With the roots growing deep in the ground and the branches high reaching the sky, for many nations, the tree symbolizes the connection between the two worlds – the earth and heavenly.
I was talking about woodcarvings in Part I, and in this post, I will pay more attention to the creators of this art – the woodcarvers.
The person to practice this art is necessary to possess a gift, while everyday hard work is obligatory for the artist to reach his full potential. With every finished piece of art his arm becomes proficient and every following time when his visualization and imagination becomes reality presented through his masterpieces, he is growing as an artist and creating a legacy for the next generations.
Unfortunately, fewer people practice this artistic expression. And because it is so rare becomes more and more precious.
I’m about to introduce you to one special family today. Special, because of their positive energy and kindness and because they are keeping alive this craft that is in vanishing.
The family Krstevski from Bitola, Macedonia is still creating woodcarvings that inspire with the mastery and the details. You can imagine how patient someone has to be to do this kind of work. And at the same time how fulfilled that person is when his creation is finished.
All of the members of the family are dedicated to their Professional Studio and Academy “Perdika”. The only registered in Macedonia for creating church interiors, and other interiors and exteriors. Goce Krstevski is the founder and the owner at the same time for more than 25 years. Participating on over 100 colonies and exhibitions for this period of time, individual or organized with other artists.
Their pieces can be found on every continent owned by kings, presidents, diplomats, collectors…
Goce is the author of the book “The soul of the wood” and initiator for creating ZKMAK IZZ Armenia where he is a president for woodcarvings.
Their success belongs to every member of the family, besides Goce, his wife Mirjana that prepares all the projects, their older son Mitko who is the only Magister of woodcarvings in Macedonia and their younger son Filip, who I’m proud to call a friend, the manager of the Studio and Academy.
Together they have created over thirty iconostases for churches in Macedonia as well as in Australia. Goce and Filip are working on an iconostasis ordered for a church in Greece.
As Filip says people have tried to use different types of wood for woodcarvings but they are always using the best and the most compact of all – the walnut tree. Here is a short explanation of the whole process of creating this art. It’s separate in several steps, as follows:
- Painting the motive directly on the wood with pencil (it’s also possible by using indigo), usually this is Mirjana’s part of the work;
- Carving a secure line next to the motive with carving knife;
- Separate roughly the background with chisel to the desired depth;
- Checking if the motive is equally protruding from all sides;
- Smooth the background;
- Rounding edges with a flat chisel with a cut tip or with a carving knife;
- Finishing the design;
- Grooming the surface of the motive;
- Grooming the background of the motive;
- Adding the details, here the real talent surfaces;
- Grooming again until the moves of the chisel are not visible anymore;
- Varnishing, staining, etc. to be protected to last longer.
In closure, I have to say that I’m blissful to know Filip and his family. I will always admire their determination to keep this art alive. For them it’s not only an existence craft, it’s a big part of their life. We should all give them recognition for their hard work and dedication.
If you like to learn more about woodcarvings contact Filip here
Black & white photography credit Saso Parket.