pomorskie paciorki

i'm in gdańsk right now, typing these words from my very ''blogger-like'' position on a hotel bed.

first mention of gdańsk in ''vita prima sancti adalbertii in the 10th century

in pendolino (a fast train going from warsaw to gdańsk, and other places) there are these screens showing cool things in different cities. right there i read about the archeological museum and their jewellery exhibition.

view from the tower of the museum

''craftsmen or artists?'' is a small but very packed exhibit centered around jewellery made by pomeranian tribes in the first centuries ad. most of these where found in women's graves during excavations a couple of years ago. the premise of this whole thing is to, obviously, think about the difference and line between a craftsman and an artist.

even though the exhibit fills only one room, there is quite a number of pieces and a lot of information. mostly, you can find out what kind of jewellery making techniques where there 20 centuries ago, see the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. and they did all this by hand, without any magnifying glass or anything!

remanences of a small workshop
examples of where the jewellery was worn, 
a lot of brooches served a practical purpose  
since we are on the amber trail, 
these are naturally found ambers,
 also used in jewellery
this is one of my favourites.
a necklace made of a mediterranean sea shell 
(brought over by trading)
and a bronze casing, very high fashion


now let's talk about the topic.

first of all let me say that i believe that craftsmen, workers in handmade objects, are also artists. these things were designed by them, they took hours and hours to make it. let's not even begin to talk about the effort it took to figure out the methods of forming and decorating every piece. all by hand. all in a freaking hot workshop. 

i, myself, always say that i do what i do because i'm first and foremost a craftsman (or a woman rather). i'm mostly interested in getting to know new techniques of making stuff, figuring out any improvements, making thing by hand by myself.

for me knowing the workshop is much more important than having a split of inspiration, jotting it down and not knowing what to do with it.

ultimately, i want to create for myself but doing things which require a lot of skill for somebody is also very rewarding. another thing is the need for highly specialised craftsmen in today's day and age. recently my cousin linked me to a post about a new college in the uk, a part of a ballet school i think, and their main goal is to train people to renew and make new costumes for ballet. the tutus are in terrible shape apparently and it turns out it's quite hard to just repair or make a new one.


i can't recommend the exhibition enough and i want to hear your thoughts, are craftsmen artists? what is even the difference?


this has been your additional dose of creative thinking.



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