The life and work of Elena Taby
Elena Taby (1907 – 1974, Levice) studied at the School of Art Crafts in Bratislava from 1931 to 1935. The task of this school was to educate designers and craftsmen in a variety of professions to implement their new skills and knowledge in all areas of visual culture. She chose ceramics with professor Júlia Horová as a subject. Her most significant creations were in the 1940s. Travertine was mined in Levice in a number of mines from the first third of the 20th century; it was then further processed to make floor and wall tiles. In one of the mines, however, a unique and original stone was found, so-called onyx marble, which was created by a secondary change in the travertine under the influence of hot water, vapour and gases. It is marked by alternating colours, spots and a colour scale ranging from golden yellow, white, green up to brown yellow and dark brown as well as translucent and transparent. After polishing it takes a high shine and exquisite colourfulness. Elena Taby designed all the products for the Onyx-Aragonite workshop from 1943. For a further twenty-five years she created prototypes for a variety of large scale products: smoker’s sets, ashtrays, writing sets, weights, pen holders, paper holders, clocks, lamps, vases, crosses and holy water vessels, photographic frames, objects for the boudoir, bowls, holders for sport trophies and chess sets.