Kauker Szilvia

kauker_szilvia-1-274x412I attended my high school in Budapest. The quarry tiles and terrrazzos at the staircases of the century-old tenements and mansions always enchanted me. The French and Spaniards are still in debate, who was the first to produce cement-based floor tiles in 1883. In this country it was widely applied, then the production almost completely extinct, the source now is the import. .                                                                                                             .



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At the University of Art and Design I started to study ceramics. I wanted to deal with the cement, and then I went to the Institute of Applied Arts in Sopron. János Probstner invited me to the Ceramic Studio at Kecskemét, where I could make experimental works. I could work freely, and even my diploma piece was made in this issue.

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Thanks to the ‘Kozma Lajos’ Craft and Design Scholarship, I quietly worked on this topic on an even keel, but I did not find a contractor to manufacture. The terrazzo manufacturer applies a similar technology, covering the base of the tile with stone chips, and then grinding the surface after setting. They offer a small assortment, mainly for public buildings. There was nothing to be done, we cleared a corner of a barn at the outskirt of my village, and my manufactory started.

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Our cement tiles are hand-made. Quality is very depends on the raw material. We already tested all of the quarries. It is difficult to find a continuously reliable source. We use finely ground limestone. At break of day, it is funny to see the traces of the animals visiting us.

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The surface of our cement tiles is made of fine slip, and completely smooth. At a first glance, they resemble to the Mettlachi tiles of fired ceramics. But, the cement tile is more exciting, unique, and it has a piece of eventuality. The assortment of patterns and colours is infinite. The surface is natural and not brittle, good to walk on it. I like its matte satinity, possibly I have phobia of the bright tiles.


I collect old cement tiles, researching the Hungarian culture of patterns. Sometimes I feel guilty for I think some of my motifs are too oriental. For this reason I was very glad to find an old pattern (mined out of a demolition), very similar to one of our pattern, named ‘fifties’. The ‘Art Nouveau’ or Jugendstil style is close to me. We have a collection using metal insets, but to apply it we need a more sophisticated technology and investment.

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It is difficult to decide on the size, turnover and expansion of the manufactory. Orders keep coming, but we can produce more. I am full of plans, but the time is limited. My daughter, Borka, is 6 months old, she is a fairy, she suffers gladly I am always working.

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Using computer-based tools published on our website, our customers can design the colour patterns according to their needs and taste. Sometimes we receive fairly funny plans. At the end of the shift, the ’boys’ compile their own design using the remainder colours. Successful pieces give the „leftover set”. It is a real bonanza.

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I had a phone call from the US. I did not catch his name, he said, he would buy tiles. He possibly found my works at a collector’s website. When imagining that we would forward tiles beyond the seas from here, my environmentalist ego strongly protested. There are a lot of good manufacturers in the US, buy there, I said, and hung up. But he called again and again.

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Then he asked me whether I knew the director of “Control”. Because he worked with him. I thought he surely was a second cameraman or so, and I was still not impressed. One evening my brother was surfing on the YouTube. Suddenly, I hear the same voice as on the phone. Hey! Who is this chap? I am talking with him the last three weeks.! It was Matt Dillon. Finally, I made the shipment to his Manhattan apartment.

1/8/2013 Padragkút


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