A school unlike the others

A school unlike the others

Interview with school manager Oľga Fratričová

Jana Rajniaková

UĽUV was assigned its educational role already at its inception. The distinct features and forms of educational activities were changing and developing over time, until, in the 1990s, UĽUV began organising instruction courses, initially for teachers and then also for the public in the form of leisure activities. The accumulated documentation material, experience, contacts with best folk art craftspeople in Slovakia and the interest in live demonstrations of techniques were good prerequisites. Today the School of Crafts in Bratislava comprises five workshops equipped with necessary facilities and materials, namely the wood craft workshop, pottery workshop, weaver’s craft workshop, basket weaving workshop and tinker’s workshop.

At the inception the main objective of the school was to accommodate the interest of general public in traditional crafts, popularise folk arts and crafts, take care of the continuity of traditional production. Courses of pottery have been attracting greatest interest from the very beginning. Courses were offered in bobbin lace making, woodcarving, glass painting, eggs and gingerbread decorating, cornhusk production (corn husk dolls and also wrapped corn husk), tinker’s craft. The first pioneer trainers were the makers and masters of folk arts and crafts themselves. The interest in courses outside Bratislava compelled the organisers to extend the instruction regionally, hence, in 2005; the Regional Crafts Centre in Banská Bystrica was opened offering its own range of courses.

Currently 24 courses were accredited by the Ministry of Education, others are run as short-term. Courses are attended not only by interested people from the town in which they are run, but also by applicants from close and more distant surrounding area even from abroad, e.g. Austria.