The marble sculptor Michail Saltamanikas
Marble sculpture is an art that flourished particularly on the island Tinos, and especially in the villages Pyrgos and Isternia. The School of Fine Arts in Pyrgos has been operating since 1955; it is specialized in the art of marble sculpture and its mission is the continuation of the tradition of this folk art that has existed in the area since ancient times.
My exposure to the art of sculpture started with my apprenticeship next to woodcarver Evangelos Kayorgis, from the village Pyrgos in Tinos. Later on, I took my first steps in marble sculpture next to my grandfather, Lazaros Artemiou Valakas.
I studied at the School of Fine Arts of Pyrgos from 1987 to 1990. After my graduation, I worked as a marble sculptor in the marble crafts workshop of Hondroyiannis, Diamantopoulos and Filippotis.
In 1997, feeling ready to create my own artwork, I opened my marble sculpture workshop. Since then, and I have been creating works of folk sculpture – and not only – on marble and stone. The themes of my works are drawn from the local tradition, the nature of the island and the sea, with which I have had a strong contact since my childhood, being the offspring of seafarers and the son of a lighthouse keeper.