People often ask me what I think (or feel) I am — an artist, an armourer or a handicrafter. Of course, I'm a... CRAFTSWOMAN.
I can't draw, but I can feel forms. Intuition is my inner 'artist & teacher' who has never let me down so far. In my craft I set myself slightly different objects than most men do. I don't seek to persuade everybody and I don't beat my breast shouting about my blades being the most beautiful and the hardest in the world. I just have the opportunity to demonstrate the beauty of human labour through damask.
In spite of the fact that I've been engaged in blacksmith's work since 1995 and I've started participating in exhibitions on my own since 1998, Zabelina's workshop really gained its own style and integrity only in 2011, when the knife-dresser Olga Khabalova joined in. Coming from the world of art and design, being new to and still 'unspoiled' by the world of armourers, she did what I couldn't. Mastering a new, fresh vision of blades and a perfect harmony of their dressing, Olga has infected me with her perfectionism and made me treat my blades and forms with more thoroughness.
I never could stop to admire
The people who live to succeed.
One day I might join them, and someone
Will have a good laugh at it...