About me

Wojciech BrzegaIt all started in a village called ZąbThe highest village in Poland 1023 m asl - where I come from - from the very small wooden Church of St. Anna (1915). The church was built according to the plan of Andrzej Graca from Bustryk and made by a carpenter, Jan Ustupski, from Zakopane. Inside the church one can find a historic high altar designed by the eminent carver, Wojciech Brzega(1872-1941) sculptor, wood-carver, a popular writer, studied at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow and Munich and Paris, from 1901 in Zakopane, a lecturer in the School of the Timber Industry, co-founder of the Union of Mountaineers, Podhalańska Art Association, of kilim, create stylized wood carvings, also cast and terracotta portraits (Sabała head), furniture, interior design, decorative wooden items, pictures painted on glass, rugs, founder of Grunwald monument in Zakopane (1910), articles on the art of Zakopane, tales highland highlander Life honest., while the interior decor is the work of woodcarvers from Zakopane, Jan Tylka and Marian Styrczula-Maslak. This small church shows the essence of wood art of the people from the Podhale. I was captivated by the beauty of the wood craftsmanship in this small church.

My fascination with wood did not diminish and in 1989 I began education at the building school in Zakopane under the supervision of a master, Boleslaw Karpiel-Bulecka, and in his "artistic chamber" called "pod Lipkami".
Bolesław Karpiela-BułeckaI was shown where to derive inspiration from - the richness of mountain nature and our minuteness in it. I have learnt what to do with a barren plank to create a piece of furniture which I have seen earlier in my imagination, later on in a drawing and finally as a finished product. The master, Boleslaw, used to say: "...there sits a slimy creature in this pank and you know - there is going to be a dog out of it ...".

After the so called liberationstudent-journeyman-employee in 1998 I established my own woodworking shop to continue and develop the art of my ancestors - the creators of the Podhale heritage. In my woodworking shop I make furniture from solid wood, making explicit reference to the woodworking tradition and the whole richness of decorative and woodcarver's forms that can be found in the Skalne Podhale (style of Zakopane). Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, I try to combine traditional forms with new technologies, creating a new character of furniture (utility furniture) that delights the eye and harks back to my highland-style school. Each and every piece of furniture is custom-built and is 95% my original design.

foto.jpgIf you are looking for a piece of furniture that is not just a piece of utility furniture but beautiful in its form with "the soul of a highlander", you are cordially invited to my woodworking shop.

Janusz Stopka-Karolów
Master Craftsman from the Podhale