Describe your profession, with details on products, services, expertise and know how.
My craft comes from abroad, specifically from the Czech Republic. Due to its specificity, there are no traditions in our country. It can be said that I am practically a pioneer in its development on a professional basis. What specifically attracted me at the time was the opportunity to create a product with a purely functional and aesthetic function. It combines the basics of my education (industrial design) and my love for handcrafted items.
What materials do you use? Where and how you purchase them?
I have mainly been working with Spanish briar in recent years, this is the wood from which the pipe heads are made. For the mouthpieces I use German and Japanese ebonite, acrylics, alternative materials, as well as bamboo, horn, silver to decorate the neck of the pipe.
Describe the techniques, the tools and the materials you use in your work.
The process usually begins with sketching. This is the moment when I think about the image I want to create, proportions. Sometimes I also make templates, which I then have and work with. Then follows the selection of the correct block of wood and material for the mouthpiece, which is then shaped with the help of a bandsaw. Then if the shape is circular, it is shaped more precisely on a lathe where the tobacco holes, flue and plug hole are also drilled to fit the mouthpiece. This is followed by manual sanding with different sandpapers and a finish according to the idea.
What is your “ideal” client’s profile?
A difficult question, given the ever-evolving and changing circumstances of today. Years ago I would have said – a real analog, living store, but nowadays things happen over the internet apparently. In my opinion, social networks would be a good foundation, but on the other hand, they are not what they used to be.
At what age and under what circumstances did you start this job?
- The circumstances were a return to Bulgaria after 5 years spent in the Czech Republic. I was looking for an alternative for myself given that we had lost touch with current work contacts.
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 …?
Self-taught, but combined with everything I’ve learned working with materials and tools along my education. Subsequently, the exchange of experiences with colleagues was also valuable.
What role do «talent» and «creativity» play in your profession?
A fundamental one!
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?
What is the best way to learn your profession?
With me, at my studio.
What is your message to younger generations who might choose your profession?
To have heart, soul and a lot of patience as well as humility. You don’t get materially rich from this job.