Bowl 5" x 7 1/2"
Raised copper, chased, patina, bees wax

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Copyright © Valentin Yotkov
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Interview with Valentin Yotkov
by Rocío Heredia

"A soul embedded with the cultural wealth of his native Bulgaria, Valentin Yotkov has been discovering the ancient techniques used by the Thracian Masters, affirming his predilection for art metals. We find in his pieces all these memories and traditions in a metalwork full of imaginativeness, originality, style and technique. Valentin's wisdom and generosity intrigues and inspires his students. He helps them revealing the best of them and can be considered the ultimate guiding master to the practice of chasing and repoussé".

How did you discover your love for the Arts?
My passion for art has been greatly influenced by the rich culture and tradition of my homeland Bulgaria. These have instilled in me a valuable appreciation for the process of creating. For as long as I can remember myself, I have been an artist. Even in kindergarten, my teachers doubted that the apple I had drawn as a homework assignment was my own work and not my mother's.

Have you worked with any other visual art techniques?
I have done drawing and painting, glass blowing, ceramics, but metal seemed to lure my attention more than anything else. I was fascinated by its unique ability to move and flow as if it were alive.

You are not only an artist, but a teacher as well. Why is teaching so important to you?
In the modernization of the Western World, Chasing and Repoussé became practically a lost art form. That is very unfortunate, since these are two of the most magnificent, most fulfilling techniques in metalsmithing. My ambition is to revive them and to pass on as much of my knowledge and experience as possible to the younger generation of metal artists.

Rumors have it that you are writing a book on the subject.
Yes, in fact, it is a work in progress. My objective is to create the most comprehensive and detailed manual on Chasing and Repoussé. This book will focus not on how to do things "the easy way" but on how to do them "the old way."

Valentin Yotkov, Designer/Silversmith
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