Born in1949 in Yerevan,the capital of Armenia. Amayak lived in Russia from 1951 to 2000.
He was apprenticed as a watchmaker at the age of 17 and followed this profession for the next 11 years.
He became intrigued by watching his fellow watchmaker using the flex shaft to engrave and decided to teach himself the art of engraving using hand made gravers which he made himself. He practiced with the aid of information in a book be Brepohl, and became so proficient that within a few years, he was able to leave watchmaking and become a professional engraver and an expert in engraving intricate steel dies for multiple production. He was employed at the Russian Souvenir Company in Moscow, a company which was well known for their commemorative medals and badges, as well as enameled souvenirs of famous sites such as monasteries and the Kremlin. He developed into a highly skilled, meticulous, technically accomplished artist and inspired designer with a unique style of engraving.
In 1996, friends near Boulder invited him to visit the US. He brought samples of his work to show his skills, which led him to Lew Wackler through whom he made important professional contacts. He received letters of support from Alan Revere, Mary Lee Hu, John Rohner, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the editor of Lapidary Journal.
On the strength of his extraordinary ability and with the continued support of his American friends Bill Brinker, Lew Wackler and John Rohner he was granted a Green Card in 2000 and moved to the USA along with his wife Svetlana and currently lives in Arvada, Colorado.
He has worked with Bill Brinker, Lew Wackler, Tom Finneran and Baron Andreas von Zadora engraving objects of extraordinary scale and beauty.
In 2002, life took on new meaning when Lew Wackler introduced him to Dick Hodgson, a well-known professional gun and knifemaker ( now deceased ) who drew Amayak to the custom knife field with its infinite creative possibilities. Through Dick, Amayak met Jerry McClure who invited him to the Dallas Knife Show, eventually leading to a successful collaboration with Owen Wood in 2003. Amayak now spends his creative energy engraving knife handles of extraordinary beauty.
On September 17 th 2008, Amayak Stepanyan became a citizen of the United States of America.
Amayak’s work has been published in the follwing journals and books by David Darom:
The Art of Modern Custom Knifemaking 2006
The Great Collections 2007
The World of Art Knives 2010
500 Knives 2009
Denver Jewelry Studio
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