I bumped onto her on Facebook a while ago through the animal rescue groups I follow. Something made me check her profile and I found a few different pages she administrates. We quickly started exchanging messages and working together for different causes.
She’s absolutely amazing. Detelina is a Bulgarian woman, but one can hardly call her ordinary. She wears so many different hats everyday. You can find her in the vet with a mistreated cat; climbing a super adventures nearly vertical rock or just hanging off the side of a building creating a stunning boutique paint coat. You can also see her patiently producing a wonderful piece of indie jewelry or translating literature from English or Russian into Bulgarian. There is so much about her and it’s no surprise to me anymore that her nickname is the King.
I don’t want to lose any more time, so let me introduce Detelina to you…
- Tell us a bit about yourself, please?
My name is Detelina, and I’m 45 years old. They call me “King”, and my place in the Universe is somewhere between the campfire and the hydrogen engine . I was born in Sofia, but all my life I’ve tried to get close to nature. I graduated from The High School of Electronics, and the National Sports Academy. I am a mountaineering and climbing coach, and an instructor of Speleology, but my teenage daughter prefers to spend her time on computer games. I worked in a team of young professionals from the Research Center of Experimental Meteorology Faculty of Physics from Sofia University, where we designed the electronic components for hydrogen engines. I’ve been a journalist in magazines for extreme sports and currently I’m acting as a “master” freelancer.
- You have some very interesting hobbies. Can you tell us about the things you love doing?
It’s hard to count all my activities and hobbies, so I’m going to start chronologically: I used to climb mountains since I was a kid. In school our biology teacher decided to take us to a cave so we could see bats in their natural habitat. After that I started a course of speleology and every weekend we used to go to caves or mountain gaps. I completed instructor courses so that I could teach other people to become speleologists. I started taking photos in the caves – mostly landscapes and crystallization. My mother did not like my dangerous hobby, but I eventually obtained a degree in “Mountaineering” from the National Sports Academy.
I’ve always loved books, and I’m from the “reading” generation. Apart from the serious literature I read fantasy and fiction. I like Tolkien – let’s be honest – I’m a fan of Tolkien. I gladly completed several translations of his early poetry. Pride of place for me is his poem “Mythopoeia”
Aside from the fantasy theme, I was part of two extreme sports magazines. It’s a pity they stopped publishing them – there were lots of amazing, quality articles.
All the time I say I’m like the magpies – love colourfull and shiny objects. That’s the reason for my jewelry to be a mix of materials and styles.
- I’ve seen some amazing photos of you hanging off the side of buildings. Can you explain what you’re doing there?
Work is work. I started doing “industrial” mountaineering – building repairs at difficult to reach places – as a way to earn better pay. Sadly, here in Bulgaria there’s lot of prejudice at women working in such “manly” jobs. That’s why I started doing boutique walls, paintings, and various other artistic panels and accessories for the home.
- Tell me about your cats. This is how I found you and I’m still amazed of what you do there. How many do you look after and how did you start?
The cats! I’m currently looking after 30 cats. I haven’t always had so many of them. When I was a student I had one cat that I loved very much. But when I came back to live in the village someone killed him. It happened that I live near a zoo-shop; my yard is big and green and the neighbours started “dropping” kittens in there every year. There’s no law in Bulgaria that would make people neuter or take care of their domestic animals, or punish their abandonment. We don’t have Animal Police either. That’s why the streets are full with homeless animals. I try to take care of the ones I receive by treating them, neutering them, and finding someone to foster them in a house. Sadly, the neighbours take pleasure in killing the poor animals by shooting them or giving them poison. Even though violence and cruelty against animals has been officially listed as a crime here for several years, there’s still no effective sentence for this in place.
- How do you manage to do all of this by yourself. How can you afford such an expensive mission?
Taking a responsibility for the care of so many cats is indeed an expensive “pleasure”. Up until recently I managed on my own, but these days I’m trying to find help. I’m ashamed of just asking for donations constantly on the Internet, so I wanted to find a better option for funding the cats care. I had some experience in making jewelry before – mostly for family and friends. The positive reactions to my work inspired me to experiment more in this form of art. All the money I get from the jewelry goes to the cats.
- What kind of handcraft and jewelry do you make?
I design a variety of jewelry – necklaces, collars, earrings, rings, bracelets, brooches, amulets, phone jewelry and also wedding accessories.
I also make home accessories such as: artistic lighting, stained glass, porcelain and glass utensils, candle holders and sculptures from wood roots.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
I feel it’s rather difficult to list all my sources of inspiration without missing or not paying about attention to someone. I definitely pay tribute to artists with ethnic and organic styles. Some of my favourites are:
- The Polish Przemek Krawczyński (Calabarte) and his “Art of light”
- The megical creations from polymer clay, by Kathleen Dustin
- The bright and colourful cats of Oxana Zaika
- The quirky and unique master of the Korean fashion Andre Kim, for whom I can only say one word – „Wonderful!”
- Materials you use?
I tend to work with organic, natural materials such as wood, glass, natural minerals, polymer clay and beeswax… I don’t use real leather or fur!
- How can we order from you?
I’m planning in the very near future to have my own online shop. At the moment, you can find most of my creations on the Facebook page Royal Crafts.
I can reply to all your inquiries in English if you send me a personal message or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also accept inquiries for unique customized pieces.
I accept payments via BACS:
Detelina Lyubenova Marinova
Bank: TB Investbank – Sofia – Rakovski
email@example.com for Detelina Marinova
I send my products via a courier or post to the required address.