Manufacture “Flintstones” was established in 1999, but the Klaić family has even longer history as stonemasons. Their range of bussines goes back to work on the restoration of traditional stone heritage of Dubrovnik region to the use of stone in the modern architectural solutions. Pero Klaić (26) works in this family-owned stonepit in Konavle, beautiful region south-east of Dubrovnik. What makes him so special? It could easely be his profession. After all, how many young stonemasons do you know?
How did you become a stonemason?
While all the other kids in my class wanted to become footballers or astronauts I never had a doubt; from the first day of school I knew I wanted to become a stonemason. My family has been engaged in the stone business for generations, so it made perfect sense to follow the beaten path. This is a reason why I picked the Stone Mason High School, at Island of Brač (one of the largest of the Adriatic islands, famous for its stone). As soon as I graduated , I returned to study Restoration and Conservation of Artefacts at University of Dubrovnik.
How do you combine innovation and tradition in your business ?
My older brother Miho, a world-renowned innovator, has been developing a variety of innovations to make our job easier. This way, we can always be in step with the global technology of processing stone. The machines that we use today can bring products to 73% of completion but the rest would still have to be processed manually with the old Roman tools. In our business, the technology has enabled a fast development of product.
What’s like working in Dubrovnik?
I come from a city that’s unique for its stone walls which are considered to be one of the greatest fortification systems of the Middle Age. This makes me extremly proud. In Dubrovnik, history is literally written in stone and kept for the future generations. I’m glad to be a part of that history and it makes me very happy that I can help preserve the old, but also create many new stone fragments of my city.
Is there a future in your business?
There’s definitely a future in this business, since the stone has been used as the major construction material since the very beginning of times. The only thing that worries me is that today young people choose other, easier careers.
If you could pick any other place in the world, to live, where would it be and why?
I traveled across Europe but I never found another place where I could imagine myself living or working. Here, in Dubrovnik, people enjoy the sweet weather and live a simple, peaceful life. I couldn’t possibly ask for more.
Interview & photo by: Lena Šutić