Describe your profession, with details on products, services, expertise and know how.
I work with fine and miniature inlays and engravings on wood and metal. The combination of these several crafts apply primarily to:
- Craftsmanship and artistic decoration of different types of knives
- Engravings and decoration of pistols and revolvers
- Decoration of hunting gunstocks, including floral ornamentation and hunting scenes
- Production and decoration of jewelry boxes, and wood-carved knick-knacks, etc.
All of my work is marked with my monogram and includes a certificate of origin and uniqueness.
Each work, in itself, is a product of uniqueness. No two works are the same. Therefore my work is focused primarily to collectors and connoisseurs.
What materials do you use? Where and how you purchase them?
I use a variety of natural materials in my work
- The wood I use is mainly walnut, pear, boxwood. Additionally, I use apple, cherry, hawthorn, various exotic woods.
- The inlays are made of precious metals, mother of pearl, ivory, mammoth bone, etc.
- For the knife blades I use high quality stainless steel as well as premium Damascus steel.
- Coating on the wood: the wood is impregnated with natural oils on the basis of flax, beeswax and shellac (according to an old recipe)
Describe the techniques, the tools and the materials you use in your work.
Of course, it all starts with a piece of paper, a pencil, good music, and a cup of coffee. I love this initial stage – then anything is possible.
In the process of work, I use chisels and gravers of different geometry, striving to observe good practices and technologies in our craft, without which a good, valuable, quality and lasting result cannot be possible
What is your “ideal” client’s profile?
My work is liked usualy by people with an attitude to beauti, style handmade work that’s makes with a human honesty, passion and emotion , with an attitude to everything that industry does not give them, with its ice precision and nothing else.
At what age and under what circumstances did you start this job?
I have been doing this professionally since 1995, when I was 26 years old.
But it all started much earlier, and developed imperceptibly. Interest turned into strong interest. And then into a passion, which in turn turned into a hobby, which eventually became my profession, which I work with this same passion and love.
The biggest role played, however, was the chance to learn and master the craft and the opportunity to work with the best in my country.
Where and how long have you been trained before you were ready to start your own business? In a training institute, with a craftsman or both? What do you think is the best way to learn your job today? Schools, training with craftsmen …?
I learned the craft in the workshop, from the well-known master in my country, Svetlozar Raichanov. I owe my first (and not only the first) steps to him.
What role do “talent” and “creativity” play in your profession?
Talent and creativity, together with good skills, experience, knowledge, and of course love this art, are everything in our profession. A good result is impossible without even one of these components.
And what about innovation, what are the changes since you started? Do you use new materials, tools, or processes in manufacturing and marketing? What is the impact of innovation on your performance? How could your profession be even more innovative?
Like everything around us, crafts also develop along with people, their needs and tastes.
In general, everything is done in the same old way, but new technologies allow us to work with a good magnification of detail, and our work can become more precise.
If our art shows not only its final result, but also the process of work and its magic sincerity, with this, it only would win.
What is the best way to learn your profession?
The best way to do that , of course, is to work in the studio, under the supervision of a Master. But in the 21st century, we should not neglect a good book, video lesson, master class, internet communication between like-minded people from different places in the world.
What is your message to younger generations who might choose your profession?
My advice to young colleagues is – to work hard, to demand the maximum from themselves, to not stop developing. There will always be a place for a good and talented artisan in this world.