Kosmač Gallery and Workshop
Where wood is king
The Kosmač Workshop designs and produces cultural heritage items made of painted wood. Products grounded in a rich ethnological heritage show the simplicity of Slovenes and their close relationship with nature. All three master craftsmen, who have been awarded many prizes for their work, will be happy to show you how they make one of their products, from a shoemaker’s lamp or herder’s sundial to beehive panels and other useful and decorative objects.
- 1 / 10 Kosmač Gallery and Workshop
- 2 / 10 Herder's sundial
- 3 / 10 Earrings
- 4 / 10 Shoemaker's lamp
- 5 / 10 Mortar and pestle
A visit to the Kosmač Workshop will envelop you in the spirit of times past and you will be unable to escape a lesson in history. The various objects, skillfully crafted from wood, come from a rich Slovenian ethnological heritage. Many challenges were discovered in private and museum collections, in attics, apiaries, and barns. Heritage had to be extracted from forgotten corners of the past, made sense of, and given a new usefulness in the contemporary world, either for instructive purposes or at least the recognizable role of objects.
It all began more as exploring the roots from which we come, then gradually the carving in wood became a deliberate search for the most persistent forms of imaginative and lively creativity of simple folk artists. Today in the style of the old master craftsmen they make shoemaker's lamps, beehive panels, sundials like those once used by herders, intricately carved and colourfully painted cases, wooden spoons and forks, salt and pepper containers, mortars and pestles for crushing spices, old spoonholders, various wooden figures, and other items. The workshop, which is constantly developing, is also involved in puppet-making, restoring and repainting furniture, and the organization of workshops.
One of their best known products is the shoemaker's lamp.
Similar to weavers and printers, for nighttime work shoemakers illuminated their workshops with special lamps that directed light onto the work table using glass balls. In the middle of a wooden stand or frame is a space for a candle or kerosene lamp, and on the stand are hung one, two or four (depending on the size of the lamp and the number of shoemakers at the table) glass balls filled with water that function as a lens and thus can change the area of illumination of the work space by being raised or lowered. The lamp is a unique example of local ingenuity and know-how, although similar lamps were also used in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
You can watch the craftsmen at work in the workshop, and perhaps you will also want to take home one of their products.
contact and further information
Kosmač Workshop, Pod Šijo 7, 4290 Tržič
T: 04 59 61 787 / 051 380 299
From Monday through Friday from 8 am to 3 pm, or by appointment