When looking at the crystals displayed in the shop windows of glass shops, you may think, that the fragile glass products differ from each other only in their finish, decoration and the quality of the glass they were made of. But experts and collectors know, crystal is more than a simple means of decoration. The forms, the variety of the motives, the finish, and the quality of the material represent real value. That is the reason why the world’s most valuable crystal vases, sculptures are seen in the glass-cases of international museums, in the British Royal Residence, or the reception rooms of ambassadors.
Cut crystal is more than a material. The knowledge of centuries is inherent in the pieces made by craftsman-techniques, which are such professional workshop secrets, guarded like plates of medieval mints. This tradition is reflected in one of the last bastions of Hungarian glass cutting, in Mata workshop located in Parádfürdő. Unique crystal collections are born here, which represent their creator’s expertise, creativity, - or we can say the love to his profession.
The tradition of glass cutting is still existing in Mátra-valley. Generations have chosen it to earn their living, but only for a few of them has it become a profession. One of the most appreciated Hungarian masters on the international market is Pál Mata, master of glass cutting, from whose workshop crystals of museal value and quality have been exported to West European and Japaneese markets, to public or private collections.
Similar to other youngsters in the 60’s, Pál Mata learned the basics of glass cutting in the local glass factory. But hope for development made him move to Budapest. There he learned the tricks of old masters, and gained all the knowledge that had been accumulated in those workshops throughout centuries. It was already forseenable, that Pál Mata would improve his glass cutting to artistic level, when seven years after his master’s exame, in 1975 he won the national professional first prize, which also involved a glass-industry diploma at that time. His professional improvement was supported by a Bavarian study tour, so it wasn’t accidental, that later the master had exhibitions in Germanic area, such as Nürnberg, Innsbruck, Maastricht, Graz, Bad Breising as well as in the Italian Arezzo.
What is the peculiar which only belongs to Mata-workshop? The cutting and colouring of the vases of 24% lead-glass content, which is made by a special, locally developed method. All pieces are unique, because the patterns are made by handwork and each and every colour is applied on a different degree of heat. Decoration depends on high quality lead-glass raw material, which is imported from abroad by master Mata. Thicker glass requires rich classical forms, the splendour and lineation of the baroque. These prescious weighty pieces suite the glittering of the old gold, the elegance of blue or the velvet effect of purple. The lighter vases, glasses require quite modern, mild motives. However, they need practiced eyes. It is in the vains of the glass cutting master how rich decoration and what chiselling is appropriate for the occasion.
The unique features of Mata crystals have also influenced sovereigns, politicians, business men to buy these products. Nowadays Mata Crystal can be found all over the world from Las Vegas to Tokyo. And after all, is there still a challenge for master Mata? Defenately! The more complicated a vase, goblet, or the special collection is, the more enjoyable it is for the master. The glass and crystal cutting master is only glad, when his customers are satisfied with the finely finished, unique pieces, requiring a lot of handwork giving pleasure for customers from all over the world, as well as for the master.
Mária és Péter
dr. Csonkaréti Károlyné
Mark D. Abrahams
Mark D. Abrahams
dr.Vámos Lászlóné Dr. Vám
Zoltán Erika és Robi