Sprok Antal


“I was working for two years on furniture in a big house. The customer paid me in due way, but the job started to be monotonous. To entertain myself, in evening time, I got down to carve some funny beetles. Then I was suddenly invited to the prestigious Cologne Furniture Fair. The booth was fairly small, but I spent several nights restless, what I could exhibit. I had a cupboard, stylish, but nothing special. Then an idea came, and the furniture-sculpture was born.



I had a week to carve a large ant eating echidna, and I placed on the cupboard. At the day of exhibition opening my neighbour warned me: “ If you did not double your prices, they would not take you seriously!” At that moment a gentleman of Churchill type stopped at my booth. Black suit, hat, belly, and cigar. “How much? “– he pointed at the cupboard. I prepared myself to bargain, but he said nothing but paid. There was no way backward.

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“I was around five. Next to our house a friendly chap made the restoration of the statues of the Count Károlyi mansion. He talked to me and I liked the way as he hammered. Acquiring a hammer and some chisel from my father, I started to pit-pat the stones. Martha, an old lady lived in the mansion, a retired art teacher. She was painting in the garden. She was very kind allowing me to sit next to. I learned from him to draw in the afternoons. I attended school, and I think my father arranged it with her. Our neighbour was a carpenter. His workshop had a wonderful atmosphere, in winter he fired his stove with waste wood and chip. I spent a lot of time with him. There was not so much what they taught me at the vocational school. Finally, I graduated as an engineer of wood industry. The rest just came…”

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This log house was built around the workshop.

Sitting on the bench at the goat statue, we have a tee. “My wife wanted to move to the capital. In this district, Hidegkút, the building plot was cheap, we bought a little house, it is the workshop now. We needed to build a house to live in it, but I want to build by myself. Taking out a loan, and I started to look for a right material. It is difficult to find timbers of which the diameters at the base and at the top are mainly the same. A friend of mine, a forester, helped. All of the timber was loaded to rail at the Zemplén Mountains, and we waited it at the Solymár railway station with 3 truck. I leaded the convoy with my small car to home, but the convoy disappeared around the bend! They retained at a steep. They turned, and came to the house in sternway. In seven months, this house swallowed timber of 65 cubic meters, and a lot of friendly help, measured by numerous boxes of beer. That was the leave period what I got from the Opera House, where I was hired as stage-set carpenter. It was an exhausting work, but you could learn some humility after shaving of timber, 1500m long. Building in all the lumbers, I did not want a stock house.”

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Meanwhile a new style emerged. Rustic cabinets, desks made of mixed wood laths, carved cupboard leaves modelled after coat-hangers. He used 70 different woods till now. Timber merchants inform me when they find some interesting material. He is thinking on surprising combinations, for example, inlaying expensive ebony into driftwood. He invents non-existing animals and figures called sculpture-furniture. Birds and antelopes, a milk-woman is drying next to the TV set.

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In the workshop we saw exquisite fine tools; each is well worth a story. Sketches of animals, forms, parts of statues, photos.. We have a lot of questions, but his wife horns in: “Can we go to table tennis?” He excuses himself: “Friends are waiting…”

Pesthidegkút, 2010. november 20.





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