The Metsovo wood sculptors (names of the Metsovo wood sculptors)
Metsovo has a very large tradition in the wood sculpture art and there have survived the names of famous wood sculptors, who also travelled throughout all the Greek populated regions, in the Balkans as well as elsewhere.
G. Plataris in his most notable work, The Notebook of a Metsovite, has preserved the names of many Metsovo wood sculptors. At the point where he referred to the wedding of Dem. Meranos, the writer of the handwritten journal for the years 1871- 1943, who had invited the wood sculptor friends and fellow craftsmen of his wood sculptor father G. Meranos or Meliotis or Baltzois, he mentions their names: 1) Ioannis Titras; 2) Serg. Kaldaras; 3) Io. Barosios; 4) Georg. Athan. Tsourekas; 5) Spyr. D. Dafitsis; 6) Anast. Zenelis; 7) Triand. Belibasis; and 8) Kostas Nakos Katsoras. He has also preserved the names of other Metsovo taliadoroi, as many as he could in his 20 year research to discover and preserve «as the minimum memorial in their glorious memory».
These are the following: 1) Demetrios Poulios or Siaitanis; 2) Kotsios Poulios or Siaitanis; 3) Zeses Poulios or Siaitanis; 4) Kostas Ngiosanos or Doulbios; 5) Kostas Siousianos or Anotopitis; 6) Nikolaos Gionis; 7) Giannis Gionis; 8) Chrestos Gionis; 9) Giorgis Gionis; 10) Giannis Gionis; 11) Giorgis Gionis; 12) Basilis Paschoulis; 13) Nikolas Paschoulis; 14) Giannis Paschoulis; 15) Basilis Paschoulis; 16) Demetris Paschoulis; 17) Tolis Tasi Paschoulis; 18) Michalis Barsias; 19) Chrestos Barsias; 20) Giorgis Dafitsis; 21) Basilis Dafitsis; 22) Anastasis Mouskou or Moschos; 23) Themelis Metsas; 24) Nikolas Metsas; 25) Giorgis Metsas; 26) Kostas Demotis; 27) Nikolas Sdritsa; 28) Giannis Sdritsa; 29) Nikolas Konis; 30) Giannousios Petris or Kostakis; 31) Demetris Petris or Kostakis; 32) Stergios Ardannis; 33) Basilis Pertsalis or Gizas; 34) Athanasios Pertsalis or Gizas; 35) Kyrgos Dalas; 36) Giannis Petris; 37) Stergios Petris; 38) Giorgis Petris (who in his interview with Ms. Hatzimichali also refers to the wood sculptor Karaiskakis from Koutsouphliane; 39) Nik. Rozos or Trichas; 40) Gousios Kostas Nakos or Kastoras; 41) Nikolaos Meranos or Meliotis; 42) G. Paelas with his children from Anelion, who worked in Rumania their whole life;
Even the actual writer elsewhere mentions Athanasios Mich. Mertzianis, who had learned the art of the wood sculptor from his grandfather, Giorgis Ath. Tsiourekas. In an agreement that Plataris possessed he referred to wood sculptors with the name Michos Palamas, Ziogos (provincial for Giorgos) Cheimonas, Antonios Soultis as well as the son (obviously as assistants) of Kostas Barsias and Georgios Goudebenos. And in another of his works Plataris referred to the children of Stergios Vardakas and the Metsovo painter and gold leafer Stergios Pelias, the wood sculptor Demetris Petris, Herakles and Dafos Dafitsis, the veteran master taliadoros Nikolas Bletsos and the renowned Kyrgos Ν. Biros (1884-1973), Michalis Barsias and his son Chrestos, as well as again Basilis Petris or Pertsalis and his son Nasis Petris or Pertsalis or Gizas and Nikolas Metsias.
In 1821, Kostas Kolis with Kostas Matsoukos also from Metsovo «sculptured the iconostasis for the church of the Virgin Mary at Mesochora in Stenimachon of Eastern Romylia, in accordance with the inscription THE CRAFTSMEN KOSTAS KOLIS, KOSTAS MATSOUKOS FROM METSOVO».
We should perhaps at this point also refer to the names of the contemporary Epirot wood sculptors. Well we have at Metsovo: 1) Varsanes Panaghiotis, son of Konstantinos; 2) Gabranes Ioannis, son of Konstantinos; 3) Gorgoulis Michael, son of Konstantinos; 4) Koutsamanes Apostolos, son of Demetrios; 5) Mavrogiorgos Chrestos, son of Georgios; 6) Mertzanes brothers (Ioannis, Athanasios and the son of Athanasios, Michael) 7) Bletsos brothers (Konstantinos, Georgios, Spyridon, Basileios); 8) Panaghios Demetrios, son of Basileios; 9) Stavrakes brothers (Georgios, Ioannis); 10) Stachoules Basileios, son of Triantaphyllos; 11) Syrbos Spyridon, son of Michael; 12) Topes Basileios, son of Ioannis; and 13) Trichas Georgios, son of Kyriakos.
At Ioannina we encountered the workshops for the art of wood sculpture or the companies of: 1) Letsios Avgerinos; 2) Ch. Petsios and G. Balakos; 3) B. Betsis and S. Chouliaras (who have formed Xyloglyptike Ο.Ε.), 4) Ch. Karatzas; 5) Α. Katsanos and Ch. Theodorides (Ο.Ε.); 6) Eu. Stamoules and Κ. Rizos (Ο.Ε); 7) L. Georgiades Bros; 8) G. Georgiades; 9) S. Vangelis and L. Tasioulas (Ο.Ε.); 10) Μ. Tsontzos and Α. Elias (Ο.Ε.); 11) Vangelis Κ. Gogos; 12) Ν. Kyrkos; In the remaining areas of Epirus we encountered workshops, such as that of Christides Demetrios from Aedonochorion at Konitsa who has display at Bourazani and of Elli Papademetriou and Associates Ε.Ε., from Grammenitsa in Arta. Assuredly, in addition to these sculptors other shall also exist that are either smaller or larger and at other areas of Epirus. Many of these sculptors have exhibited their works in a group display at Ε.Ο.Μ.Μ.Ε.Χ at the 5th pan Hellenic trade exhibition by HELEXPO, «Epirus 97», that was held on 4th 8th of June 1997 at Ioannina.