Matylda Polak

Faculty of Interior Design

Poppy Suit – furniture inspired by Polish folk art

degree piece

Design of a carpet. Dialogue with Polish folk motifs

minor degree

The whole set, particularly the back of the chair, refers to poppy petals; folklore drew inspiration from what was close to the human being – the observation of wild flowers, animals and insects. The shape of the table refers to an outspread blossoming flower. The cutting and shaping of wood in various planes was a characteristic part of folk carpentry.

The minor degree piece is a carpet inspired by folk materials such as straw, fishnets and a brick wall. It is a dialogue between industrial production and handicraft. The carpet part was produced by the Brintons Agnella carpet factory, and the macrame part was hand-made by the author of the design.

Born 1995. Studies: Faculty of Industrial Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (2014–2018), Escuela Superior de Diseño in Madrid (under the Erasmus+ program, 2018), Faculty of Interior Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2018–2020). She works in product design and interior design, graphic arts and painting. She has participated in group exhibitions in Poland and abroad, e.g. Behind the product, Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade (2018) and Stirring, The Asia and Pacific Museum in Warsaw (2020). Solo exhibition: Light, Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (2016). Winner of the 2nd place at the 2nd International Triennial of Student Drawing, Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice.

Poppy Suit – furniture inspired by Polish folk art

supervisor: Dr Michał Kapczyński

Matylda Polak’s degree piece was preceded by a thorough analysis of folk art from many regions, where she sought interesting solutions and folklore traits that inspired her to creative action. The multitude of this work consistently brought forth new conceptions referring more or less literally to folk art. Eventually, the author decided to refer to the nature of the element being still present in folk ornamentation and solutions. The floral inspiration, colour arrangement, the fineness of natural wood and classic methods of its combination along with moderation and refinement materialised in the form of Maki [Poppies] – a subtle, light, functional and elegant set of furniture for the dining room.

In my opinion, Matylda’s persistence and mindfulness, her recognition and capturing of ideas and creativity in their use for artistic purposes will often result in the accomplishment of interesting furniture designs.

The aforementioned other conceptions of the degree piece are already waiting for materialisation.

Projekt dywanu. Dialog z polskimi motywami ludowymi

supervisor: Prof. Stanisław Andrzejewski

Matylda Polak’s rebellious artistic personality directed her design philosophy towards uncommon visual solutions.

The design of a commercial carpet addressed to the broad masses rather than a narrow elite group of recipients is a serious challenge for a designer. It is difficult to match the aesthetic preferences of customers of carpet shops that are not fully recognised, if possible to specify at all.

The young artist rejected this problem by designing a carpet with a bold artistic expression for one of the larger carpet factories in Europe.

This carpet contains a risky combination of machining technology with a unique hand-made textile. One part of the carpet is woven on a computerised loom, and the other part is a scaled network created with the use of the macramé technique. Knotting and entanglement without the use of tools is an original technique invented eight thousand years ago before weaving in the system of intertwining mutually per pendicular threads of the horizontal weft with vertical threads of the warp.

This carpet is not intended for common use, but it becomes a source of beautiful, aesthetic and sensual experiences, at the same time being an example of the creative use of archaic techniques for the achievement of thoroughly modern artistic expression.