Danos Tsourtsoumia

Traditional Art in Skopelos, Shipbuilders, microshipbuilder, skopelos Danos Tsourtsoumia

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Danos Tsourtsoumia Microshipbuilder

Through the streets of Skopelos, a pretty island in the Northern Sporades, Greece, I had by chance an interesting encounter.
In a very small laboratory museum, which gave directly onto the narrow street, there was a craftsman building a spectacular ancient sailing ship model.
Although I’m not a fan of modeling, I stopped to admire his art and, soon, curiosity left space for my wonder. I did not believe somebody could achieve such perfection: every single detail was taken care of with maniacal precision, following closely the pattern of construction in which the craftsman was in possession.
Forget the cold kit boxes! As they are faithful, the components are manufactured in series and their assembly is very simple because of the instructions: Tengiz (for friends of Skopelos simply Danos) is a real “shipwright”, and for him is not conceivable to construct a model that is not, fully, absolutely identical to the original. He builds handcrafted every single piece, each frieze of carved wood and metal, modeling them with great skill, he assembles the components without using nails or screws but only wood pegs and glue, and he takes care of rigging and sails as if his ship would really sail and maneuver in the troubled waters of the Aegean Sea.
The result is superb handwork of great quality, which requires thousands of hours of work to be completed.
His collection includes sailing ships of the pre-Roman period (ships Phoenicians and Greeks), Viking Drakkar, galleons, warships, schooners, skippers, and other wonders that you will never find in any modeling store: every item is unique.
Danos hasn’t got a shop but he’s willing to sell some of his works: if you are interested to see or buying one of his creations, or require the construction of a specific model,