Hratch Nargizian is a fifth generation metal-smith born in Armenia. He initially learned the craft from his family. Hratch went on to continue his education at Art and Craft school of Yerevan, with the focus on engraving, drawing and rendering. He apprenticed with Master Garobet and Valodia, diligently practicing the skills needed to master his craft. Under Master Garobet’s tutelage he furthered his skills to include die cutting and repoussé. The excitement of learning drove Hratch to spend much of his time hiking in the surrounding landscape of Armenia where the ancient architectural ruins merge with the beauty of nature. By taking the rubbings of stone carvings, created by the old masters, Hratch began to understand their message through the language of patterns and symbols. This interest in patterns as metaphor gradually led Hratch to study and work with myths, legends and fairy tales of the region.
Hratch was drafted to the Soviet Army outside of Armenia. This exposure gave him an even broader base of cultural differences and similarities. When Hratch immigrated to the United States he worked with Keith Kramer and Dennis Beirden who’s stylized Spanish scrollwork influenced Hratch to develop a unique signature work of this motif. More recently, Hratch’s travels in the Amazon exposed him to vastly different cultures. Tribal art and music revealed a universal language of patterns, evoking emotive qualities widely recognized in all cultures throughout history. All these experiences have contributed to further develop the vocabulary of his engraving and metalwork, weaving it with songs of epics and tails of myths. Hratch’s work creates a historical record in the form of heirlooms and amulets that will be handed down through the ages. From man’s first carving in the caves, the engraver too, leaves his mark and the messages they carry for the future generations to come.