Polish Folklor is a collection of flower vases inspired by the traditional Polish folk craft of cut-outs from Łowicz. As the patterns found in this folk craft have been popularized and placed on many types of consumer goods, their history and meaning have been forgotten. These vibrant vases celebrate and bring back this forgotten history. They include changeable front and back panels with a universal middle vessel. The vases can be displayed together to create the full story about the cut-outs from Łowicz or separately to suit the user’s needs.
They are mainly aimed at Millennials and Zennials who recognise the patterns but do not know their symbolism and would want to have a piece with a story and meaning in their home. However, they could be used by anyone, as the changeable panels allow the user to create their own desired vase design.
In this collection, there are 3 patterns, each focusing on a different aspect from the history of cut-outs from Łowicz. The first story conveyed in this collection is about the traditional methods of manufacture and the people that made them. I really wanted to highlight the sheep sheers that were traditionally used to cut the paper. Such a surprisingly primitive tool was used to create something so meaningful and intricate.
The second pattern focuses on the symbolism of the traditional shapes, patterns, and colours found in the cut-outs from Łowicz. The cockerel is its main feature because it is a very important symbol within Polish folk crafts. It symbolises protection against evil spirits, fertility, and wealth. The final pattern is portraying the traditional use of cut-outs which was to act as a ‘poor man’s painting’.
Nature is prevalent in all the patterns, as for the inhabitants of small Polish villages of the time, the idea of practical beauty was of utmost importance. What was useful for them, also became beautiful, therefore was portrayed in the cut-out patterns. To learn about the history and symbolism of the patterns as well as the folk craft, the user can visit the product’s website ( https://wiktokijow04.wixsite.com/polishfolklor ) which has all the necessary information presented in an interactive way.
As the society is chasing newness, the history and tradition of products and crafts are often being forgotten. I think it is just as important to look to the past as it is to look to the future. The past can tell you so much about people’s innovation; in this case how communities from small Polish villages utilised the paper that was given to them as payment from the nearby paper factory during the late 19th and early 20th century.