Growing up in a small farm in Israel, surrounded by old agricultural machine parts and scrap metal, Nitzan spent his afternoons welding pieces together to make small sculptures by the age of 13. Later, he was introduced to wood-working by both of his grandfathers, took a carpentry course and began designing and creating furniture for family and friends. But, while doing so, Nitzan kept thinking about metal forging and he longed to learn how to do that. In 1995, Nitzan stumbled upon an opportunity to learn the basics of blacksmithing in Tel Aviv and realized that he had to go back to working with metal.
When striking the hot iron for the first time - Nitzan knew that this was it, he no longer had to look for a another profession.
In 1996, Nitzan left Israel to study blacksmithing in Europe. He was privileged to be an apprentice to Master Ilja Behal and Jiri Bata in Olomouc, Czech Republic . Later he moved to Prague to continue his training with Master Joseph Muk. Then Nitzan spent several months with Martin Broomberg in Corsica, France, putting what he had learned into practice.
In 1998, Nitzan decided to settle in the United States. For 8 years, he worked at Austrian Handcrafted Iron in California and became skilled at architectural blacksmithing. During his spare time, Nitzan forged sculptures and craft pieces which he designed. While still employed in California he traveled to the Ozark School of Blacksmithing to further his skill and understanding of forging with Master Uri Hofi. From 2006 to 2011, Nitzan worked with Master David Kamenicek, owner of Euro Metal Art Studio in California.
In mid 2012, Nitzan and his wife moved to Portland, Oregon, so she could pursue her medical degree, and thereafter, started his own business, Nitzan Lilie Artist Blacksmith LLC. In Portland, Nitzan met Arnon kartmazov, owner of Bridgetown Forge, and while sharing shop space, they have been working collaboratively on multiple architectural projects, including the main entrance rail at Timberline Lodge, Mt Hood.
For the last 5 years, Nitzan has been focusing his work on creating special hand tools for blacksmiths, bladesmiths and jewelers, such as his signiture style rounding/forging LilieHammers, which are unique and carefully weighted for comfort and precision. By the end of 2019, Nitzan moved to a larger and exciting new shop space withn The Standard Steel Company on Columbia blvd, Portland OR.