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Part 3: Higher power

The success of a craft workshop depends first and foremost on the skills of the people working in it. However, current political and economic circumstances are also of considerable importance. For the people presented at the exhibition the transformation of the 1990s was particularly important. It was a time when businesses which had been in the market for years had to find themselves in a new reality. They had to begin to compete with the goods imported from abroad and fight for customers. What is more, craft cooperatives, which at the time of the Polish People’s Republic had been supported by state authorities, were now going into liquidation. Craftsmen working in them either started their own businesses or had to find a new occupation.

In the 1990s many businesses had to change location. As a result of reprivatisation, their previous premises had new owners and new function.

It was also the time of a decreasing popularity of vocational training. Less and less young people would start apprenticeship in craft workshops. As a result, in many cases specialist knowledge was no longer passed down from masters to apprentices. The effects of these changes are felt till this day.