Karolina Merksa

Karolina Merska is a pająki maker living in London.

Pająki (pah-yonk-ee) are traditional Polish chandeliers made from rye straw and paper. They symbolise health and happiness and date back to the 18th century when they were made in the countryside by women as decorations for their homes. Pajaki were especially popular at Christmas and Easter and at weddings and christenings. Today the tradition is practised less and less. Karolina keeps pajaki tradition alive.

Geometric chandelier, designed for Squire and Partners’ Brixton office The Department Store, was shown during London Design Festival 2017. While creating the piece, Karolina reimagined and reinvented old techniques. Rye straw was replaced with brass tubes, and cotton thread with metal wire.