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Modra had become an important pottery centre thanks sufficient supplies of a good quality clay and wood in this region.

Already in 1636 there was a potters` guild operating in Modra. It was the basic step to the organized form of handcraft production. Speaking about the evolution of pottery manufacture, we thank a lot the descendants of Habans – Anabaptists who were persecuted for their religious belief and who found their refuge in Moravia and south-west Slovakia (Sobotište, Leváre, Košolná, Častá, Dechtice...). In these districts they set up the legendary pottery workshops and could make beautiful glazed pottery "Faience majolica" which was more difficult in technology. After the decline of the Haban communities the Haban potters gradually merged with the local potters. Modra had become a well-known pottery centre (18th century).

In 1872 craft guilds ceased to exist and ceramic masters had to cope with difficulties in educating young potters. Almost 60 potters were working in the town at that time. The crisis led to the establishment of Ceramic school in 1883 (Agyagipartanműhely Modor). Its workshop was located in the south bastion which was part of the original town` s fortification system. Jozef Mička, born in Vyškov, became the head and later on (1888) the owner of the workshop. It was on his initiative that a Cassel type kiln was build in the workshop. During his leadership the workshop was successfully producing pained ware having its own trademark "MODOR". It had a high technical standard. When visiting the museum you will see the kiln as well as other historic period tools used for ceramic production and a collection of ceramic ware and figures.

After the death of Jozef Mička the workshop was in danger of decline, but was revived when three enthusiastic local patriots established a joint stock company in 1912. New patterns were applied besides the traditional folk patterns and the ceramic products were exported to Hungary, Germany and Vienna. The progress of the workshop was affected by World War I. Almost no work was done.

After the Czechoslovak republic was established the ceramic production resumed and expanded considerably. Heřman Landsfeld and Ján Ludwig brought a great deal of new patterns. The

pattern-book was made up of about 259 drawings of jars, vases, flasks, plates and inkwells. In the following years the ceramics reached a high quality level and was given several prizes at international exhibitions (Grand Prix in Paris 1925, Philadelphia 1926, Barcelona 1929, Liege 1930).

The invention of the genuine red colour by Imfried Liebscher contributed to the diversity of Modra` s pottery. On one side the workshop was still producing the traditional folk style pottery, on the other side it was constantly adapting to new tastes. Kitchenware for everyday use, decorative ceramic ware and building ceramics came from Modra. A group of masters making figurative sculptures grew up here (Imrich Kóňa, Michal Škarčák, Ignác Bizmayer, Rudolf Barčík, Vincent Labaj). A selection of Ignác Bizmayer` s work is also shown in the museum.

In 1952 the workshop became a cooperative "Slovak Folk Majolica". In 1972 the building was proclaimed a national monument. The whole production was moved from the bastion to a new-built factory in Modra in 1987. All production is still hand-made.

We are inviting you to our Ceramics museum that we created on the premises of the former workshop.

We thank for assistance and support:

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