Dimensions of visual arts in tinkery

Dimensions of visual arts in tinkery

Katarína Hallonová

Manual processing of wire represents typical demonstration of Slovak material culture, and the objects from wire are ranked as the most classic Slovak craft and art products.

Slovak tinkers discovered wire and its unique characteristics for its later utilisation in applied and creative arts. They developed original, simple, still very efficient procedures of manual wire forming and binding, free of any soldering and welding joints, and introduced a new type of very popular daily products on the market. The products won recognition for being light, airy, with simple shapes and uncomplicated lines and delicately selected decorations derived from folk ornaments. The special material and technology rendered the wire products unusual and singular appearance. Wire products have remained popular until today and traditional wire processing procedures inspire contemporary art and craft community.

Our times see wire as a material used equally in traditional folk production as well as in artistic crafts, design and visual arts. Wire appears in applied art objects, interior accessories, jewellery, plastic art, object art, relief art, installation art or painting, in cabinet and large artworks, closer to architecture and outdoor environment. Artisans and visual artists examine the boundaries of wire in terms of visual expression and seek to identify new utilisation for traditional wire processing technology. They transport general construction principles used in traditional tinkering products and traditional pottery entwisting technique into their products and artworks. They conduct experiments with wire, combining it with wide range of materials. Thus, this traditional folk craft turned to become an interesting historical resource for individuals seeking original artistic expression and a source of new opportunities, provided by the combination of modern artistic opinion, unique material and original technology and tradition.

Exhibition in the Gallery of ULUV in Bratislava presents about two hundred craft and art works made by tinkers in 19th and 20th centuries and by designers and artists in the latest time.