Get a taster of this course and make a kalinka pompom with Karolina for just £4.99!
Pajaki (pah-yonk-ee) are traditional chandeliers made from rye straw and paper from Poland. Their history dates back to the mid-18th century.
The craft was being practised less and less, but Karolina Merska is a pajaki maker reviving the tradition.
Suspended from the ceiling, amongst colourful paper cut-outs, paintings and paper flowers, they are a popular decoration in Polish village houses. Made by country women as decorations for their homes for festivities such as Christmas, Easter, Harvest, New Year, weddings, christenings; they are a symbol of happiness.
Originally made from materials available during winter like peas, beans, thread, feathers or yarn. From the late 19th century straw was used and decorated with different varieties of paper flowers and ribbons.
Karolina has travelled extensively in Poland to unearth and understand the history of the pajaki, to meet the makers, hone her techniques and to help regenerate this lost art.
In this detailed video course, she will teach you the skills and techniques to create a basic two-layered pajaki, with nine traditional Polish kalinka pom-poms.
In over 45 minutes of video plus additional downloadable material, Karolina will guide you through:
- How to choose colours and where to find your inspiration
- The basic construction of the pajaki, including preparing the straws, wrapping the hoop and attaching the threads
- Preparing the paper discs and creating the kalinka pom-pom
- How to assemble all the elements to create your very own pajaki chandelier
With UNLIMITED ACCESS 24/7, you’ll be able to drop in and out of the course at your own pace.
The course also includes a brief history of the pajaki and Karolina's recommended reading list.
This course includes Karolina's extensive research into uncovering this lost craft through multiple visits to Poland over many years. Our pricing supports artists and makers in their ongoing artistic endeavours.
Explore our other papercraft courses.
Karolina Merska moved from Poland to the UK in 2007 after obtaining an MA in History of Art at the Jagiellonian University Krakow. Inspired by Polish folk art, she started making Pająki chandeliers in 2015. Her work has been published and exhibited worldwide, including Channel 4, The World of Interiors, House and Garden, Elle Decoration, The Telegraph, Time Out, Harpers Bazaar, London Design Festival and more.