UO Kamenorezac "Porča", Omer Porča, stonecutter/mason

Omer Porca_stonecutter

The stone-cutting or mason craft is one of the oldest and best-preserved crafts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Middle Ages, stonemasons were called blacksmiths, and this trade flourished with the arrival of the Ottomans in the 15th century. The settlement of Mošćanica near Zenica has been known for centuries for its Mošćanica tufa (travertine) stone and stone carvings. In the settlement, there are carved stećci (tombstones) from Mošćanica stone that are over 600 years old. Omer Porča started to deal with this craft in the sixties of the last millennium, and to this day he still has a great love for stone carving, to which he is devoted every day.

Name of Craft in the local language
UO Kamenorezac „Porča“, Omer Porča, kamenorezac/taščija
Type of Craft
Masonry, stone processing, stone cutting, stone shaping, making bars, tombstones, kitchen countertops, benches, and stairs.
Knowledge Holder
Omer Porča
Location, Website
Muhameda Seida Serdarevića bb, 72 000 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina Link to website
Contact
+387 61 236 988
Type of Business
Family business in a local workshop in Mošćanica, and in a showroom in the center of Zenica.
Year of Establishment
1970
Successors
Yes, two sons (Elmedin i Edin Porča)

Workshop and sales space
105m2
Materials
Mošćanići tufa (travertine) stone, granite, marble, water, paint.
Technology / Tools / Machines
Wedges, chisels, pliers, hammers of various sizes and structures, water, grinders, drills, and brushes of various sizes and structures.
Techniques / Processes
Drawing and designing in accordance with the wishes of the client and the object being made (purpose), cutting, grinding, drilling, carving, polishing, painting, and drawing.
Members / Employees
3; Omer Porča and his two sons
Apprentices
The sons were apprenticed to their father and learned stonemasonry from him.
Education of the Craftsperson
Three-year locksmith school. A year of stonemason's craft in Sarajevo (1969). The craft has been passed down within the family for many centuries. Master Omer himself learned from his father and cousin more than 60 years ago. The entire village of Mošćanica has a couple of stonemason families where the family tradition is learned and passed down through the generations.

Best-selling product
Tombstones and plaques.
Average time of production
Continuous all-day process and customer service from 09:00 to 17:00 every working day.
Average price per item
125 EUR – 1500 EUR

UO Kamenorezac “Porča”, Omer Porča, stonecutter/mason

The stone-cutting or mason craft is one of the oldest and best-preserved crafts in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the Middle Ages, stonemasons were called blacksmiths, and this trade flourished with the arrival of the Ottomans in the 15th century. The settlement of Mošćanica near Zenica has been known for centuries for its Mošćanica tufa (travertine) stone and stone carvings. In the settlement, there are carved stećci (tombstones) from Mošćanica stone that are over 600 years old. Omer Porča started to deal with this craft in the sixties of the last millennium, and to this day he still has a great love for stone carving, to which he is devoted every day.

Master Omer himself learned from his father and cousin more than 60 years ago. The entire village of Mošćanica has a couple of stonemason families where the family tradition is learned and passed down through the generations.

Even after so many decades, master Omer and his sons enjoy reviving stone every day according to the wishes of the client, whether it is the creation of a tombstone or a decorative wall inside the house. They mostly work and love to work with Mošćanica tufa stone, although there is no stone that they are not able to make “speak” in all its beauty with their masons’ skills. With their stonemasonry skills, they are able to take on small, medium, and large-scale jobs. Efficiency, speed, accuracy, and quality are the mottos they use in their family stonemasonry business.

Work is done daily in two areas: a small exhibition shop in the center of Zenica and a stonemason’s hall next to the family house in the village of Mošćanica near Zenica. Until the 1990s, the entire production program was carried out exclusively by hand with tools and aids. With the increase in the volume of work and the introduction and use of granite and marble already happening in the 1990s, machines were also introduced in the form of grinders and cutters. Today, the workshop has, in addition to traditional tools, modern industrial stone processing machines to meet the needs of large and challenging stonework projects.

Everything starts with the wishes and needs of the client and the purpose of what they want to carve. Most of the time, these are tombstones. The type of stone, dimensions, shape, and form are chosen according to the client’s wishes. Then, rough processing of the stone is done, which will be, for example, a nišan (a tombstone). Grinders, cutters, water, chisels, and macoles are used. When it is carved and processed, it gets the desired look, and then the stone is finely processed, which brings out its most beautiful characteristics and properties. It is polished and polished until it shines. Then the data about the person is engraved. The final act is the application of color to the carved data according to the client’s wishes—usually green, silver, or gold.

The best-selling products are tombstones and plaques, bars, kitchen benches, decorative walls, stairs, and benches.