Meeting with Anna & Jan Gracjasz
Thursday, Day 1
To meet up with Mr&Mrs Gracjasz I had to reach the peak (literally). Their family home is situated in beautiful place close to the mountains and ski lifts in much higher level then the village centre is. I must admit that my first visit was unexpected, rather than make a phone call, I preferred to meet up face to face with artisans, just to have a chance at least for the quick chat (which was really risky if I think about it now). Due to their other commitments at the time, the craftsmen didn’t seem interested in collaboration, despite all that, they still invited me to see the workshop.
Crossing the threshold of the studio It felt like I was in the right place. This place awakes senses, the smell of leather, paint and metal hovers in the air, which is characteristic for the leather workspace. The walls were covered with diplomas for their achievements, merits and recognition in professional practice. Additionally, various objects were spread across as gifts from other craftsmen colleagues. On the tables there were sharp, heavy tools; such as knives, hammers, stamps and punch holes basic instruments for this type of job.
A quick visit transformed to almost four hours long conversation, revealing commitment and passion to their work. During this time I had an opportunity to see most of their creations, listened to the personal stories, get familiar with the process and using tools, feeling like their student.
This warm welcome and discussion allowed to build the connection between us.
Anne agreed to collaborate with me and work together on the lamp project – the object that was never made in their studio as the leather is not a typical material for the lampshades creation, which was the thing, that I have been looking for.
One of my intention was also to create sets of tableware, particularly bowls, however, after speculating with people who knows this material better we agreed that the chemicals contained in leather after processing it from hides and skins cause disadvantage and can lead to unwanted, side effects.