Meet Antun Penezić, 82 and Croatia's last comb maker. This year Antun will retire, and despite a years-long search for an apprentice, he hasn’t found anyone dedicated enough to learn the craft from him.⠀ After finishing his craft education, Antun spends eight years producing combs and jewellery in the comb making workshop of master Franjo Cvern. Increased industrialization brought a decline in the demand for traditional combs made from natural cattle horn, and eventually, Antun took a job in the very place that replaced his craft, a factory for polyethylene plastics. After retirement, he returned to his former passion and decided to do all he could to preserve the craft of comb making, including the active search for an apprentice who could continue the legacy. Some people have tried, but all failed or lost interest, and so this year Antun will retire without a successor… This is the story of so many old crafts. The farrier (a smith who shoes horses) or the candlemaker, have all but disappeared because their products were displaced by newer technology. But with the demise of the product came the demise of the embedded tacit knowledge which was assembled over generations and passed on from master to apprentice.
A Combmaker's Tale, a film by Unfold & Alexandre Humbert, commissioned by MADE IN Platform for Contemporary Crafts—Design Production.
Presented in the Museum of Arts & Crafts in Zagreb, Croatia opening February 2020 and travel to partnering museums later in the year.
With the generous support of Franka Emika, Flanders - State of the Art, Creative Industry Fund NL, Netherlands Embassy in Zagreb, Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.