My passion for leather crafts originates in my childhood. As does my passion for woodcrafts, metalcrafts and other traditional artefacts. It probably relates to my nostalgia for things donewell, or maybe it springs from my gratitude for the collective endeavour and joy which have been generously and artfully established by hundreds of generations of craftsmen.
I was born to a family with a six generation-long tradition in craftsmanship. My father, my grandfather, my grand-grandfather and my ancestors always made beautiful things, lasting and useful things, with their own hands. They offered their works to others, and their gift… well, their gift and their skillfulness were passed on to their descendants in their very workshop.
My grandfather. Wood was his world and I am fortunate to have been part of it for years. He knew the name of every tool in Romanian and in German, for such were things in his time. He knew the place of each tool in his workshop. He knew it so well that, if, unbeknownst to him, I sneaked into that magical realm and used a jointer, or a jack plane, he would knowjudging solely by the wearing of the bladewhat type of wood I had used the blade on, and the exact spot on the wood piece, be it an edge, a corner or a flat surface. He would also know, by the trail of dust, if I had put the jack plane back in its place, as he had left it, he would know if I had cleaned the place, or if I had been careful enough…and if I hadn’t, he would tease me by smudging my hands or the tip of my nose with foul smelling bone glue. That’s who my grandfather was. He would always whistle gently and, sometimes, he would tell me stories from when he have been on the frontline. And that’s when he would get sad and stop working…and he would tell me that one should not work with a heavy heart. That, too, Iinherited from him.
My father. Well, my father was my hero. He would make everything out of almost anything. A modeler. To the point of sacrifice. He would constantly forget about himself. A perfectionist with a tremendous ambition carefully concealed behind his incredible modesty, he was one of the best modelers of his generation. I learned everything from him. Tools, their maintenance, thermic engines, electric engines, rocket engines based on solid fuel, gears, servomechanisms, paints, transceivers and so on. His workmates took me under their wing and enriched my knowledge. And more than that, they nurtured my heart with beauty. It was my father who instilled in me the spirit of competition as well as fair play, and he also taught me that there is always room for better.
It was still my father the one who inspired my love for adventure, for wildlife, for EXPLORATION. The first ice axe, crampons, raft, boat, hatchet, knife that I ever laid my eyes on were his. With him I would collect medicinal herbs, aromatic plants and mushrooms. Magazines and newspapes would write about my father, pages of his journal were printed and read by thousands of people. It was my father who gave me my first camera, a Smena with a roll of film inside; he also gave me my first binoculars. He introduced to reading about inventors, explorers, navigators, climbers, heroes – classic and modern. That was my first hero, my father.
And thus, shy and awestruck, I begun my journey into the realm of nature and creation, where the people around me used to forge the things which they then used in their professional life, as well as in their private one, in their households or in their adventures. And so I have been exploring and creating and will continue to do so.
In 2018, encouraged by friends, I engaged with professional leathercrafting. I have been at it with the same humility and love as ever. And the Craft welcomed me. And I am now sharing with you, through my creations, the joy of this magic encounter.
My acknowledgements to everyone who has inspired and helped me throughout my endeavour then and now, my reverential gratitude.