Bell maker Stanislav Otruba

Bell maker Stanislav Otruba

Elena Beňušová

Stanislav Otruba was born in 1959 in the village of Zázrivá, in its part Biela. He follows in the old tradition typical for this village – making of hammered sheet metal bells. In his beginnings, in addition to the study of specialised literature, his steps led him to bell makers of Zázrivá to learn from them. He strives to give this traditional craft a new direction that would bring the sound of bells from Orava not only to people in Slovakia, but also abroad. He began to make bells in the house where he was born – in a small log cabin where he gradually learned his craft. He wishes to show to tourists who come to his foundry his craft in such a way that they could not only see for themselves how his bells are being made, but they can also try various techniques, or even make a bell. His aim is to turn his bell making craft into a product of agro-tourism.

Bell maker S. Otruba presents traditional sheet metal bell making mostly at markets and fairs not just in Slovakia, but also abroad. His presence there is hard to overlook also thanks to his signature sound background of bell ringing.

In 2012 he gained the title “Master of Folk Arts and Crafts” for preservation and development of traditional metal bell making technologies.