Karoly Szucs’ innovative metalwork designs have earned international accolades but the managing director of Artisan Metal Works is quick to share the limelight.
Indeed, the first thing the artisan thought of after his company picked up two bronze medals in a prestigious metalcraft competition held last month in Florida was his fellow staff members.
‘I couldn’t wait to show it to the guys,’ he said. ‘It’s a team effort.’
The medals were awarded by the National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association in the US for outstanding craftsmanship in the unusual ornamental fabrication and driveway gates categories. The annual competition is open to more than 1,000 member firms across the US and in 13 other countries.
Koraly’s winning entries were a seven-foot sunflower-shaped outdoor shower that he designed as a gift for the new home of his business partners, Leslie and James Bergstrom, and a stunning 25-foot driveway gate commissioned by Dart for its Salt Creek development in West Bay. He spent at least 200 hours on the gate, and some 60 hours crafting the sunflower shower.
To win, entrants submit a photograph and a description of their work, which is then displayed in a gallery for NOMMA member firms to cast their vote.
‘I still have a hard time believing we won,’ said Koraly. ‘It is a great reward because you know it comes from your peers.’
It’s the second consecutive year that NOMMA has seen fit to honour this small Cayman business, which has grown to include five staff members since its inception five years ago.
Last year, Koraly picked up a gold medal for his 10-foot outdoor flower shower.
Koraly said the international honour is personally satisfying but it also helps shine the spotlight on the artistic side of the Cayman Islands.
‘It shows another dimension outside of banking.’
A native Hungarian who has been involved in metalwork for more than 20 years, Koraly is known for one-of-a-kind designs fusing function with art. ‘I like to use my imagination. That is where my heart is.’
His work can been seen throughout the island at such places as the Ritz-Carlton, the Shores development in West Bay and the Dart family park in South Sound along with numerous private residences.
Many of his pieces are inspired by nature. He crafted the award-winning sunflower shower, for instance, to complement the Bergstrom’s lush outdoor surroundings.
While it’s rewarding to be recognised by industry peers for his artistic talents and craftsmanship, Koraly said bringing home the bronze also speaks volumes of his co-workers.
‘I couldn’t do it without them,’ he said. ‘We have good people working for us. I think that is the key of being successful.’