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Format: 30/05/2017
Format: 30/05/2017

Visiting a traditional blueprint workshop

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We usually get our tips for places to visit from the locals, especially our staff. However, the idea to visit this workshop arose from an article I read in the beautiful magazine Venkov & Styl. We told ourselves: this would be a wonderful place for our guests to visit as well, so we set off. To start off, we have to say that it isn’t exactly close to Chateau Heralec, but not too far from it either. Located in Olesnica nad Moravou, it is in a unique location that borders on 3 different regions. We did not call in advance, but despite of this, Jiri Danzinger gave us an exclusive tour and truly showed us around the place. In the humbly sized workshop, he explained to us the technological processes involved in the creation of traditional blueprints. It is one of the oldest ways of printing on flax and later on, on cotton canvases. The canvases are printed on with a special mixture of fluid rubber based on a secret recipe (how else!). After the canvas has dried, it is colored by dipping it into huge vats of indigo. The Danzingers import indigo from Pakistan, where it is still grown. What is interesting, is that the intensity of the indigo shade is not determined by the actual dipping of the canvas into the indigo, but by how many times the canvas is left out to dry. The process of a single canvas coloring can involve this dip-dry method from 8 up to 10 times.

Our kids listened to the interpretation of Mr. Danzinger very intently and just like me, they were most fascinated by the large wooden forms. One really doesn’t have to look far to find interesting patterns in this workshop. “We have various patterns in various conditions, together around 300. Slowly, we repair and reconstruct them, but the difficulty of the process is easily illustrated by the fact that throughout the year, we manage to restore only around 10 forms. The owner, painter and printer all in one continued to tell us about the strong family ties and traditions, represented by the 6 generations of printers that have worked here. The blueprint workshop in Olesnica nad Morava dates back to 1816. This specific dying technique has been applied in the workshop since 1849, the secrets of the trade however dating back all the way to the 16th century. We really are fans of a closely-knit family and community, as well as traditional crafts, something we were telling Mr. Danzinger as his son Jiri came into the workshop. I have a feeling that passing on the family trade won’t be a problem at all. We hope so!