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A Combmaker's Tale

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…

date

February 17th 2020
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Antun's workshop
fig. 01

Antun's workshop

Cutting teeth
fig. 02

Cutting teeth

Mara Danica & Antun
fig. 03

Mara Danica & Antun

Craft historian-Tanya Harrod
fig. 04

Craft historian
Tanya Harrod

Prof. mathematics-Ann Dooms
fig. 05

Prof. mathematics
Ann Dooms

Prof. robotica-Bram Vanderborght
fig. 06

Prof. robotica
Bram Vanderborght

Designer/maker-Gareth Neal
fig. 07

Designer/maker
Gareth Neal