PETIKA & COMPANY
A FINE BALANCE OF CRAFTSMANSHIP & ARTISTRY
Much of Petika&Co’s production still involves handwork, which means that many of the traditional woodwork tools are still being used every day.
Since medieval times, a master or grandmaster was the highest ranking member of a guild. Starting as an apprentice, it was a lifetime progression to becoming a master. A craftsman would have to complete a three-year voyage as a journeyman. He would then have to submit a masterpiece to a guild for evaluation. If the masterpiece was not accepted by the masters, he was not allowed to join the guild, possibly remaining a journeyman for the rest of his life.
“I learnt everything I know about tradition and my craft from my teachers, and everything about quality from my clients.”
Founder/creator of Petika & Co.
Branko Petika was born on a Sunday in Peteranec in northern Croatia, then still part of the former Yugoslavia. It was 1940 and the world was at war. At the tender age of 14, Branko was forced into a cabinet-making apprenticeship, he attended a vocational school in Koprivnica, a small market town close to the Hungarian border, from where he graduated as a carpenter and cabinet maker. Many years later he perfected in his craft while working with the finest craftsmen in the world. It was there, in Austria, where he learnt their love for wood and attention to detail.
In 1973 he left his home and his country behind, and brought his young family his craft and his love for wood to South Africa. He found the inspiration to look for an opportunity to establish himself as a master craftsman in his field. After settling into life in Johannesburg and working for a joinery, Branko founded Petika&Co. in 1986, starting in his garage at home. In what was considered a fairly bold move, he advanced his craft from conventional woodwork to bespoke artistry.
“The beautiful smell of wood and working with my hands is what brought me back into the world of craftsmanship. This is our space where what we brings joy to our clients’ lives”
Business owner/driving force at Petika & Co.
Like many of his peers, Saša attended university, received a marketing degree, an MBA and pursued a career in commerce. Unlike many of his peers, he soon realised that a world of intangibility competed with the values he deeply believes in and needs to live by every day. In 2006 he resigned from this world and returned to his roots – working alongside his father, earning a living by working with his hands, exploring the opportunity that lay locked up in the potential of raw wood. Since that move from offices and dealing rooms to the fine dust created by patiently sanding a piece of wood, Saša has transformed as a person as much as he has helped to transform the homes of their clients.
Saša learnt everything there is to know about wood and their craft from his father, growing up as a carpenter’s son and working by his side. He has a pragmatic approach to this craft – he understands the demands and constraints of a budget, while he allows his clients creative control and full participation in the process.