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Discover craftsmanship in two countries new to Homo Faber Guide: Hungary and Slovakia

Hungary, famous for the quality of its porcelain and for the innovative spirit of its craftspeople, and Slovakia, known for its experimental approach to glass, crystal and many other materials, are countries of particular importance for the Homo Faber Guide, located as they are at the heart of Europe.

Peacock handcrafted by paper sculptor Edina Németh - Edinas Paper©Kiss Lenke

Hungary, famous for the quality of its porcelain and for the innovative spirit of its craftspeople, and Slovakia, known for its experimental approach to glass, crystal and many other materials, are countries of particular importance for the Homo Faber Guide, located as they are at the heart of Europe. They have been explored thanks to collaborations with the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts, the Association of Hungarian Folk Artists, ÚL'UV The Centre for Folk Art Production, the Institute of Design at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava and Flowers for Slovakia, who collectively have enabled the Michelangelo Foundation and its researchers to uncover the most interesting artisans and the most inspiring experiences.

Search the Homo Faber Guide to see Hungary and Slovakia in a new light, enriched by virtual craftsmanship discoveries to be found in all corners of these culturally rich countries. Learn the unique stories of Hungarian and Slovakian artisans and the secrets behind their impressive skills and masterpieces, as they reveal life in their workshops and the inspiration behind their creations. Be guided by the recommendations of country and city ambassadors, such as Judit Osvárt, ambassador for Budapest, explore the city through her eyes as she shares her favourite galleries, shops and artisans.

Edina Németh, Paper sculptor, Hungary
Whether she is making eye-catching window displays, artful invitations or memorable greeting cards, Edina Németh approaches all her creations with the same delicacy and desire to delight. Her home city of Budapest is often a protagonist in her designs, it’s no surprise, with its striking architecture it lends itself particularly well to being the muse of a paper artist. Her formal training in architecture also explains her remarkable precision at replicating the forms and shapes of the landmarks of Hungary’s capital city. From miniature to large-scale, Edina’s three-dimensional treasures require a diligent process. She spends time researching new techniques and implementing them into her paper work; from pleating to stitching. Whilst she often uses laser cutting, she still relies on many traditional manual techniques such as metal foil embossing and die cutting to assemble her paper sculptures. From the Four Seasons Hotel in the Gresham Palace to Omorovicza skin care brand, her followers are many.

Róbert Slíž, Bellfounder, Slovakia
Tucked away in mainland Slovakia, is a young craftsman who is making a name for himself in a craft which dates back to medieval times. From a tender age Róbert Slíž’s grandfather’s bell-ringing in the municipal belfry in Plešivec struck a chord and left him enchanted by these symbolic objects which are so closely entwined to his home country’s culture and rituals. Little did he know then, the journey this fascination would lead him to embark on. Unlike most bellfounders, the tradition didn’t run through his family and so he set upon a path aged 15 years old to learn the required skills to make a bell all by himself. A challenge which he met with endless curiosity and determination. It took time, three years to be precise, first he drew on medieval technology to produce a casting mould and then he experimented with different recipes for the clay blend. In between times, assisted by his father, he built his workshop and by 2015 he had successfully cast his first three bells. Since then, he has created over 90.

Bastien and Veronika Boisanfray, Leatherworkers, Slovakia
When French skills met Slovakian customs, when a husband and a wife joined creative forces and a father and son exchanged tools and techniques, the result was Verbua – a leatherworking company guided by passion and authenticity. In 2013, Bastien Boisanfray and his wife Veronika took over his father’s workshop in Normandy and moved it to Bratislava in Slovakia, taking with them all the skills that Bastien had learned from his father since the age of 13, as well as many of the original tools required to perpetuate them. Combining a contemporary vision with age-old techniques such as saddle stitching, the creative duo began to handcraft custom made handbags and leather accessories, defined by minimalist design, high quality leather and colourful dyes. As each piece is bespoke, no two finished handbags are the same, each has its own identity and personalisation. It’s not every day that you can say your pieces have passed through not only your hands but those of your country’s president, in the case of Zuzana Čaputová who commissioned several pieces from the talented pair.

Bastien and Veronika Boisanfray at work - ©Petra Baranovičová Visit or download the app available for free on both Apple Store and Google Play Store to discover more stories.

User guide:
Homo Faber Guide is structured into different sections: Discover, Visit, Experience and Ambassadors.

Discover: Find a selection of the best master artisans and rising talents, ateliers and manufacturers of excellence from all over Europe. Connect with them directly through the guide.
Visit: Find museums, galleries and shops linked to fine craftsmanship to visit in all corners of the continent.
Experience: Find a curated list of workshop visits, artisan master classes, guided tours, and temporary exhibitions and fairs across Europe.
Ambassadors: Renowned individuals and partner institutions within the craft, creativity and design world who recommend their favourite artisans, galleries and experiences in their home cities.
Subcategories: search by country, city, craft or material.

Notes for editors

Homo Faber Guide places craftsmanship in Europe at your fingertips. Curated by the Michelangelo Foundation, it is an online, searchable platform, which showcases artisans, ateliers, museums, galleries and experiences linked to fine craftsmanship in Europe. The platform connects craft enthusiasts, collectors, clients, curious travellers and designers with the continent’s crafting excellence. Using geo-localisation, the platform maps craftsmanship across the continent. Discover over 700 talented artisans across all corners of Europe, from glass blowers to mask makers, paper sculptors to silversmiths. Newly selected artisans appear weekly, with the aim of presenting over 1,000 masters and rising talents by 2021. The signature project was created in collaboration with members of the Michelangelo Foundation’s international network or designated ambassadors – renowned individuals within the craft, creativity and design world. or download the app on the Apple Store or Google Play Store.

The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship believes in a future which values master craftsmanship and places the human hand at the centre of production. Its mission is to celebrate and preserve craftsmanship and strengthen its connection to the world of design. At the heart of all the foundation’s activities are the artisans who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of excellence using long-held traditions, skills and knowledge. Contemporary craftspeople are the protagonists of both the foundation’s signature digital platform, Homo Faber Guide and the Foundation’s biennial international exhibition in Venice, Homo Faber Event that welcomed 62,500 visitors to its inaugural edition in 2018. From its headquarters in Geneva, the non-profit institution works with an international network of organizations to promote a new cultural movement.

Edina Nemeth Artisan Edinas Paper©Robi Dalnoki Robert Sliz Artisan©All rights reserved Undefined title_Edina Nemeth Artisan_Edinas Paper©Kiss Lenke Undefined title_Robert Sliz Artisan©All rights reserved Beaumont leather handbag_Verbua Artisans©Petra Baranovičová Verbua Artisans©Petra Baranovičová Peacock_Edina Nemeth Artisan_Edinas Paper©Kiss Lenke