Table of contents

Part 4: Enthusiasts

Knowledge, skills and the ability to adapt to external circumstances are all important qualities of a good craftsman. But there is also something else, something intangible but perhaps more important: passion and joy at doing the work. These two elements motivate one to continue to improve one’s skills and face new challenges. They make it possible to prepare high-quality products which meet even the most unusual expectations of the customers.

What is also crucial is the fact that the product is handmade. It is the fruit of the skills imprinted on the hands of a craftsman which have been honed for years. As Elżbieta Sobańska notes: ‘There are no shortcuts when it comes to craft.’

Passion for creating new objects is what makes handicraft stand out. These products are not anonymous. They have emotions of their creators imprinted on them. This is what customers value, and their trust is extremely important for craftsmen.


This statement by Karol Rzeszutko, a tailor, captures perfectly the personal and emotional involvement present in every handmade object:

‘A handmade hole is made on the tailor’s knee and by his hand, with all the thoughts on his mind at that particular moment. It may be euphoria because his child has been born two weeks ago and everything is going great. But it may also happen that he is sewing a hole when he is sad. All of this is imprinted on the clothes.’

Benedykt Niewczyk, a luthier, tells us about the trust that the participants of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition put in his workshop:

‘[After the war] the participants who came from the other side of the Oder River had very expensive instruments. They needed someone reliable to take care of them. They chose my dad because he guaranteed that the instruments would be well taken care of. Now it’s my job.’