Metal art

Metal art forging and casting

Art processing of metal, or rather blacksmithing and art casting of bronze and cast iron, is one of the most common crafts in the Urals, the reason of the wide spreading of which was a large amount of local raw materials – iron, copper and other metals.

Products manufactured by the Ural smiths was very wide range of assortment. These are utensils, tools, weapons and armors. Often Ural smiths tried to make even ordinary things using decor or give them a non-standard shape. Such products were as doors and door hinges and rings, latches, overlays for keyholes, furniture.

Today, art forging in the Middle Urals is being revived because of the efforts of many blacksmithing enthusiasts. Decorative and utilitarian products created by modern masters adorn not only the houses on the Urals, but are also exhibited at exhibitions throughout Russia.

No less famous in Russia was another direction in the art processing of metal: art casting from bronze and cast iron. Of course, the Kaslinsky iron foundry is rightfully considered as the most famous Ural enterprise engaged in iron casting. However, there were many such workshops and factories on the territory of the present Sverdlovsk region. Kamensky State Iron Foundry, Verkh-Isetsky, Kushvinsky, Bilimbaevsky and other factories turned to art cast iron from the end of the 18th to beginning of the 19th centuries. Starting with the production of the simplest household items, they proceeded to the manufacture of architectural details: patterned lattices, which became an integral part of the appearance not only of the Ural cities, but also of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Today in the Sverdlovsk region there are many private forges and individual craftsmen engaged in this craft. In the city of Ekaterinburg, this is the forge of Potoskuev A. N. and the forge of Lysyakov A.A., where you can order an excursion to the production; in Nizhny Tagil – the forge of Harin S.V.; in Pervouralsk – «Kovgrad» LLC (manager Volojanin A. P.) and «Symphonia Metala» LLC (director Pastukhov K.R.).

 

Bell casting industry

     

The development of copper ore deposits and the presence of talented artisans, their high performing skills in metal processing, the intensive construction of industrial, civil and temple architecture in the 18th-19th centuries in the territory of the then Perm province largely contributed to the active appearance of church bells and signal bells for various purposes throughout the Urals. Thanks to these factors, the emergence and development in the region of the characteristic bell crafting started, these products have always been worthy of competition to many private bell production in other regions of Russia.

The large bell-casting center in the Urals was considered the city of Nevyansk. In the documents of 1733, a small factory is listed here, where copper bells were cast and grinded. It is known that local masters Yakov Garyaev and Vasily Moskvin cast the first bells for the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Verkhoturye and for the Nevyansk factory. The bell-making craft was also established in Suksun of Krasnoufimsky Uyezd, both for its needs and for sale.

In Soviet times, the release of bells was everywhere stopped. But already in 1991 in the city of Kamensk-Uralsky, on the initiative of the engineer Pyatkova N.G.  revived the ancient foundry craft – casting bells on wax models weighing from 4 kilograms to 18 tons.

 

Russian lacquer art
Metal lacquer painting

The art of lacquer painting on metal is a unique phenomenon of Russian art culture. Today in Russia the most famous center for trays painting is the city of Zhostovo, Moscow Region. However, the origins of this industry can be found in the Urals region. Lacquered painted metal trays appeared at the beginning of the 18th century at metallurgical plants in the city of Nizhny Tagil, owned by the Ural industrialist Demidov A. N. . The first were made to order, and then the craftsmen began to supply products to the market. Tagil trays were distinguished by a variety of forms, a transparent “crystal” varnish with enviable transparency and luster, purity and grace in the processing of flowers (the main of which is a beautiful rose), and the completeness of the composition.

Tagil lacquer painting is distinguished by a rich range of colors, masterly elaboration of small details, elegant gold ornaments. Along with the famous “Tagil roses”, collected in different compositions, the Ural sorbus, the image of fruits and berries, Tagil artists who are in constant creative search, turns to landscape compositions, and to copy works of famous artists, and to plots of Ural tales.

For several decades, Tagil trays have been exhibited at exhibitions in Russia and abroad, and make up the pride of many museum collections in our country.

Masters from Ekaterinburg and Nizhny Tagil today paint iron trays. Among them: Parysheva S. B., Poleva V. P., Maslikhova N. Y., Matukova O. A., Torkotyuk G. I., Anischenko V. S.and others.

 

To contact the masters and obtain detailed information about the products, you can contact the department of folk art crafts of the Center for the Development of Tourism of the Sverdlovsk Region,
tel .: +7 (343) 377-67-10 (116)

Product photos provided by:

Products of the forge of the Lysyakov  A. A. (diz.place/craftsman_gorn);
Bells of the Pyatkov & Co plant, Kamensk-Uralsky (pyatkov.ru);
Trays Matukova O.A., Nizhny Tagil (liveinternet.ru)

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