Located on Nerudova Street in the historical area of Malá Strana in the beautiful city of Prague, Orel and Friends is an artistic space dedicated to Czech craft. A combination of souvenir shop, art gallery and concept store, you will find a unique selection of goods, all hand-produced by around 30 local artists. Items available to buy there include jewellery, ceramics, wooden toys, leather books, photos, notebooks, posters, and handbags. Some of these goods were specially designed for Orel and Friends, and we work in close cooperation with all the artists.
Who is behind this concept?
My name is Stéphane Corbet, a Frenchman who has lived in Prague for 17 years. I used to work in the insurance business, but after a while, I decided the time was right to try a new adventure, which led me to start Orel and Friends. There were many artists in the local area whose work that I liked and admired, and after deciding to start the concept store, I selected around 30 of them to work with.
Why ‘Orel and Friends’?
The word ‘orel’ in Czech translates as ‘eagle’ into English. As well as the eagle being one of the symbols on the Czech coat of arms, our shop is located in the House of the Red Eagle. Two years ago, prior to me taking this space, I noticed that there was another ideal space for rent in a different area of Prague. I contacted the owner but, unfortunately, someone had already rented the property. This space also happened to be located in a property called the House of the Red Eagle. I also discovered that there are only four houses with such a name in Prague. Coincidence? Destiny? Call it what you want, but I felt that I had no other choice than to associate the eagle with my project. I decided to do so through the name ‘Orel and Friends’, as well as in the logo below.
Hiking Trail Markers
Hiking is a huge part of Czech heritage and you will find hiking trail markers everywhere in the natural landscape. I also believe that there is a strong connection between hiking and craft, and it was this belief that inspired what I consider to be the most personal part of the project: photographing Czech hiking trail markers, and imagining and designing goods along this theme, such as lamps, ceramic pots, and posters. This unique project, along with the wonderful work from our artists, contributes to what makes Orel and Friends such a special place.