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During last summer's visit to the skanzen at Pribylina there was an exposition of the whole life's accomplishment in the art works of Peter Šlosiar.

Peter Šlosiar is one of the today's most important representatives of the shepherd's art and makers of wooden figurines in Slovakia. He was born in Liptovská Porúbka on February 2, 1918, in the shepherd's family. He as his older brothers became a shepherd. He went through all jobs at the salaš starting as a Shepherd's boy helper to bača-the shepherd and he spent 35 years at the salaš. From 1970 he is on disability pension. His shepherd's profession, the love of wood and nature have led him to carving. During his work as a shepherd he made objects from wood, mostly with practical goal. They were "črpáky," carved wooden cups for žinčica, wooden strainers, small cups, forms for molding the sheep's cheese to oštiepky, smoked later on. He also made large wooden spoons for žincica straining. Salt containers, shepherd's sticks and many other items. Lately he is specializing in the carved wooden cups called črpáky decorated at the handle with small figurines from the salaš life.

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The highest portion of his carving creations are made of his figural and plastic wood carvings marked by the carver's personality. In his art creations he is trying to show the past life of the salaš and bring together the disappearing forms of village life and work. One of his first works were figures of the shepherds Bethlehem made before 1960. Since then he carved many, most of all figures of shepherds and his helpers captured during their performances of many duties and also during their rest and entertainment. Many of his works are of the legendary Jánošík's theme and tradition. He also produced many beautiful figures of lumber jacks, farmers, musicians, different craftsmen, craftsmen. His creations are clean and carry elements of non professional folk expression. The effect is natural, un forceful, because the creator is aware of the peoples life, he came from them and works for them. His creations are talking about large artistic and esthetic feelings of the author.

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Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 3, No. 1, Spring 1995
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1995 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.