He was born in a village near Kršan called Lazarići. His father was a carpenter, and he also made the sopele. Ivan learned his trade from him, as was the custom, after his death, he took over the workshop. He dedicated himself to building sopele and perfected himself in this craft. He made them mostly from boxwood, and the vast majority of his great sopele have five holes for playing. Since he was a great player and a good entertainer, he became known far and wide. Due to the small number of makers and the high quality craftsmanship, his instruments eventually became highly prized and sought after. Individuals came on foot even from places distant tens of kilometres for playing lessons and to learn how to make double reeds. He worked until his death in 1947, and after him, almost symbolically, remained a pair of unfinished sopele.