Village scene

Krakow wedding
Several years ago I have made two dioramas of village scenes. These display depict traditions and customs in the Krakow area before and during the turn of the century.  In this diorama is a wedding celebration after the church ceremony. People married during summer or early fall to take advantage of good weather and the availability of fresh produce. Some were held outside if the cottage was not big enough for large crowds or even held in local taverns. Sometimes the whole village took part.
These ones represent the Krakowski-Bronowice area. Most of the dolls I collected first and had to make some of the married women costumes as I couldn't find enough of those. Krakow guy dolls are also hard to come by. I made the cottage out of paper mache as well as the windows, doors, table with food, etc.
The wedding feast: Polish ham and sausages, bigos, pierogi, pickles in jar, breads,
cheese, apple strudel and bottles of vodka. I hand made all the food and plates. The jar and
 bottles found from miniature doll house accessories.
Detail of dolls by window with curtain.
Bride, groom and her parents on left.
Two mothers gossiping, young maiden with grandmother on right eating.
I made both these dioramas back in 1990 and have sold it to our local Polish museum. I built these using paper mache over chicken wire for walls, painted aquamarine blue and mounted on a wood board. Dolls are positioned and nailed down. Furniture was made out of balsa wood and painted in folk motives from that region. The thatched roof was made using an old broom.   The food on the wedding table are made from modelling clay, hard tack for breads, hardened plasticine and liquid shellac for varnish and seal. The painted clay plates and bread board also hand made. Some pots, a pan and the broom are miniatures for doll houses.

Kerchief tying ceremony
This was called "Oczepiny" in Polish. A few women (usually mothers and aunties) took the bride aside, removed her wedding hat and "capped" her. She now joined the ranks of married women. Long ago they used to cut off the long braids, as this represented maidenhood.
Interior of painted cottage called Zalipie (a village east of Krakow) I built and hand painted this.
Detail of tying ceremony. Can you see her crying?
Detail of painted cabinet and dishes. The butter churner was brought in Poland.
The cabinet, little cheese board, spoons and fork is all balsa wood unfinished or painted.
The clay stove, painted with folk motives. They liked to paint
the inside and outside of cottages in aquamarine blue.


  1. I remember seeing these lovely dioramas before. It is so good to see them again. I admire you for making your own plates as it is not an easy job to get them flat! The stove is so colourful too! Thank you for showing them again.

  2. I had similar house once, it got lost somehow due to moving to another house. It'a a pity...