Which techniques do you need for making the finest etuis?
For my clients, it’s always surprising that every single step in the working process is performed by hand. I use different techniques, depending on the material I need: leather, wood, paper, cardboard… so I’m not only an etui producer, I am also a cabinetmaker as well as a French polisher and a paper artist.
What was your most memorable order?
I had the privilege of being invited to produce a gift for Pope Benedict XVI, which was presented to him by the governor of Lower Austria: It was a very delicate tabernacle, more than one metre high, made out of aniline-dyed, dark blue leather – the national colour of the federal province of Lower Austria.
© Kornelia Cieslak
And the most touching moment in your career?
My most special moment is related to that particular present: I watched the scene of the solemn presentation of the tabernacle on television and Pope Benedict emphatically thanked me, the craftsman, for his work. Such situations happen only once in a lifetime.
Is sustainability important to you?
Good things need time. I avoid chemical adhesives and try to use natural materials wherever I can: an adhesion out of potato starch, plus bone or hide glue. Those substances need much more time to dry, but they last as long as the chemical ones and are good for humans and the environment.