Everyday material culture – life inside the home

Home is a realm of exceptional significance that plays an important role in our intellectual and emotional development. Home is not just a dwelling, but also a place of emotional se­curity, independence, replenishment, and fulfillment. Attachment to one’s home gives a sense of continuity. Our home belongs to us, reflects us, is part of our self-expression; it is created through a series of decisions, and in most cases we enjoy shaping it in our own image. It speaks of our tastes, our behavior, our thinking, our value choices, it even reacts to the and affects them. The objects of our environment bear memories and meanings, they are part of our extended memory, they affect the quality of human interactions and relationships. Whether we choose an easily available but impermanent ‚junk’ or a quality item of lasting value – our choices make a difference, indeed.

The handcrafted objects evocative of peasant material culture exhibited in this living space are neither relics of the tradition, nor museum or exhibition items. Anyone han­dling them would realize that these objects demand to be used. Through the knowledge of their making and use, they represent a continuity between the past and the present.

A great deal of the items created by today’s craftsmen are household objects: pottery, furniture, kitchen utensils and storage vessels, textiles, tablecloths, curtains, carpets, bedlinens, toys – everything that surrounds us in everyday life. Carvers producing small utilitarian and decorative items outnumber the furniture makers, stove makers and pot­ters, but weavers and embroiderers make up the most populous sector of handicrafts. The textiles made predominantly by women, as they were in the past, conjure up the coziness of the home, the love and attention with which a housewife „dresses up” her home environment.

These carefully designed and constructed, familiar objects would find a place in any part of today’s home, from the pantry to the dining room, from the bedroom to the living room and the nursery. They are made of natural materials: wood, bark, wicker, clay, wool, linen, hemp. Sometimes it is the shape, the material, other times the ornament, the color, or the harmony of all of these that attracts our gaze. If we move closer, we can see that traditional form does not equal uniformity. An article of a well-known object type may look similar to another, but it is never the same. „Variety is the spice of life” – each object is unique, and creativity unfolds in a series of versions one cannot grow tired of. Everyone will find one that is closest to their heart.