During his architectural studies in the 1980s, Lutz Walter started to specialise in the preservation of historical monuments. Years later, he worked as an architect restoring the residential house of famous German poet Friedrich Schiller in Weimar. One important part of this project was the reconstruction of the house's historic wallpapers and trims. While preparing the reconstruction and researching historical wallpaper printing, Lutz realised that the borders could only be printed by hand. He went on to learn more about wallpaper production in the 19th century by reading his way through the specialised literature he found in the Anna-Amalia Library in Weimar. Finally, he knew enough to embark upon his new profession, and printed his very first product using traditional hand block printing.Read the full interview
Of course – it was the upper wall ending above a tartan patterned wallpaper in Schiller’s reception room: green drapery with golden embroidery, entwined with a rose garland, all on a slightly rose-coloured, satin-finished surface. Such an enchanting pattern!Who are your main customers now?
I’m happy that we are now recognised for our profound expertise and high quality craft skills all over Europe. We work for castles and palaces, museums and also private owners of historical buildings in many countries – often in cooperation with the official national heritage agencies.
Two steps are always necessary for the successful execution of a project. First, you have to study the archives and literature and finalise a restoration concept including making a decision about which printing method to use. Then the printing process starts, leading to the installation of the wallpaper on site.How do you combine tradition and innovation in your craft?
I really appreciate connecting tradition and innovation through the alliance of historical design principles, printing techniques and materials with the computer aided drafting of sketches, as well as using the most innovative production methods for print models and rollers.