Krafteraj – Heaven for Crafts in Zagreb

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The culture of quality craftsmen in Zagreb is alive and well.

If you think that crafts in Zagreb have disappeared, you are wrong. Once a month, the Booze&Blues Cafe in Tkalčićeva Street organizes Krafteraj, an event which presents young craftsmen from Zagreb. The team has already found a dozen young people in Zagreb who are able to make a living from crafts and trades . Among them are Duško Ilijević, Karlo Ban and Robert Bašić, reports Vecernji List on December 14, 2015.

“I produce unique ‘tailor-made’ bicycles, complex and often motorized vehicles with hybrid engines”, said Ilijević who has been using such a bicycle for the last ten years. “Business is growing very rapidly, our customers come from almost all continents. Prices start at 20,000 kuna. In order to produce the most expensive model, personalized according to customer wishes, I need up to a year”, Ilijević said. He works out of his flat on 12th floor, but often cooperates with specialized workshops.

Karlo Ban was inspired for his business by an ordinary event – someone had left a poker too long in a fireplace and the poker heated up. What could be done with such a piece of steel? A kitchen knife. “I produce knives modelled on the Japanese santoku. I did not invent anything new, in Italy you have thousands of blacksmiths like me”, said Ban who makes knives in a converted old farm house in Zagorje. “It is not easy to produce a santoku. The most demanding part is forging, but you need to understand other materials as well. Every knife is unique, not only because of the desires of customers, but also because each blacksmith has his own style. Most of my customers are foreigners, but more and more Croats appreciate a good quality knife”, said Karlo who has been producing knifes for 12 years. He has sold thousands of knives which have become a brand with the prices starting from one hundred euros.

Robert Bašić produces special guitars. “With the mainstream manufacturers, you cannot order a custom-made guitar. I am not into making replicas, but I make my own interpretations of classic electric guitars. For instance, shape of a guitar is something that every guitar player has direct contact with and should be adapted to each hand”, explained Robert who plays his own guitars in three bands. “One of my bass guitars has been sold to Italy, two to Slovenia. I have inquiries from Spain, Finland, Texas”, said Bašić who needs a month to produce a guitar worth between 7,500 and 10,000 kuna. “I have been producing guitars since 2008, and I am currently making my 50th guitar. I produce them in a workshop at my home. I would like for my guitar to eventually become an entirely Croatian product”, Bašić concluded.


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