Stopan – Master bookbinders with gratitude to Etar Museum

My name is Kalin Daskalov, but frequently I introduce myself with my nick-name Stopan. I’m master bookbinder from Sofia and I’m engaged mostly in making of artistic book-covers. Together with my parents we create pieces of art. My father makes silver facing, while my mother works with textile and knitting. In 2019 with the support of the Etar Museum I had the opportunity to apply for Creative residence in South Korea, Jinju city, where the first edition of the Crafts biennale took place. Despite of the many delays in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, I was approved for participation and was the only Bulgarian representative in this event, also the only master, creating book-covers. I had the chance to stay in the city of Jinju for one month, where I made 3 articles – two of them were my own work and one in collaboration with a master from South Korea.

I utilized Korean materials in a European context of book structure for my own 2 articles.  I used traditional Korean hand paper, their world famous silk and further Korean materials. For the joint subject I worked together with a Korean master, who makes traditional furniture casing. He created a special casing for leather book-covering and this way we worked out traditional Korean plating for a book structure of a European type. Such a thing has never been done, that’s why along with others pieces of my art had been exhibited during the traditional Crafts Biennale in Jinju in 2021.

Thanks to the partnership of ETAR Museum with the International Michelangelo Foundation and their prestigious Homo Faber catalogue I received the opportunity to be listed in it, together with other Bulgarian artisans. During the next year my pieces of work are expected to take part in the Biennale in Venice, which is organized by this foundation. I would like to express my gratitude to Etar Museum, that they pay attention not only to traditional Bulgarian crafts, but also to such crafts from my sphere that bear a contemporary context and different style of work, requiring specific skills. The Etar Museum makes its best to represent them, this is very good and I’m thankful. It is a great inspiration to see the development of this institution. I wish all my colleagues from the craftsmen circle success and despite of all the difficulties to continue developing.