Restoration of Baroque halls at the Blue Stone Castle for puppet theater, regional history
and creative workshops for children and youth

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The aim of the activity is to present the cultural heritage - traditional Slovak folk Kyjatic culture in the form of traditional toy in the workshop. Kyjatic toys were and are the description of traditional craft skill of the makers. Their originality lays in the characteristic Kyjatic decor, ornaments with geometric and natural motives. After the end of the second world war the production of the wooden toys became sporadic for the remaining old masters. One of the last makers was the master Rudolf Stehlík from Veľké Teriakovce, who preserved the traditional patterns of a typical Kyjatic toy, which he was hand making. Mister Stehlík represented this rare typical artefact of Slovak culture in the whole Slovakia and abroad with a major success. His follower is a folk carver Ladislav Hedvigi, who will present samples of carvings and decorations of a Kyjatic toy during the opening workshop. During the day-long workshop about the Kyjatic toy, an expert on ethnology, historian and an expert on museology will talk about the Kyjatic toy and a complete toy exhibition of the Museum in Modrý Kameň will be presented. Theoretical and practical knowledge will be provided by the current bearers of the tradition. All the while a baptism of a book “The Kyjatic toys of Rudolf Stehlík˝ will take place. We want to develop the Kyjatic tradition with the following educational workshops, which will be dedicated to the general public. The visitors will come into contact with the basic parts of the toy, how the color treatment of the toy is done, how the individual parts are connected and they will be taught the final decoration – the Kyjatic decor. We plan to organize the workshops (2-days) regularly in four-day intervals. They will be dedicated to the general public. We will prepare thematic worksheets for the smallest children. The carver Ľ. Hedvigi will use the area of the newly opened craft workshop, which will be fully equipped with machines and material needed for all of the activities mentioned  

Among the elements included in the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of Slovakia, there is also a traditional Kyjatice toy. The master of folk art production for 2022, Ladislav Hedvigi, was responsible for promoting the almost forgotten production of Kyjatice toys using the original method. With his work, he tries to build on the work of master Rudolf Stehlík from Veľké Teriakovce, whose toys are also in the collections of our museum. Ladislav Hedvigi started producing Kyjatice toys in 2012 and he emphasises the preservation of the 150-year-old technological procedures. To make toys, he uses board material from oak wood, on which he designs the toy using templates. He then saws them from the woods, processes the surface and rubs it with a water-based mordant, most often of brown, blue and red colour. The toys are subsequently decorated with tracery carving and line carving - these are the procedures used by the old masters from Kyjatice. The ornament for the coloured surface is made with a special compass, which as he says: “... each craftsman makes on his own as it cannot be bought in a shop.” On 20 October 2022, students from the Basic Art School in Modrý Kameň tried it out as part of an introductory workshop led by Ladislav Hedvigi and got to know the basic technology of making a Kyjatice toy.
The workshop was held on 20 October 2022 as part of the grant project HraMoKaPlus – Restoration of the Premises of the Baroque Mansionat Modrý Kameň Castle (Blue Stone) for the Traditions of Slovak Toy and Puppet Making in Craft Workshops, Production and Sale of Regional Products financed from EEA Grants in Slovakia. The project is co-financed from the state budget of the Slovak Republic.

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