Agnieszka Mazur
→ projektantka
+ 48 791 717 747
ag@nowerzemioslo.pl

A graduate in Design at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. At New Crafts responsible for designing and realization. Relentless explorer of the technological processing possibilities of different materials. She values the experience provided by low-processed materials – their weight, temperature, palpability. Always looking for a clever combination of aesthetics and construction. She likes lavish projects, although not necessarily meant for galleries.

Kacper Latecki
→ researcher
+ 48 691 889 745
kcp@nowerzemioslo.pl

A social psychologist by education, a moderator and researcher by profession. In New Crafts responsible for inspiration and on the lookout for fresh ideas. He manages the project realization processes. He works as a market researcher for marketing strategies and supports inspiring innovation. He observes a lot and frequently talks to people. This is why he puts more trust in experience than in words.

New Craft

Professional projects, craftsman’s workmanship.

 

 

Our projects are created on the basis of specialist knowledge.

Our projects are durable.

Our projects are ready for mass-production.

Our projects are effects of efforts.

Our projects respect traditional material processing.

Our projects age well.

Our projects are made by particular people.

Our projects are made on a human scale.

Our projects are not glued.

Our projects are possible to repair.

Our projects do not fall apart.

Our projects are effect of a job well done.

 

New Craft invests in handicraft and direct cooperation.

Designed by: Agnieszka Mazur

www:
graphics: Natalia Kotkowska
implementation: Duszan Almonkari

pictures:
direction and editing: Michalina Musielak
shooting: Michalina Musielak/Natalia Dołgowska,
Wawrzyniec Skoczylas

Special thanks:
Jerzy Wasilewski, Lech Marek oraz Zbyszek Szulc, Panowie Wiśniewscy,
Robert Chwałowski, Wawrzyniec Skoczylas, Piotr Cwaliński


The project was created thanks to the Young Poland 2013 program of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

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A glassblower or gaffer works at glassworks. His job is to shape and inflate molten glass into particular elements.

 

Glass is shaped by glassblowers while it is still hot and in the form of molten mass. The glass mass (called “glass set”) is obtained by melting silica together with mineral additives. The temperature in a working furnace reaches around 1,200 C°. Such temperature assures a proper consistency and viscosity of the glass mass which is suitable for further treatment. The molten mass has a consistency similar to that of liquid honey.

 

The glass-making furnace works continually for 24 hours a day. This is due to the fact that shutting down a furnace takes even up to two weeks. Maintaining stable temperature is also cheaper than cyclically cooling it off and then reheating.

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The glassblower uses a special type of steel tube called a blowpipe which traditionally in Polish was also called “tibia”. The name came from the earlier used material, i.e. a hollow animal shinbone.

On the one hand of the blowpipe there is a mouthpiece. The second end is dipped into the furnace in order to spool a portion of glass called “a gather”. At present the blowpipes are made of alloys with low thermal conductivity. Thanks to that it is possible to maintain the molten glass on the blowpipe.

 

The work begins with taking on a glob of glass onto the end of the blowpipe. Next the glass is being shaped. The process is divided into several stages.

First the glass is rolled on a marver. The aim of this is to obtain a cylinder shape and to remove air bubbles. If the glassblower is working on a larger shape he dips the blowpipe several times in the furnace each time adding a portion of glass. The more glass is needed, the more times the blowpipe is dipped.

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After that the gather is being slowly inflated. At first only a small portion of air is being blown into the blob. The glassblower dexterously keeps rotates the blowpipe in order to prevent the glass from dripping off.

Before moving to the next stage the glass is narrowed. Using a special type of tongs the glassblower cuts in (or rather crushes) the glass mass right outside of the blow tube. Thanks to a thus-obtained narrowing it will be possible to separate the final product from the blowpipe. It is a preparation for the last stage of work. After tapping the blowpipe the glass cracks off at the thinnest place, located right outside of the end of the pipe.

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At this stage the glass is given a proper color. The bulb is covered with colorful glass powder. The substances used for coloring are metal oxides and minerals. Depending on the desired effect the powder can be applied in several ways giving different effects.

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Next the glassblower moves on to another workstation where the blob is shaped. At this stage an oval regular shape is obtained. The bulb is inflated into a larger size and gradually cooled down by 200-300 C° in order to make it less ductile. The glassblower alternately inflates the glass and using a shaping block he shapes the bullet.

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The gaffer rotates the pipe incessantly in order to prevent the glass from dripping off. Despite the impression one may have from watching people with puffed-out cheeks, the process of inflating the bulb is a very delicate one.

The slightly cooled bulb can be given its final shape. It is put into a mold and inflated into the desired size and shape. The mold must be wet. Upon touching the wet wood with heated glass a lot of steam is produced preventing both materials from getting stuck together and the wood from burning.

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The wooden mold every time gets delicately burnt anyway, which causes it to expand. This is why when creating a series of products one has to take into account the fact that the earlier-created ones will be slightly smaller than those created later.

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After talking the element out of the mold, it must be consolidated. The mass is not as elastic as it had been before it was placed in the mold, but is can still become deformed.

It is not yet ready for use.

The last stage is cracking off the product from the blowpipe. The glass brakes in the place of the narrowing created while producing the bulb. Thanks to it the breaking point is under control. Otherwise there would be a risk of destroying the whole element.

The remaining part of glass left at the end of the blowpipe is abruptly cooled in water and the glass is chipped off and melted again.

When the product is ready, it is put into a furnace for slow cooling for another 12 hours. Were this stage of annealing to be omitted, the glass would cool too fast which would lead to internal tensions and spontaneous breakage. All work can be carried out by one employee or by a team of specialists occupying particular post.

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After the elements have cooled they have to be trimmed and ground to remove sharp edges.

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Metal spinning is a process of producing objects from metal sheets. Given the specificity of this technology it is possible to produce forms shaped like solids of revolution, e.g. lampshades, bowls, elements of ventilation fittings, etc.

The process begins with the preparation of metal discs. The plate is cut into squares with a sheet cutter and later into discs using a machine called circle shear.

The prepared workpiece is mounted on the spoon where a formed block has already been placed. The moving part of the spinner, the spindle, is rotating at high speed (from 270 to 1270 turns per minute). To it the block and the metal plate are attached which are to be given shape.

The spinner is thus a machine in which both the formed block and the flat piece of plate attached to it rotate.

The metal plate is shaped through gradually applying pressure to the formed block. As the whole is rotating very fast the plate begins to fit the formed block centimeter by centimeter taking on its shape. The principle resembles forming clay on a potter’s wheel.

The formed block has to be pressed against the plate with great force. It is done with a tool called a mandrel. It is a huge piece of wood with a metal rounded-off ending.

The artisan works with all his body. Clamping just with hands would not be sufficient in order to shape the metal plate. This is why he presses with all his body using a belt attached to the spinner.

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The mandrel works as a lever. Between it and the rotating formed block there must be one more element, a point against which the artisan sets the mandrel. This place is a huge metal slat against which the artisan can lean with all his body weight. At the point of application of the mandrel to the plate moves, the craftsman mounts it in a different place of the slat.

When the workpiece is ready, it has to be delicately ground down in order to make it smooth.

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A ceramicist task is the preparation of ceramic mass, the cast, glazing and firing.

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Ceramics need to be cast in plaster molds first and then fired.

The process begins with preparing ceramic mass. It is a mixture of water, different types of clay and chemical additives. It has a thicker consistency than milk.

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The liquid ceramic mass is poured into dry molds which were prepared earlier. Depending on the complexity level of the shape, the mold can even have several separate parts. The preparation itself is a form of art. A separate type of specialist called a ceramic modeler handles it.

 

The forms are made of plaster. Thanks to that they absorb water efficiently. It is a key element of the process.nowe_rzemioslo_mazur_w formie

Water from the ceramic mass after being poured into the mold begins to sink in. Ceramicists say that the mold “drinks water”. The mold soaks up the water and as a result a fine layer of ceramics settles on its interior walls.

 

In one day only a limited number of items can be cast from one mold. Sometimes it is no more than 2 or 3 items. The mold drinks the water absorbing it. With each new pouring it gets more and more wet. In consequence it absorbs water more and more slowly and with less force. Each new cast needs more time to reach the desired thickness.

After enough time has passed the liquid part of the mass is poured out. The longer the liquid stays in the mold, the more mass will settle on its walls, i.e. the thicker the layer of ceramic “muck” will be. Depending on the desired effects the ceramic mass is kept in the mold for a period of time ranging from a few minutes to a few hours. If the ceramicist wants to obtain thicker walls, he will keep the mass longer in the mold. If the layers are to be thinner, he will do the opposite.

At this stage we get a mold which is covered from the inside with wet ceramic “muck” resembling modeling clay, but much more malleable and susceptible to deformations.

In order to make the produced item harder, one has to wait. Otherwise it will not be suitable for taking out from the mold and will get deformed. The mold keeps on absorbing water thus with each passing moment making drier and harder the ceramics settled inside. The molds are then placed upside down in order to make the liquid remains of ceramics leak out.

Before the ceramicist takes out the cast from the mold, he cuts out the rim, i.e. the surplus which is left as an effect of pouring in the mass.

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The next step is carefully opening the mold, taking out the product and leaving it to dry completely.

Before putting it into the kiln, the dry element has to be finished manually. First smooth out at the seams. Products made in an imprecise manner bear marks of seam lines; we can observe it sometimes on everyday products. These defects look like a long thin line.

nowe_rzemioslo_mazur_czyszczenie5Next the marks from removing the seams are leveled off. They are removed with a damp sponge.nowe_rzemioslo_mazur_gabkaA product prepared in such a way is then put into the kiln and fired. It becomes hard and deformation resistant.

 

Clay contracts as a result of high temperature; this is why the products after firing are a few percent smaller.

Already fired ceramics has a rough and a rather unpleasant surface. It can also get easily dirtied. For this very reason most ceramic products undergo the process of glazing.

The glaze is prepared in a separate container. These are metal and non-metal oxides mixed with water. The solution is a colloid, i.e. a mixture of water with an undiluted substance. In the process of firing the water evaporates and the glazing powder left on the product melts and then hardens.

A ceramic product is immersed for a moment in a solution which settles on it very quickly creating a wet layer. It is relatively thick, up to 2 millimeters.

Before the product undergoes firing, one problem has to be solved. When it is immersed, it needs to be held somehow. Thus, there will always be a place in which a hand or a tool blocks the liquid glaze from gaining access to the ceramics. There the glaze cannot settle.

The item, now “covered” in glaze, is finished manually by completing its defects. Sometimes the surplus of glaze is removed in order for the product to have an even surface after firing.

The glaze is removed from places where the objet touches the kiln. Otherwise during firing the product would get stuck to the wall of the kiln. Each ceramic object has to stand in the kiln during firing, so each has some fragment which remains not glazed. The commonly known examples are the rough undersides of mugs and cups.

 

As a result of a temperature of over 600 C°, the glaze melts and evenly coats the product. After cooling it becomes durable and waterproof.

 

The glaze coating gives different types of finishing through various colors, sheen, textures and water resistance.

 

 

After cooling the kiln the product is ready.

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Stonemasonry is a very old profession which deals with the extraction and treatment of stone. Currently the word stonemason refers to a person who deals with processing stone material.

In our work we established relations with people representing the highest culture of stone treatment and the most expert knowledge in the area on a word-wide scale. Who combine handicraft with the latest technologies. The example of this particular workshop might easily illustrate to what modern methods one can resort to in the case of one of the most traditional materials.

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Stone is an extremely capricious material. One has to be careful when selecting and processing it. Despite its hardness, it may turn out to be fragile. That is why for most projects we were compelled to pick a particular type, if not a particular fragment of the material so that it met our expectations.

Stone can be treated in many different ways. In our case a block of stone underwent the processes of water jetting, milling and lastly the stone’s surface was polished.

Obtaining the precise shape of a disc was the crucial issue.

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We started from water jetting. A huge stone slab was placed on the machine which in a very accurate way cuts the given shape. Water mixed with abrasive material, i.e. very fine dust, is thrust form a nozzle under an incredibly high pressure of five thousand bars. Such force is capable of cutting through a 15-centimeter piece of steel.

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Despite such great force the water current, upon leaving the nozzle, slightly expands. This is why in the case of cutting through thicker pieces of stone, the cut is always applied at a slightly uneven angle. In most cases this fact is rather insignificant, however from time to time this effect is manually eliminated by polishing the surface.

 

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The order of cutting each element is decided in advance and controlled by special computer software which runs the machine.

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In our project the next stage was drilling a hole on a CNC milling machine. The idea was to make room for the head of the screw. The CNC milling machine gradually cut off layer after layer from the stone.

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In the last phase it is man and not machine who decides about the final look of the workpiece. This happens through grinding and polishing the surface.

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Working with metal requires a lot of knowledge, experience and a wide range of machines. A lot of workshops specialize only in narrow fields, e.g. welding or cold working. We managed to reach experts who have a very vast knowledge and work comprehensively “in metal”.

In a metal workshop we went through many processes: rolling, welding and powder coloring.

Turning is a way of metal working which consists in machining the material and creating elements shaped like a solid of revolution. The process of turning takes place on a machine – a lathe which is considered to be one of the oldest machines used for treating this material.

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Material is installed in the lathe using clamps or by placing it in a chunk. The workpiece ready for machining is set into rotation. The turner cuts the metal to the desired shape with tool bits which move along vertical and horizontal axes with great precision. The cutting edges are steered with special controls. Despite enormous forces at work in a lathe, the controls can be manipulated to an accuracy of one-tenth of a millimeter.

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The tool bits may be adjusted to meet precise needs, each time created for the purposes of a particular project.

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We also had the opportunity to weld steel elements.

In the process an arc of light is produced using high power currents. A welding helmet has to be used for protection against the ultraviolet rays.

Photographs curtesy of L.M. Lech Marek company and Mr. Jurek Wasilewski. Special acknowledgements to Mr. Lech and Mr. Zbyszek.