In their workshop in Konijc, which bears the sign Braca Niksic – Niksic Brothers, Armin Niksic and his head artisan chat together as they work. Both are skilfully hand-carving beautiful motifs of entwined flowers and leaves on the arms of some handsome wooden dining chairs, having finished work on the magnificent dining table.
The first woodcarving business in their family was founded by Gano Niksic more than a hundred years ago. Gano had taken up wood carving after he had seen it done in a neighbouring village. He began work in his hometown of Konijc on the Bosnia – Herzegovina border and soon many skilled craftsmen were working in the same street – each with a unique style and decoration motifs. Gano's son took over the business in 1919 and eight years later passed the reins to his brother Adam (grandfather of Armin). Adam grew the business by exhibiting in both Paris and Belgrade and became well known for beautifully handmade furniture that was intricately decorated with hand-carved motifs. Between the world wars, his father Mukarem and cousin Besim worked together and their business became one of the largest and most successful in the town.
In 1996, Armin took over the family business. Armin has continued making marvellous pieces of furniture in the traditional style with exquisite hand-carved motifs, and he also makes smaller painstakingly carved home accessories. The studio makes top quality furniture using walnut, maple, cherry, and oak that is all grown in Bosnia and the business is flourishing.
UNESCO has recognised the unique work of the wood carvers of Konijc as part of the World Heritage programme, and this fills the Niksic family with pride as they happily work together hand carving the stools whilst the beautiful fragrance of fresh sawdust fills the air.