Nikola Šišić from Trebinje is one of the few stone carvers who still handles his craft today with a hammer and chisel, working for the full 55 years, and in honor of this anniversary, family and friends held a special ceremony for him at the Museum of Herzegovina.
“In the whole craft, I have introduced the only innovation that I do not separate the stone from the rock with a small one, but cut it with a machine, but then it is followed exclusively by hand-processing with a hammer, a chisel and a spokes, which still represents to me today such a pleasure and calm that fulfills me as when I started, and it has been more than five and a half decades since I started working at the age of 12, and here I am at the age of seventy, ” said Šišić.
As a boy, he used to carve stone for his then-new home, watching his father work, and then he adopted some new work from the older stonemasons, whom his native Popovo Polje once had a large number of.
He later became a highly sought after master, who, in addition to his three stone houses, and in each one built at least one hundred square meters of stone, worked on numerous facilities throughout the region.
“There are no settlements in Trebinje where I did not work on several houses, and I would not count everything I did in twenty days in Herceg Novi, Nikšić, Plužine, Pljevlja, earlier in Dubrovnik, but I also built a large number of bell towers for churches, memorial fountains around various buildings, worked in cemeteries and cemeteries, on places of worship of all faiths, ” recalls Nikola.
He also worked for the Memorial Complex in Prebilovci and various sacred objects, but he also made useable items of stone, some of which were also exhibited at the aforementioned ceremony at the museum.
Aware that at least part of Nikola’s oeuvre can be preserved in this way, they point out in the Museum of Herzegovina that they have accepted the organization of a manifestation dedicated to this stonemason, in order to indicate the importance of recalling old crafts.
Museum ethnologist Božana Đuzelović also recalled the medieval “stećak” tombstones that speak about the great skill of the Herzegovina masters in stone processing, pointing out that the stone soil from which the stone-cutters originate is actually part of their being.
The monograph “Stone and He – A Life Written in Stone” was presented, and some stone objects and a stone-cutting tool were presented, some of which Nikola will donate to the Museum of Herzegovina.