Sakib Baščaušević

Bašcaršija is the fascinating old part of the city of Sarajevo and Kažandziluk is one of its oldest streets, dating from the 16th century when it was first established as the 'street of coppersmiths' during the Ottoman Empire. As you approach one of the workshops, the sound of rhythmic tapping can be heard and stepping inside you find Sakib Bascausevic shaping a beautiful copper bowl. It is a pleasure to pause for a few moments to watch this Master copper craftsman at work...

Sakib's family has owned the workshop for 120 years as he is the fourth generation of the Bascausevic family to be coppersmiths and he still creates his beautiful pieces of copper in the same traditional way as his forefathers. He learnt from a young age by watching his father and then working alongside him.

In his workshop he is surrounded by his work – all made of copper but some tin plated, others silver plated and a few items even gold plated. Each piece is a true piece of art that takes many hours of painstaking work by Sakib to complete. Amongst his work, there are dishes, coffee sets, flower vases, decorative boxes and wine glasses. There are ibriks – water jugs that Sakib makes with beautiful necks like swans, Dzezva – coffee pots and secerluk – sugar bowls. There are large handsome plates to hang on the wall. Each piece is shaped perfectly and intricately decorated with floral designs and geometric shapes that portray the rich history of copper which has been crafted in Sarajevo since 1489.

Sakib is almost oblivious of his audience as he works – cocooned in his own little world – but his skill is, and it is no coincidence that UNESCO has recognised him as one of the greatest coppersmiths of them all....

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