The woodcarving in Macedonia designs people’s soul

When nature and religion meet, you get Macedonia. Whether you are a fan of active tourism, whether you prefer hiking, swimming or camping, in Macedonia you will surely visit a religious object during your trip. The foreign tourists know Macedonia as a religious country with many churches, monasteries, mosques and many other buildings to which the local population gives a great importance. Each object has its own story, and besides the story, each object was touched by the skillful hands of the artists who give them a soul.


Today, we introduce you to Yane Krsteski, the man who for years has been creating works that silently tell stories and decorate many buildings across Europe. Yane is our local hero from Bitola. After graduating from high school, Yane decided to continue his education in Sofia at the National Academy of Fine Arts with a degree in carving. It was his wish since he was a child and he participated in many art sections and many art competitions.


Yane has been engaged in woodcarving since he was 26 years, from the distant 1990, following the footsteps of his father Zlate Krsteski who is a well-known woodcarver and president of the “Association of Woodcarvers of Macedonia”. Today, Yane has registered his woodcarving association, named “MAKE” where he makes professional woodcarving works intended for various buildings.


For himself he says that is an independent woodcarving artist, which status he obtained by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia. In September 2014, he placed the iconostasis in the Cathedral of the European Diocese – St. “Naum Ohridski” in Malmo, whose creating lasted for two years.

Proud of his success in Malmo and the fact that many tourists admired his work, Yane continues to create in full steam. According to him, one of his most important works is the coffin in which the declaration of independence of the Republic of Macedonia from the Parliament was transferred to the “Museum of the Macedonian Struggle”.


His skill and the use of various techniques helped him to create unique woodcarving works. In addition to all this, he was focused on creating the iconostasis and so far he has made 24 iconostasis that adorn many churches and monasteries in Macedonia and around the world.


Yane adds that the procedure for woodcarving is not simple. It starts with choosing the material that is usually walnut wood, and then follows the idea of what will be designed. With the preparation of the dimension and the drawing, starts the rough processing of the carving and the formation of the elements until the final stage of processing with toning and coating with protective coatings.

Yane is the president of “ZKMAK”, the editorial board of the magazine Kopanicar, and he has participated in 62 group exhibitions and 32 woodcarving colonies in Macedonia and abroad. He also published his woodcarving works in the magazine Kopanicar, and in 2002 he has published the first woodcarving textbook in Macedonia.


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