TRADITION AND UNIQUENESS – IN THE TINIEST STITCH
My name is István Steixner. I was born in Székesfehérvár in 1984. I met folk craft at the age of ten with the help of an expert leather crafter, Sarolta Pásztor. Since then I have been continuously improving my skills: during my elementary studies I learned enamelling and goldsmithery from Judit Korcz and Csaba Fehér; woodcarving from József Berta and applied graphic design from István Bauer. In the time of my adolescence, my path led straight to the High School of Fine and Applied Arts where I learned leathercrafts and later to Dunaújváros, to Lorántffy High School where I became a leatherworker. My success at the National Competition for Vocational School Students made me even more sure that my future lies with leather craft.
EXHIBITIONS, FESTIVALS, EVENTS
In Dunaújváros, I met Anita Lukács a leathercraft artist who saw talent in me and helped me develop my skills. With her guidance, I attended on many tenders, county-wide an national competitions where I won many first-prizes. She was the one I asked to open my first exhibition back in 2004. Since then I had more than 20 exhibitions and in the meanwhile, I was working as a demonstrator for her and led workshops for secondary school students. I also self-educated myself in calligraphy and entrenched myself into ethnography and art history. Since 2003 I I have been attending many festivals, markets, and exhibitions. In 2004 I was awarded the Sárvíz Art Prize. Then I kept on studying in Budapest at the School of Folk Arts and Crafts where I had the opportunity to learn from two exceptional artists, Anna and György Petrás. Festivals, markets and exhibitions are still close to my heart as they give me the opportunity to meet my customers. In the past few years, I turned up on hundreds of events. These are important occasions and always mean new inspiration, a better understanding of customers’ demands and an opportunity to show the fruits of my labour.
From 2006 to 2008 I was working in Sárbogárd as a tutor. In 2007 with the help of my friends and fellow craftsmen, I started the Spring of Traditions (Hagyományok Forrása) event in Aba; and I was elected to be a member of Aba’s Magistrate. Since 2008 I have been working as a full-time leather crafter and make unique items, leather bags, belts, watch straps. In 2010 I got a diploma as a TIT Cultural Project Cycle Manager. I keep on bettering myself so since 2010 I have been learning ’sallang’ making (braided leather horse bridle); bone and horn carving since 2011; wood carving since 2012. In summers I participate in many events where I teach folk arts. Since 2013 I have been working for the business sector, too. It is always a pleasure to me when I am asked to create something unique or to restore exclusive items. In 2016, I moved to Dunaújváros, where I started “developing” my business and myself. In 2019, I moved to a new workshop with my staff, where, thanks to the excellent team, I have now produced nearly 10,000 works, in 44 countries worldwide, on a wide variety of topics. In 2018, I joined the Heves County Chamber of Industry, where together with my creative colleagues we take our program package and creations to fashion shows here at home and abroad. In the same year, I submitted my “Griff Collection” application to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the first time, with which I immediately won the Outstanding Hungarian Handicraft Excellent Award. In 2020, I took 3rd place at the Eger Junior Expo – National Entrepreneurs Exhibition. Also this year, I was awarded the title of knight as chief captain and president of the 1956 World Federation of Knights; and with my premium men’s bag set with stingray inserts, I again won the MOST EXCELLENT OF EXCELLENCE- Outstanding Hungarian Handicraft Master Award. The line of recognitions continued, in the XXVI. At the Professional Elite Charity Award Gala in October, I was awarded the Gold Star of the Year EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR 2020 Award!
FOLK ART NOW
It is my definite intention to show the millennia-old treasures of Hungarian folk-art. The design and motifs I use have survived all the changes of history. Everything you see on my products has its roots in ancient Hungarian traditions but with a little twist of our time. Past and present co-exist in my works so they are traditional and modern at the same time. I am also happy to combine these motifs with any other style on the demands of my customers. I am particularly glad because my products are loved not only by my fellow Hungarians but foreigners, too. With their help, I have the opportunity to popularise Hungarian culture even in the most distant parts of the world. But of course, I make not only products with Hungarian motifs on them: As a customer, you can choose any pattern you wish. There are no limits!
EVERYTHING IS HANDMADE TO THE LAST DETAIL
I make all of my products based on individual ideas by hand from the design, through the cutting until the sewing. I focus all my attention on the piece I am working with. Most of the times I finish the product completely before I start working on another. Besides quality Hungarian leather I use other natural materials, too. I work with wood, bone, horn, felt, pearls or silver and gold. If you are interested in my earlier works, please take a look at the pictures in my works menu.
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