Cafe interview with Evgeni Todorov Dimov
One day a new guy with the user name dimovengraving appeared on the Cafe posting photos of his beautiful engraving and carving. I thought to myself, who is this Evgeni fellow and where has he been hiding? In addition to his wonderful craftsmanship, I can tell that Mr. Dimov is also very computer savvy, with nicely edited photos and other little surprises in his posts like smilies other than what we have here. Yes, he's full of surprises, and I consider him to be one of the fearless craftsmen who know no bounds. Deep gunstock carving of game scenes? No problem. Wire inlay in wood? No problem. Basketweave or scale patterns? No problem! Need a celtic knot deeply engraved into blade steel? Bring it on! I can only imagine what it must be like in his workshop with all those chips flying around. He's an interesting and good natured fellow and I knew he'd be perfect for a Cafe interview. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Evgeni Todorov Dimov!
::: Engraving :::
Q. What's your name?
A. Full name: Evgeni Todorov Dimov (we have 3 names)
Q. Where are you from?
A. Sopot, Bulgaria
Q. How long have you been engraving?
A. Vocational - over 16 years (wow, indeed have become so much)
Q. What made you want to become an engraver?
A. It's very cool ! I think that this is a sufficient reason
Q. Are you a hobbyist or professional engraver?
A. With this I pay my accounts(bills)
Q. How did you learn engraving?
A. I continue to learn
I am always asked, “why exactly engravings and weapons?” Until now, I haven’t responded one way or the other to these questions. Actually, I have always had aspirations to work in the field of fine arts. For years now, I have been committed to drawing and graphics design. Then it seemed as if the transition of miniature wood carving and metal engraving came naturally to me. The biggest role played, however, was the chance to learn and master the craft and the opportunity to work with the best in my country.
I learned craftwork of the best Bulgarian master woodcarver and engraver - Svetlosar Raichanov
Across the years, I worked for the largest Bulgarian and some foreign companies of arms industryring all this time, including at this moment I continue to learn, I don't know many things. Internet help me a lot about this....
Q. What was your biggest obstacle when you first started?
A. The standard technical problems. On the next stage, self-complacency.
Q. Are you a hammer & chisel and/or push engraver, or do you use pneumatic tools, or a combination of hand and power?
A. I engrave metal with hammer and cutter. Wood and bone I cut with chisels, only by hand power
Q. What are your favorite books pertaining to engraving?
A. "Техники ювелирного дело"-Бреполь and of course "Art of Engraving"-James B. Meek . Recently was printed new a very interesting book by the Russian author and amazing artist Oleg Semenov - "Авторское оружие-создание образа, отделка"
Q. Of the old engraving masters, whose work is among your favorite?
A. I love the Bulgarian Orthodox miniature woodcarving in Renaissance
Q. What's the worst engraving mistake you ever made, and how did you fix it?
A. Once, when I engraved detail of pistol, I not complied with thickness in one place, and it drilling :-( Then I weld the place and engraved again,but now careful...
Q. What are the majority of your engraving jobs (guns, jewelry, etc)?
A. Predominantly guns and knives. But I have no special attitude to them, for example I engrave with a pleasure piece of jewelry or jewelry box.
Q. What type of magnification do you use (microscope, Optivisor, etc)?
A. Optivisor and microscope, but only in last resort
Q. What part of engraving do you find the most challenging or difficult?
A. For me, creating a composition has been always most interesting and importantly . Area in which an artist can be developed to infinity, or momentary to falter. After, it is only a application of acquired skills…
Q. What part of an engraving job do you dislike the most, and why?
A. I not like to work serially, but sometimes you have...
Q. What's your favorite part of an engraving job, and why?
A. The beginning. Then as if anything is a possible. This is a miracle. Of course the moment of receiving of the fee is not to ignore
Q. Do you like or dislike lettering, and why?
A. Yes, I do it with pleasure
Q. What kinds of engraving do you refuse to do?
A. Such that I can't do ... with all meanings of these words.
Q. How do you rate the quality of engraving done today as opposed to 50 or 100 years ago?
A. There has been progress. Now everything is more easy, even communication between us - this is important.
Q. Do you perceive any part of hand engraving as a dying art?
A. No, it will exist as opposed to the "cool sophistication" of the machines. Of course the client for whom this is not important(and never it was), is lost forever
Q. What country or countries impress you with their highly skilled engravers?
A. I really like the work of Italian, Belgium, Austrian engravers. The latest generation of Russian artists also makes amazing things.
Q. What affect has the internet had on your hand engraving?
A. HUGE- quick access to any information , most of all –"setting the clock", sharing ideas, thoughts and tips between engravers in real time.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn engraving?
A. “Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind”. this is a quote, Johannes Brahms has said it.
::: Personal :::
Q. How many children do you have?
A. Two, boy and girl.
Q. What's the occupation of your wife/husband?
Q. If you have traveled, what was the most exciting country you visited and what did you enjoy most?
A. Maybe St. Petersburg(Russia) is the city that most impressed me.
Q. Besides engraving, what are your hobbies and interests?
A. Standard- books and music, I play guitar.
Q. Where is your favorite place to be?
A. Maybe my workshop.
Q. What’s one thing of which you are most proud?
A. On a personal level - my family. In professional aspect - sometimes when I try something totally new. I usually do it at "wrong moment" When the experiment is successful, it makes me really proud
Q. When you were a child, who was your hero?
A. d'Artagnan and the other three Musketeers
Q. Tell us something few people know about you.
A. All pictures that I show here, are actually computer simulations... ha ha... In fact I am a person with great sense of humor and self-irony , that does not be taken very seriously.
Q. Where were you on September 11, 2001?
A. All day I was at home front of the TV. I couldn't believe that this happens...
It was awful, if I have to be truthful, at this moment New York was the last place where I wanted to be. The exact word is "scared" , I felt thus.
Q. Do you have any pet peeves?
A. The mediocrity and rudeness, garnished with a high self confidence.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do in your home town?
A. Walking in the wood. Very close to the my house (1 km) has a small amazing natural waterfall. This is my favorite spot.
Q. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?
A. Ian Anderson from “Jethro Tull”
Q. What one person was most influential in your life?
A. I think that this is my father
Q. Who (living or deceased) would you most liked to have met?
A. All Florentine Renaissance artists and scientists.
Q. Describe what you would think of as a perfect day.
A. If there is such day, maybe it will be in the spring.
Q. Tell us a good short, clean joke.
A. Maybe I am a good engraver among the wood carvers, and good wood carver among the engravers ha ha
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the folks reading this?
A. My country, of that I am a product, had the unique historical chance to develop between the two cultures and draw on them. We do not know much about each other and this is a fact.
It is wonderful that we can communicate. Wonderfully!!
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Thank you!!!!!! Evengi!!!!!
Unbelievable work!! Such a pleasure to read and see...
Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
- Andy Gonzales
Evgeni, great interview and it is really nice to know more about you and your work! Sam, more of these please!!
(The Other Sam)
Guns, Guitars and Old Cars
Cravingravin=a chronic malady that afflicts some of the world's nicest people...TOS
Evgeni, A pleasure to know more about you. Your work is very impressive. I check your web site fairly often to see what is new. Excellent site and your work, as I have said in the past, is superb!- Fred
Want to learn to engrave, "cut an inch a Day every Day" Jim Small
I really enjoyed this. Thank you Sam and Evgeni.
Thanks for giving us an interview - it's great to get to know you better. I love to see your new posts. There is such a richness in texture to your pieces between the wood carving, the metal engraving and the metal inlay.
That's an interesting read thank you Evgeni.
Yes, communication is a wonderful thing and it's great that we can all talk from around the world.........and you are a Jethro Tull fan!!!!
Your work is outstanding in every way.
evgeni : you look so young to have produced such a variety of skills. you sound like a very well "balanced" artist. i wish i had your skills, especially the way you have made walnut respond to your ideas.
Great work!! I enjoy your sense of humor immensely!