Miner - craftsman or artist?
Occasionally we hear "that someone has the wrong profession". Mr. Louis turned to me with offer or rather request if we were not interested in exhibiting his works, because he is interested in marquetry. This is nothing unusual, but when I was on a visit to find out how he made marquetry, I was surprised and can say, perhaps even excited. Marquetry or rather parts, are mostly glued to the base material so as to form compact solid surface. But Mr. Louis marquetry, the individual parts, precision hand-carved and pasted them only at the edges to each other, exactly adjacent, in the thickness of 1 mm. This means that the entire pattern is strong only one millimeter and you can look from the reverse side. The beauty of a wooden image then amplifies topic of Mucha. Accuracy and selection of individual veneers, using various knots and drawings of wood in these parts creates perfect craftsmanship and artistic work.
My next surprise was that Mr. Louis is not any craftsman or carpenter or restorer, but the miner of uranium mines. So I started asking more and I was more surprised and excited. Skillful self-taught Mr. Louis Vanek now aged 70 years, has worked since 1964 as a miner in the uranium mines until 1988, to the fateful day when he was together with his colleagues in the mine overwhelmed. He was a blessing in disguise. After several hours, he was dug up with broken vertebrae and other fractures and multiple contusions. At the hospital he woke up after nearly a month coma. Since then, he has full disability pension with serious health problems. Enough time enabled him to devote himself and actually getting to know his craftsmanship and artistic skills.
So in conclusion I can only say that hidden talents come to the surface every time. Classicist gilded mirror, gilt console table.
If you would like to view or purchase Mr. Louis Vanek marquetry, visit us at Chvalské stronghold or www.atelier-fiala.cz