About the leather in ÚĽUV

About the leather in ÚĽUV

Eva Ševčíková

The manufacturing of traditional products from unique natural materials, for example from leather, continues today. At ÚĽUV major groups of leather products can be found in assortment: the first, older group includes belts and straps from old traditionally worn costumes, sheepherder’s satchels, peasant’s shoes, and some small packs for tobacco. The second group contains belts, satchels, bag packs, bags, book covers and pouches, which came from the ideas of designers or producers. The authors of the works used traditional techniques of sewing and decoration, but also different ways of securing belts, fringes on the pastoral satchels, ornaments from fur. Currently it is possible to see presentations of traditional production from leather for example at the Day of ÚĽUV Masters in Bratislava, during which many masters regularly present their products.

In addition to production and presentation, ÚĽUV also pays a lot of attention to the education in leather craft in general. The Regional Center of Craft in Bratislava offers regularly the course “Production from Leather” during which participants pick up technological steps of producing small, utilizable objects, learning to evaluate appropriate materials and gaining experience with the correct tools needed for achieving different products.

Jiří Halámek, experienced and much loved by his pupils, has been leading this course since 2005. He was introduced to leather craft by his grandfather, who was a master boot maker. In 1982, Halámek was employed by ÚĽUV as a supplier. Here he met many skilled craftsmen – belt and bag makers, learned about materials and tools, which are used by leather masters. It was these connections that brought him to the craft. In time Halámek earned his certificate of qualification in the realm of leather production and from that moment he dedicated his life completely to the craft. He carries a widely varied assortment of leather products- from traditional products to the modern bags, backpacks, handbags, belts, small jewelry etc. The products emanate perfection of design and technical execution. In 2001, Jiří Halámek received certificate of qualification as Master of Traditional Folk Art Production.