Praise of golden hands - two of my craft friends

In the age of mass production and cheap copies, it is a really big challenge to go back to craft traditions. The work invested often doesn’t bring back the price because people prefer the cheap, saying it also suits them if they have a choice. Then it quickly breaks down, or they simply get rid of the cheap and poor quality product and throw it away. This is how a lot of plastic and other non-recyclable waste is created!

Now, I’ll show you several crafts my friends make. The pictures were taken at the Royal Days, which ended one week ago, in Székesfehérvár.
I asked them if I could present their work on my blog. They were both happy to say yes. With this, I can help them promote.

Non-chiselled belt buckles and fitting - Gabriella and Csaba Bíró's work

I have known Gabi for at least 10 years or more, she has amazing talent and a very good soul. Mother of 4 children. She is a sculptor, and her husband, Csaba, is a bronze caster. Most of the time they work together. Gabi patterns the objects, from the jewelery to the huge sacrificial cauldron (reconstruction of an archaeological find), but the stone sculpture is not far from her either.
She now works on a large piece of limestone, carving ancient dragon motifs into it. These motifs are originally on the sword of Attila, the Hun leader. The sword can now be seen in Vienna.



Her youngest daughter also works on a Ytong block.


She also showed an earlier work depicting Celtic horse motifs.


The scratched tool is sharpened on an old grinding machine that can be driven by foot.


During the Royal Days, Csaba gave a bronze casting show on the spot. He made small objects, here you can see the raw works that have yet to be chiselled. A couple of years ago, I made a video at their house in Balinka about the bronze casting process (See on my YouTube Channel:

It is a very fiery craft, requiring great knowledge and humility.

A huge bellows that will make the firebox so hot that the bronze will melt.

Raw bronze items before chisel.



Raven before chisel


Bronze jewelry


Bronze on belts


Belt bag




Let me introduce another wonderful talent, Vali, who makes clay pots using prehistoric techniques. In prehistoric times, the technique of discing was not known for a long time, so they made their objects of use with the so-called "stacking" technique.

Wall lampholders, home altar


(I used this technique either 20 years ago, I made a lot of small items, but I all gave them away or sold them. Unfortunately, no photos are left of them.)

Stacking is much slower than discing. It is best if the clay dries evenly, so the clay should be wetted (not soaked!) Regularly in warm weather. The walls of clay pots made in this way are usually thicker, but the edges of the cups can be thinned so that they can be easily used for drinking. I tried, drank from one of these mugs, and felt the water very fresh.

These cups, mugs and other vessels were made without glaze.
Yet it is difficult for water to penetrate them because their surface is mirror-smooth. A smooth surface can be achieved by "graveling". When the clay is already semi-hard, its surface is still a bit malleable, in which case you need to rub its surface with a small gravel.



The smooth surface can then be patterned as desired with a variety of small tools. In the past, bone tools were used for this purpose.
I also photographed pots with a white pattern. Here the recesses are filled with lime.


Burning takes place in a pit dug into the ground, where the clay is in direct contact with fire, embers, charcoal. This causes black coloration.
I can’t wait to start claying again. I graveled a cup made a year ago now, I just have to burn it out. I'll show you soon.

“The source of love is love itself.” (Grigori Grabovoi)

With lots of love from Kalemandra



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