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Titanium BT 4
Yurii Kravchenko is a well known and appreciated razors’ maker who lives in Ukraine. All fans of traditional shaving may get familiar with his products over web or get users’ opinions from all over Europe. It is fair enough to say that Sebastian Cichomski, our most known Polish maker, he nominated Yurii for “Art Day 1” on facebook in April 2021.
Yuri’s portfolio is composed of a number of razors at high maturity levels of design and make. My favorits are: Cardinal (very specific ending of the tail), Ukulele (black blade but mirror finish of the rest) or El Comendante – all referenced in the fotos above- click to enlarge. Most of them are big smiling blades at high sizes, even 11/8. “Orthodox” shavers can identify something fitting their preferences at 7/8 straights. Still with the specific Yurii’s touch and style.
There were two features wchich attracted my immediate attention to his works. The blade, the scales, the graphics all that is designed professionally and well documented. This is where AutoCAD gets engaged and the graphical designe steps in to get the most out of the set of the materials for a specific piece of razor. Technical drawings have been published already many times on Yuri’s facebook profile, which is not that common for other makers. The second very appealing feature is the variety of materials used, his dedication and passion for the form and the details.
Not everything is super perfect, not at all. However things like oxidation, the ornaments on the spin, engravements on the blade and scales are off the top shelf. A caveat: I’m not saying that other makers could not have done similar pieces. They not seldom are fully capable to do so, but they do not do it, at least not as a core stream of their production. I suppose this is the power of market rules. At the end I encourage you to see his fb profile to watch his workshop, namely the tooling, stencils on the wall as well as overall layout and ergonomy.
The idea for this razor came in direct reaction to the Russia invasion on Ukraine. I considered buying something from Yurii earlier but it has not materialized. Then, in one moment, Ukrainians world broke apart. Many changed in our world as well. Now we live together – in every town and village, in every school, in every store, in many of our houses, all there we are with Ukrainians. We all have become experts in Ukrainian topography. The war affected our mindset profoundly and rapidly. Aside the evident barbarity of Russians, we can experience unusual eruption of good will and energy from ordinary people. We can observe a number of similarities with Polish history, people’s behaviours, hopes, betrayals and other patterns. We’ve been monitoring all the news, shelling and bombing maps, events. Some have been exposed for direct threats.
The above is not a cause sufficient to buy a razor. Not at all. It would be rather a reason to drop and get away from buying, from consumerism. But it is a reason to refresh direct relations with people engaged, to get to know if the workshop of famous maker survived the siege, whether he restarts his production and if the war reflects in the designs. Hence, the decision was one and simple – let’s make it.
The engravement on the blade as such was not indented as a leading theme. In fact I was quite concerned to place it there. However, the connotations of farmer’s tractor towing TOR-M2 missile system and the sinking flagship vessel Moskva (probably the only case in the history that flagship vessel of large flotilla is destroyed without extended battle) – they both have became natural and automatic symbols of the war. Hence, the engravement landed on the blade.
The additional element is the inscription indicated the place of made and for whom it is made “зроблено в Україні для Польщі”.
The core of the design are the scales. They are to say a part of the story, reprint what has appeared in real local newspapers. It was not an easy, due to extinction of traditional newspapers in general. I managed to collect a pile of newspapers but it was Yurii who found the proper one. One side comes with the news on signing the Lend-Lease act for Ukraine (referring back to the famous one from W2W) while the revers is a report on the help for war refugies, our guest in Poland.
There was even an idea to make the blank out of a piece of Russian military wreck which are common in the Czernihov and other areas all around Ukraine. That reminds one of our colleagues who brought a piece of grenade that hit him during his mission in order to forge of a blade. Yurii definitely dropped the idea stressing out the shity quality of the steel. The rought finish has remained – the oxidation and monochromatic look. Nothing except the edge does shine.
The underlining assumption was that the razor needs to be fully functional. Therefore my choice was on Pegasus model a the maximum size of 8/8 of smaller. Maybe, one time I will go for Cardinal 11/8, but not now. One additional ornament on the spin resembles traditional Ukrainian embroidery
I hope that some of the well known youtubers will transmit his review of the rezon on FB live or youtube channel. Will see. In general, the razor shaves well or it goes out of use. The other matter is if the the good razor manage to get into a regular daily rotation set. At this stage that is unknown. Will see it in future. I hope it will. I’m also going to monitor how quickly it looses its sharpness. What can be claimed now, it is not vulnerable for rusting.
This time, I had the pleasure to hone brand new blade, forming the edge from zero. My set of jnats (Aoto Tamba, Igarashi Blue, Shabudani with four naguras as the core progression and then absolute finish on my super awesado Mizu Asagi) made great job with outstanding results.
Good to know that our local fan of traditional shaving (Mariusz vel Fernando) has established relation with Yurii and Dmytro (the author of the graphics) and makes shaving soaps and AS with similar symbology. Enjoy.