January 23, 2016

Is the tradition which counting 100 years has any relevance today? Does in the era of Asian counterfeits one should bother with original products? They cost a fortune, the production lasts 20x longer than 3D printing and the purchase in the online store is easy as getting a starring role in Quentin Tarantino film.

Few companies in Poland can boast over 100 years of tradition. The war and communism successfully cracked down with owners of thousands of Polish factories and wonderful manufactories and small family business acting through the generations.
On the one hand, as an interior designer I regret that I have to travel abroad to find products that in Poland no one is able to produce. Or producing is not cost-effective. On the other hand, I am pleased that I can meet old and valuable manufactures and friendly people such as the Belgian Vervloet. The trip to the Vervloet seat is a pleasure. Especially when we have a few hours to spend for a walk through a small and very charming Brussels. Although the Vervloet seat is just 25 minutes’ walk from the station it’s so easy such walk turned into a 1.5 hour trip. When we get there we will be welcome by the kindest Corinne. She is the alpha and omega of the company, knows all its secrets and every one of thousands of products. Her openness, friendliness and professionalism were great.

Showroom Vervloet is a spacious hall with selected products in big wooden displays.
Each display shows decorative hardware in a different style. There we have handles, knobs and hinges in different styles: Gothic, Renaissance, L.XIV, L.XV, L.XVI, Empire, Art Nouveau, Art Deco. We have several displays full of contemporary and timeless items of recognized designers. But place that made for me most impression was model room. A little bit unheated room with shelves filled with dusty models and patterns of all products from the beginnings of the company until today. They are tens of thousands! I walked among the shelves as in a trance, touching each beautiful object with beautiful detail. I wanted to put my bed in this room and just live. I had a similar impression from a visit in the production halls, where I was led by Corinne. All components are made of pure brass and bronze, which are processed manually by methods known by our great grandparents. The process of galvanization looks like a trip to the past. Only hairstyle and dress worker inform that we have a twenty-first century. Everything else looks like the Lumiere brothers film. And the most frequently it has so many years. Pots, tubes, anvils, tools.

Vervloet is a magical place where you can meet Santa Claus working here for 47 years and once a year harnessing reindeer to sleigh. There you can also meet Polish worker. Craftsman, who has perform manually pieces of art for 9 years for Vervloet. Perhaps he will spend here another 40 years. And he will bequeath the knowledge and skills of the young adept with yet unspecified country. Tradition. Does it matter? Rhetorical question. Szymon Tarnowski

Soon I will write more about my favourite collections from Vervloet manufacture. Today two beautiful pieces in Art Deco style.