Master of Hutsul Chereses
He is one of the few leather craftsmen in Kosovo. He tries to sew and decorate his products as his Hutsul ancestors once did. Yuri started practicing the craft twenty years ago. He graduated from the Institute of Applied and Decorative Arts in Kosovo, but first became interested in it when his mother took him to her friends – the masters of leather goods of that time.
Now Yurii Porokh is one of the most famous masters of artistic leather processing in his city and in Ukraine in general. He creates purses, backpacks with Hutsul ornaments, keychains , women’s reticules , bags for bicycles and trunks for motorcycles. But most of all, Yuri likes to make traditional Hutsul chereses and tabivkas.
Cheres is a men’s leather belt that Hutsuls often wear on a holiday or during a solemn event, and a tabivka is a Hutsul leather bag. Men and women wear it on a shoulder strap.
We still have some time
Yurii is 34. He has got long, blond hair and blue eyes. He is short. The man is dressed very simply: sweater, old jeans, sneakers. Every day starts with the habit of drinking coffee and lighting a morning cigarette. And what is also important – to be silent for a minute or two, looking at the mountains that are looming on the horizon. The master explains that every Hutsul should have a morning ritual of leisurely observation of mountain landscapes before he starts any work. Because it is an internal setting for a successful business. The town of Kosiv, in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, is located at the foot of the Carpathians, in the valley of the Rybnytsia River. In order to see a piece of mountains from his house, Yuri goes out on the porch every morning. And keep watching.