What We Do

We have been offering a variety of educational and cultural activities for the past several years. Our workshops and classes are open to students of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds. Classes are designed for students of all skill levels - previous craft or art experience is not required. Classes use patterns and educational materials that have been developed especially for these classes and are copyrighted for use in class by registered students. We particularly encourage intergenerational teams, as these design projects are ideal for parent/child or grandparent/grandchild team projects.

A Bit About Us

Dave Motak has been in higher education administration for nearly 20 years. He is a graduate of Alliance College and former art administrator, educator and folk artist. Dave studied Polish culture and history at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland were he lived for two years as a member of the Kosciuszko Foundation Study Abroad program. He was a student of Dr. Karl Estreicher, a prominent Polish art historian whose family first promoted the study of the Cracow Crèche as a serious art form. Dave travels to Poland extensively and maintains contacts with numerous Cracow szopkarze (crèche artists) in an ongoing effort to perfect his unique teaching methodology and skill. Dave’s educational efforts have been recognized by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts through the PA Partners in the Arts Program administered by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Dave is assisted in the Cracow Creche WorkshopTM project by Jack Samuels. Jack is a former middle school administrator with extensive experience in curriculum development, educational technology and project management. With their combined energies, these talented professionals have developed a unique cultural and educational experience for students of all ages.

Build a Family Heirloom!

Building a szopka is a wonderful way to create a family heirloom that can be passed down over the years as a special family treasure. What better heirloom than a piece of wonderful folk art created by members of your family working together!

Our offerings include:

"Mini" Workshops

Offered at various locations around the country, these three-hour workshops offer the opportunity to learn about this intriguing folk art and construct a 13 inch szopka with materials that are provided. It is an excellent project for teens and parent-child teams.

Six Week Workshops

Our 12 hour, six week workshops offer the opportunity to design and build a larger, more elaborate szopka. We discuss the history and origin of the szopka and follow a step-by-step method to design and build a 30 inch, lighted piece. Students are shown an audiovisual presentation and provided with am illustrated course manual. Students also receive basic materials and are encouraged to add additional materials to customize their piece.

Lectures and Public Presentations

We offer public presentations to schools, art groups and community groups. Please contact us at contact@cracowcrafts.com to inquire about how we can make a presentation designed for your needs.

Cultural Tours to Poland and Central Europe

As a leading folk artist and expert on the Szopka Art form, Dave periodically escorts groups to Poland and other areas of Central Europe. These personalized tours have proven very popular. Click Here for details.