Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I Interview...Keram from Poland

A loyal follower of my blog, named Keram, graciously volunteered some of his time for a Slania Crazy interview. Enjoy!

Slania Crazy: Thank you very much for participting in my "I Interview..." series.
Keram: You are welcome.

Q: When did you start collecting Slania stamps?
A: I became seriously interested in the stamps of Czeslaw Slania back in 2007 after I purchased Czeslaw Slania: Catalogue of Works, by Janusz Dunst. From that moment on I was hooked, and I have now gathered almost all the stamps engraved and designed by Slania,some banknotes and also many other items related to Slania, such as folders, booklets, cards, FDC's, maximum cards, cancellations etc...

Q: What drew you to start collecting Slania?
A: He was a Pole like myself and a great artist. He was the author of over 1000 stamps, and he was a champion engraver, which earned him the position of court engraver for the Swedish king. Also important for me was the fact that he was an artist renowned throughout the world, not just Poland. Another thing that impresses me is his engraving technique. He was able to engrave seven lines per millimetre, which created amazing detail and enabled him to include microprints. I commend his hard, painstaking work, using only burins and loupes. On top of all this he was a descent person, with a great personality and sense of humour. He was always willing to share with collectors many anecdotes and interesting stories from his life. And last but not least, he saw the world in lines and points.

Q: What is your favourite Slania stamp, and why is it your favourite?
A: It is very hard to choose one fvourite stamp. If I had to choose one it'd have to be the Ksiaz Castle Souvenir Sheet issued in Poland in 1999.

This stamp is special to me as it looks so realistic. So much detail in such a small space.

Q: Where do you usually get your Slania stamps?
A: I prefer to do exchanges with other Slania collectors. And I have or have had connections with collectors from the USA, Spain, Great Britain, and Sweden. I have even had contact with a close friend of Slania's. I have purchased items from both foreign and Polish auctions. I also get many items from Polish Web Shops.

Q: What references do you like using?
A:The on-line references I use are:-
  •  www.slaniastamps-heindorffhus.com
  • www.theburinofczeslawslania.com
  • Slania engraving Yahoo mailing list
  • Bulletins and Polish magazines
  • And Slania Crazy, of course!
  • Life work of Slania, edited by Harold Ashby Short
  • Czeslaw Slania: Catalogue of Works, by Janusz Dunst
  • Slania II, by Zygmunt Jagodzinski
  • My Great Artists, by Zygmunt Jagodzinski 
Q: Do you remember what your first Slania stamp was?
A: I don't really remember, but it would have to be one from 1950's Poland. I do, however, remember my first foreign Slania stamp. It was a pair of USA Christmas stamps depicting the Madonna and child. This item is signed by Slania in the margin. I got this from a colleague.

Q: Do you collect any other engravers?
A: Yes, I have some Piotr Naszarkowski stamps. He was another great Polish engraver, and successor to Czeslaw Slania. They even did some stamps together.

Q: What are your other stamp specialisms?
A: Besides Slania stamps, I collect West Germany, Berlin, Austria, and the early years of Poland.

Q: How do you store your Slania stamps?
A: I keep my stamps, cards, and FDC's in albums. And I have many, many boxes both small and large containing various items.

Q: Do you have any collecting tips to share?
A: It is important to establish contacts with other Slania collectors. And if you store your collection in boxes, it is essential to label the boxes with a description of the contents.

I'd like to thank Keram again for the interview. As always, if anyone else out there wishes to participate, please let me know in the comments.

Until next time...

Stay Slania Crazy!


  1. Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview, Nivelle. They are a lot of fun to do.