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A Jan of all trades

During COVID-19 many people started to make masks and have turned their homes into mini-mask factories. With shortages of protective gear in hospitals, the demand for these products exceeds the capacity of many sewing machines, which needed a second life. In southern Poland it was given to them by Jan Wójcik. He is the only umbrella-maker in the country and a mender of broken sewing machines.

When asked about his age, Jan Wójcik says he is a war-time baby. Indeed, he was born in 1943 in the small village of Nieczajna in southern Poland. After having finished school, Jan left home to start his education in a bigger town. He became a mechanic and got his first job in a steel factory in Kraków’s Nowa Huta metallurgy. At the time this was a new district on the city’s outskirts built by the communists for workers and their families. Its goal was to counter-balance Kraków’s bourgeois life. Jan later moved to other places and conducted his mandatory military service.
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July 7, 2020 - Marta Gruszecka - Issue 4 2020MagazineStories and ideas

Photo by Marta Gruszecka

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