drove to the North, the highways are bordered by farms and fields of corn and sunflowers - I missed the blooming time - now its harvest time - The diet consists of meat and cheeses, and lots of honey wine called "Mead"-


     Heading north, we visited two castles from the 14th century - each  built on a solid humungus mound of rock rising above the towns.  I visualized myself in the TV series, "Game of Throwns" -  We climbed breathlessly to the top and we were so high I could not look down. Walking through the castle, you get a sense of living in a cold fortress -  bare necessities, the rooms having narrow, winding steps that lead and entertwine each other until you are lost in a maze. I pitied the servants that carried anything to the floors above. It was hard to imagine anyone invading or leaving.  But according to the history books, the Kings and queens lived lavishly.


    What I have learned from visiting the museums and studying the jewelry, is that granulation was a very big part of jewelry design over the centuries - from buttons to earrings, to necklaces, granulation and delicate twisted wire was applied to silver. 


    Tomorrow, Rudolph and I will be visiting his friend and goldsmith who like Rudolph, works heavily in granulation and the reproduction of historical jewelry.


    Stay tuned.




1 comment