What is leather carving?

You may ask this question, since this phrase had not been in use in the hungarian language until 1980. The same can be said for the german "Lederbild" or the english "leather carving" expressions.

In the following text we will become acqainted both with a new handicraft and with the words used for expressing it.

Tamás Zajácz was born in 1952 in Nyíregyháza, he grew up in Sárospatak and he took the matura in Miskolc. He became interested in leatherworking while he was studying in high school. His unique leatherworking process was granted a patent by the National Patent Office. Thanks to his work the hungarian language became richer with new expressions such as leather carving, body plastic, body painting and body portrait.

Since 1980 his works have regularly been displayed in hungarian and in international galleries and he has been partaking in international art and handicraft exhibitions. His works can be found in offices, public buildings, hotels and in various commercial buildings. He is currently living and working in Tiszaújváros. He is leading the institutions of the Bőr-Art Bőrművészeti ltd. and the Ártér Gallery, where he presents his newest pieces of art. The representatives of Tiszaújváros gave his works the title of Pro Urbe. The Holló Foundation of Debrecen awarded him with the Holló László Award in 2006. In 2013 in B.-A.-Z. county he was presented with a Prima Award.

He started experimenting with his own special technology in the 70's. The origin of that technology is the old method of the spanish city of Cordoba which used wax. He improved this process using modern materials. The result was a special glue, which at first makes the leather plastic and easily shapeable, then stabilizes it. Thus he created leather carving. His first topics were inspired by nature, he figured the various shapes of tree branches into leather plastic, after that he captured the beauty of the female body with the same process. With his newest innovation he is able to transmit pictures into leather by a photochemical process. Then he gives this a unique form and structure by hand and. This is how leather portraits are made.

"Leather is as old as humanity itself, since man had first covered his body with leather than textile, we had first written in leather than paper and leather is still a valuable and noble material when it comes to our modern objects, like saddles, shoes, jackets, bags or leather carvings on the walls of our homes.