Embroidery works of Otília Kopecká

Embroidery works of Otília Kopecká

Oľga Danglová

Textile products have a stable position within the artistic and craft production of ÚĽUV. All ÚĽUV shops around Slovakia keep in their profile embroidered textiles that were designed by textile artist Otília Kopecká. They are very popular products with stable sales.

Textile artist Otília Kopecká (1935) graduated at the Secondary school of textile industry in Brno, specialising in textile creation at the lace and embroidery department (1954 – 1958). After graduation, Kopecká pursued 30-year career in the ÚĽUV in Bratislava, working as the first professionally qualified textile worker. Kopecká assumed a position of textile designer at a newly established art department in the mid 1960s. She co-organised events for embroiders working for the ÚĽUV. She participated in almost all exhibitions, domestic or aboard, organised by the ÚĽUV and her works were published in manuals, books and magazines on embroidery techniques. When she had retired in 1991, Kopecká redirected her creative efforts toward an own company.

Initially, she found inspiration in three regions (Žitný ostrov, Trnava, Čataj). She developed a liking for harmonic, symmetric and rhythmic embroidery patterns. Kopecká added an inspiration from sober motifs of the 18th century embroidery. She liked yellow-and-orange, square, star and bird-like motifs from the village of Čičmany; older and simple heart-shaped and square types of embroidery compositions from the region of Horehronie, stylised compositions at hemp sheets from the Záhorie region. From time to time, the artist extended her artistic inspirations, according to her preferences and, naturally, commercial demand and then strategies (at that time, it was required to promote endangered types of traditional production). Among her contributions were the establishment of new production centres and extension of portfolios of local embroidered textile materials. The author got her inspirations from the “curved needle” type of embroidery from the Detva region, single line centred bunches from the region of Prievidza, manifold shapes from Šoporňa, and embroideries from Trnava, Piešťany, Vajnory and Liptovská Lúžna regions.

She re-designed original patterns according to her creative tendencies and new functions. Kopecká was exploring the harmony between original and adjusted patterns, examined new technical and visual correlations between various types and functions of textiles. She played games with a single ornamental motif and its variations in space. She presented a detailed drawing to an embroiderer and they speculated over it until they agreed on a common textile design. Otília Kopecká was good in judging interpreting skills and knowledge level of individual embroiderers. She made designs chiefly for household interiors, preferring collections instead of solitaires. The first impression from her manifold portfolio of designs is the flood of light shades of white, beige and yellow.