Triennale and Workshop in Budafok
4 Minute Read
After the end of the enamel-symposium and conference in Kecskemét (see Vol. 23, No. 5, pg. 114), some of the international enamel artists had been invited by Làszlò Gyergyàdesz Junior (who is the chairman of the Hungarian Society of Enamel Artists, "HSEA", after the death of its founder, Laszló Morvay) to enamel for one week in the Lampart Factory in Budafok, a southern suburb of the city of Budapest (accommodation, food, and materials were free). This was a very special event. Katalin Hollosy from the Kecskemét-studio had helped to prepare this workshop, too - a real "Sisyphean task" for all the people who were involved in running the workshop.
In connection with the workshop there was the opening of the "2nd International Enamel Triennale" (in memory of the late Làszlò Morvay). It was an excellent exhibition in the "Millennium Salon", Olof-Palme-House, which is a representative exhibition place in the middle of a big park in the center of Budapest. This exhibition showed enamels by international artists who had already been working at the Lampart factory the years before, or who had sent their work for this special event. The organizers had tried to show especially modern enamel art and modern techniques - compared to the more traditional works which had been shown in Kecskemét before. It was a very interesting contrast between these different exhibitions. In the wide rooms of the Millennium Salon, the wall pieces had been placed apart from each other and had good light, which is especially important and positive for enamels. Though the opening was on a Thursday afternoon (August 5th, 2004), a surprisingly great number of people came to the vernissage to enjoy music and enamel art.
The Lampart Enamel Factory, founded in 1904, celebrated this special anniversary sponsoring the Triennale and the workshop. Each participant was asked to donate one of the works made during this workshop to the collection of the factory. The director (CEO) Béla Piróth and the Manager of Enamel Technology Judit Gergely (Dipl.chen. Ing.) came along every day to watch our progress, to help us and to give advice, and to support us with supplies. Everybody could recognize how much they were interested that all invited artists had a good time and the best working conditions (as soon as she could spend some time, Judit Gergely made some enamel pieces herself).
A great variety of liquid enamel - colors and iron panels of the size from 30cm x 30cm to 1 square meter (about 1 to 9 square-feet), many different rectangular panels and some rejects of other shapes for the first trials were prepared for the participants. A small kiln nearby was very helpful for colour-experiments on small pieces.
Our working tables were placed at the side of the production line, where dozens of employees were busy hanging pre-enameled parts of gas stoves, shower trays, sinks, stoves and other products on a chain which led slowly through the kiln, and took them off after firing on the other side. We were allowed to pass our painted or sifted pieces to the people and they would hang them on the chain. It was incredibly peculiar to watch all these pictures with faces, figures and ornaments painted with different colors hanging in a line with huge pots, shower trays and other household items in black, brown, cream, or white to be transported into the kiln. As we had no influence on the firing time, it was important not to add too much or - still worse - not enough layers of enamel colour.
The artists used different techniques (e.g., Károly Balányi applied the silk-screen technique, László Báron worked with stencils, and I preferred sgraffito combined with painting)(see pictures, taken by Yvonne Plüss from Switzerland). Some of the Hungarian artists brought their own spray tools and offered us to use their equipment. I admired the employees who were very tolerant when we came up their spray cabins and asked for a layer white (black or ivory) color. They would take our pieces and spray them professionally fast and perfect, and then allowed us patiently to return back to our tables, crawling underneath the chains with hot pieces hanging around every where!! As there was no waiting line in front of the kiln (as it had been in Kecskemét sometimes the week before), we could finish and fire our pieces very fast. I had a lot of fun making several pieces (and donated most of them to the factory or to the organizers - I would have never been able to take all of them back home on the plane). The whole atmosphere was so friendly and pleasant that we nearly did not realize how fast the week was passing by.
Last but not least I should not forget the wonderful Hungarian food which we got in the factory canteen for lunch-time - and in the mornings and evenings at the model farm of the Secondary School of Viticulture, Budapest. The organizers had also provided University students as interpreters - they helped us during the daytime and especially in the evenings, when Art historian László Gyergyádesz gave us interesting slide lectures about Byzantine Enamel Art, European enamel art in the 9th-13th, and the Hungarian Holy Crown.
Altogether, an outstanding event - our special thanks to the organizers and sponsors of this wonderful symposium. We will keep the memory of these days in our mind; it will remind us of the great Hungarian hospitality. The contacts between enamel artists from different countries of the world have been deepened, and they will last for future events.
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