Featured Artisan: Valentin Yotkov

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Artist's Statement

I have always admired the skills of the ancient masters. My native Bulgaria was the homeland of the legendary Thracian gold and silversmiths, who created their timeless masterpieces some 2500 years ago. Their exquisite works had a great influence on my personal style, and became an inspiration for life.

I am attracted to the richness of the ancient forms and designs. Ancient gold and silver pieces are so mysterious, distant and different - they appear to me like today's new concept in metal.

Over the course of a decade I studied newly excavated gold and silver treasures, then copied some of the vessels to find what tools and techniques were used by the Thracian masters. That was an exiting spiritual communication with a far-off epoch, and my first introduction to chasing and repoussé.

These magnificent techniques, almost lost through the ages, became my favorite form of expression in metal. Not only for the dramatic enhancement they bring to ones work - I believe that as we look into the future, relaying on modern technologies and inventions, we should not let our previous knowledge and experience be forgotten, or even lost.

Within each of my works lives the preservation of an old metalwork technique, representing the rich history and culture of my country. And like my ancestors, I hope that these skills and techniques will be preserved and passed on so they can be appreciated by the future generations, as well.



1979-1980 Apprentice for Renowned Bulgarian Silversmith Alexander Raiev
1977 Graduated from Specialized Art School, Sofia Bulgaria
Recipient of the "Gold Medal" award (Diploma)
Professional Experience
1992 to present Professional Silversmith, Instructor in Chasing and Repousse
Recent works include: A Trophy, Commissioned and Presented by The Diocese of Armenian Church in America to Senator Robert Dole
Recent Workshops in Chasing/Repousse
2000 Tiffany & Co, Parsippany, NJ
Tiffany & Co, Valentin Yotkov Studio, NY
Brookfield Crafts Center, Brookfield, CT
Metalwerx, Woburn, MA
1999 Tiffany & Co, Valentin Yotkov Studio, NY
New York University, Conservation Center of Institute of Fine Arts
Worcester Center for Crafts, Worcester , MA
Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ
New Mexico Metalsmiths Association, Corrales, NM
Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD
Long Island Crafts Guild, Garvey's Point, NY
Tiffany & Co, Brooklyn, NY
1992 American Craft Museum, New York City
Chasing and Repousse Demonstration
1983-1989 President, National Silversmiths Guild, Bulgaria


2000 "St. James" Cathedral-Basilica, New York
OXOXO Gallery, Baltimore, MD
1999 Rosenberg Gallery, New York
1994 Artbuilders Gallery, Jersey City
1993 Elsa Mott Ives Gallery, New York
1989 Beijing, China
Pittsburgh, PA
New Delhi, India
Bator, Mongolia
1988 Veneto, Italy
1986 Mexico City, Mexico
1985 Moscow, Russia
Volos, Greece
1982 Tokyo, Japan

Honors Received in Bulgarian National Exhibitions

1990 First Prize, National Art Show, Sofia, Bulgaria
1989 First prize and a Gold Medal, National Exhibition of the Arts, Bulgaria
1987 Second Prize, National Exhibition of Young Artists, Bulgaria
1985 First Prize, National Art Competition, Sofia, Bulgaria
First Prize, National Exhibition of Young Artists
1982 First Prize, National Design Competition
1979 Gold MedalNational Art Competition, Sofia, Bulgaria
Works in Private Collections
Bulgaria, France, Italy, Greece, England, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Germany, USA, Canada and Japan

Professional Affiliations

Artisan Member, Society of American Silversmiths
Society of North American Goldsmiths
National Silversmiths Guild of Bulgaria

Valentin Yotkov
232 Woodcliff Blvd.
Morganville, NJ 07751

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