Byelorussian glassmaker’s art

Byelorussian glassmaker's art

K. Wachs. Wine — things «Evening». Fragment. 1967. Glass, overcolour, slow blowing.

Byelorussian glassmaker’s art

Glass-making has for centuries played an important part in the culture of Slav people living on the Byelorussian territory. Numerous remnants of glassware, decoration articles and heathen charms were found in the tombs of our distant ancestors who inhabited our land before our era. The earliest discoveries date back to the II-V centuries В. C. As the Kievan state flourished glass was widely used in construction and decorative-monumental exterior design of temples, royal castles and for household purposes. At major cultural and industrial centres such as Polotsk, Grodno, Novogrudok smalt and coloured enamel were produced in great quantities. Window glass, crockery, various decorative things and trimmings were manufactured.

After the Tatar invasion glass-making was revived on the basis of pheudal production principles. Small glass-works called «gutas» that had sprung up in forest areas were gradually converted into large manufactories exporting their goods to Poland, Lithuania, Russia. Especially popular was glassware made at the Naliboki and Urechje gutas where they executed richly decorated mirrors, expensive services, personal goblets and beakers made of cut-glass and coloured glass with diamond faceting and engraving. They ranked very high among the best art works of the Polish state and were made to order for royal families and magnates.

Byelorussian glassmaker's art

T. Malysheva. Vases for biscuits and bonbos, ash-tray. 1976. Cut-glass, diamond faceting. Press models.

Capitalist production brought about the ruin of traditional craftsmanship in glass-making. Large-scale application of machinery and the technological progress led to higher quality and lower costs of production. The produce of the Neman, Telekhany, Borisov, Starievsk, Yelizovo, Vetrino and other glass-works successfully competed on the world’s market with Russian and foreign glassware. But those achievements were chierly of technological and commercial character. The fact that manual labour was ousted by machines and new standard forms and processes were introduced made glassware lose its originality. It bore an impress of eclecticism, was deprived of the national stylistic peculiarity.
In the years of the Soviet power glass producing industry of Byelorussia has developed into an advanced branch of socialist economy. Today large specialized factories with mechanized and automatic production lines turn out glass for construction and engineering purposes, window and port-hole glass, plate-glass and fibre-glass, glass vessels and standard household glassware. The production of decorative articles is concentrated at the «Neman» factory and the glass-works named after Dzerzhinski.

Byelorussian glassmaker's art

K. Wachs. Wine vessels, candlestick and beakers. 1970—1972. Glass, freehand shaping.

At the turn of the 1950‘s—1960‘s under the influence of social and technological progress significant changes took place in the cultural life of the country. The artists get over retrospective approach, assimilate the undeservedly abandoned artistic experience of the first post-revolutionary years, turn to the achievements of the world culture. At this stage Byelorussian art of glass-making acquires a new stimulus. Art laboratories are formed at the biggest glass-works including the Neman and Borisov factories. Large-scale activities are carried out to improve the assortment. Professional artists and especially the younger generation brought new tendencies to the development of Byelorussian industrial glass-making.
At the «Neman» works they were V. Murakhver, L. My- agkova, S. Raudvaa. A. Abramova, G. Isayevich and V. Prokofiev were active at the Borisov factory. Proceeding from the principles of form making that were developing in architecture, design and contiguous types of applied arts the artists seek laconic expression, distinct form selection, constructive and technologically reasonable approach. The technique of glass processing was based on revealing the beauty of the material itself, on making use of its natural properties.
The plants, however, were very slow and reluctant in putting into practice the new patterns and the artists activities at the glass-making enterprises were chiefly of experimental and individual character. As the number of various exhibitions grew the best works of V. Murakhver, L. Myagkova, S. Raudvaa, A. Abramova, G. Isayevich and the younger generation of the Neman and Dzerzhinsk craftsmen V. Zhokhov, V. Dzi- vinskaya, K. Wachs, T. Malysheva, P. Artyomov and T. Artyomova, A. Radornov were gaining recognition in our country as well as abroad.

Byelorussian glassmaker's art

S. Raudvaa. Jugs. 1963. Sulphur glass.

In the second half of the 60‘s the necessity to do away with monotony in civil architecture, furniture manufacture and household articles production made artists search for new ways of decoration technique. The ascetic functionalism was replaced by abundance of form and colour, rational purposefulness— by creative improvisation and free interpretation of modern and orthodox concepts. Turning to most diverse traditional forms artists tend to dramatize not only expositions but interior decoration, fashion parades, furniture saloons, etc. Brightly-coloured glassware and shining cut-glass articles play a significant role in these art carnivals.
Byelorussian glassmakers attach great importance to the new trend. L. Myagkova‘s fancy articles, S. Raudvaa’s decoration mask-lamps, V. Murakhver‘s relief plates and bottles with cover plates, A. Fedorkov’s multicoloured filigrees, V. Prokofiev’s beer mugs, A. Abramova’s and G. Isayevich’s smoky and green cut-glass vases carry us away to the world of complex associations and metaphoric images. Decoration principles are developed in a very peculiar way by the second generation of the «Neman» glass-works artists such as K. Wachs with her slow blown forms, V. Dzivinskaya with her poetic lacy glass, V. Zhokhov with his artistic freehand plastics. Some time later, early in the 70‘s, the youngest generation of artists become influenced by the same motifs which we find in T. Malysheva’s «Summer» complete set decorated with stucco-work flowers, P. Artyomov’s opalescent cut-glass beakers, T. Artyomova’s wedding goblets profusely trimmed with diamond faceting.

Byelorussian glassmaker's art

Vases. Beginning of the XX century. Coloured glass, press. «Neman» glassworks.

Still, imitation antiquity, folklore and ethnographic reminiscences that lay in the background of decorativist trends gradually lost their ingenuity and originality. In the mid-seventies the new aesthetic world concepts gave rise to more complicated present-day images. The quest for new compositional and plastic ideas intensified in easel painting, sculpture, graphic art, architecture and decorative applied art. A strife for form systematisation in the art of glass-making becomes more and more obvious.
High technological level, application of such advanced principles as modulation and systematisation of composition fits well with plastic elegance, delicate colouring. In the best works that have recently come out priority is often given to transparent cut-glass and glass, exclusive optic properties of which are emphasized through wide faceting.
The evolution of Byelorussian glass-making art is an extraordinary phenomenon reflecting various degrees of genius, skill, experience, taste and culture of the artists. But the general level is sufficiently high to allow to speak of maturity of the phenomenon as a whole. It is characterized by uniformity of views, common standpoints and aspirations. This common character has formed as a result of reciprocal influence of various schools in Leningrad, Moscow,, Minsk, Tallin, Prague where artists were trained. It is revealed in the shop traditions inherited by craftsmen many of whom continue their fathers’ jobs. It is in the interrelation between past and present of culture, literature, history of Byelorussia with its nature—the inexhaustible source of impressions that give ground for creative art and in many cases determine the image-bearing structure, wealth and peculiarity of color in modern Byelorussian art of glass-making.

Byelorussian glassmaker's art

E. Gladkov. Water — things. The late 1970s. Milk — glass, painting.

Artists

ABRAMOVA Antonina Ivanovna. Born on March 21, 1926 in the village of Kanskoye, Primorski Krai. Student of MIADA from 1947, graduated from LCIA in 1953. Artist of J. Sverdlov glassworks from 1953, chief artist of the Dzerzhinsky glassworks from 1959 till 1969. Participant of republican, all- union and foreign exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists’ Union. Rewards: Diploma of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, three silver medals of the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements, medal of the Lenin centenary.
ANISCHIK Arkady Arkadyevich. Born on April 25, 1945 in Novogrudok, Grodno Region. Graduated from the Higher Prague School of Applied Art in 1975. Working at the «Neman» glassworks since 1975. Participant of republican and all-union exhibitions.
ARTYOMOV Pyotr Sergheyevich. Born on July 14, 1941 in the village of Votkino, Khvastovichy district, Kaluga Region. Graduated from the Byelorussian Institute of Theatre and Arts in 1969. Chief artist of the Dzerzhinsky glassworks since 1969. Participant of republican, all-union and foreign exhibitions. Rewards: bronze medal of the Exhibition of National Economic Achievements, Second Class Diploma of the ENEA, Diploma of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

ARTYOMOVA Tatiana Andreyevna. Born on July 23, 1950 in the village of Inozemtsevo Zheleznovodsk district, Stavropol Province. Graduated from the Byelorussian Institute of Theatre and Arts in 1973. Working at the Dzerzhinsky glassworks since 1973. Participant of republican and all-union exhibitions. Rewards: Diploma of Physical Culture Committee of the USSR Council of Ministers.

DZIVINSKAYA Valentina Gavrilovna. Born on May 3, 1937 in the village of Lemeshy, Janushpol district, Zhitomir
Region. Finished the Odessa Art School in 1959. Designer of the «Krasny May» glassworks in 1959—1961. Graduated from ICIA in 1967. Working at the «Neman» glassworks. Participant of republican, all union and foreign exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists Union. Rewards: silver and two bronze medals of the ENEA and Second Class Diploma for the participation in the exhibition «Art into Daily Life».

GLADKOV Evgheny Stanislavovich. Born in 1930 in the village of «Krasnoye Znamya» Stodolnischy district, Smolensk Region. Has no regular art qualifications. In 1959—1965 artist at the «Neman» glassworks. Participant o)‘ republican, all-union and foreign exhibitions. Rewards: silver medal of the ENEA. Died in 1966.

ISAYEVICH Galina Anatolievna. Born on January 30, 1922 in Vitebsk. In 1951 finished the Minsk Art School. Chief Artist of the Glass Industry Board, Council of National Economy. Participant of republican, all-union and international exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists4 Union. Rewards: medal «For Valiant Labour in Great Patriotic War 1941 —1945», bronze medal of the Brussels International Exhibition, two silver medals of the ENEA.

MALYSHEVA Tatiana Ivanovna. Born on March 18, 1947 in Rostov-on-the- Don. Graduated from the Byelorussian Institute of Theatre and Arts in 1972. Working at the «Neman» glassworks. Participant of republican, all-union and foreign exhibitions.

MURAKHVER Vladimir Semyonovich. Born on December 5, 1931 in Ananiev, Odessa Region. Graduated from the Mukhina Leningrad College of Industrial Art. Working at the «Neman» glassworks (chief designer from 1959, head designer from 1973). Participant of republican, all-union and international exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists’ Union. Rewards: Diploma and Certificate of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR, First Class Diploma of the exhibition «Art into Daily Life», gold, two silver and bronze medals of the ENEA.

MYAGKOVA Ludmila Mikhailovna. Born on April 26, 1929 in Leningrad. Finished the Leningrad art school in 1953; graduated from the Mukhina Leningrad College of Industrial Art in 1959. Working at the «Neman» glassworks (chief artist from 1973). Participant of the republican, all-union and international exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists* Union. Rewards: Gold, Big Silver and Bronze Medals of the ENEA.

PROKOFIEV Vladimir Fyodorovich. Born on February 16, 1936 in Pskov. Graduated from the Mukhina Leningrad College of Industrial Art in 1964. Chief artist of the Dzerzhinsky glassworks. Participant of republican, all-union and foreign exhibitions. Rewards: two bronze medals of the ENEA and First Class Diploma of the ENEA.

RAUDVAA Silvia Janovna. Born on August 21, 1927 in the village of Lekhtze, Paide District, ESSR. Graduated from the Art Institute of the Estonian Republic in 1961. In 1961 —1974 head artist of the «Neman» glassworks, working in Art Fund of ESSR since 1974. Participant of republican, all- union and foreign exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists* Union. Rewards: two silver medals of the ENEA, First and Third Class Diplomas of the exhibition «Physical Culture and Sports in Fine Arts» and Diploma of the Society of Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries for participation in French Exhibition.

ROSTOVTSEVA Nina Nikolayevna. Born on November 29, 1903 in Leningrad. In 1925—1931 student of Moscow State Conservatory, graduated from the University of arts and political sciences in 1936, graduated from Moscow University, department of art critics in 1958. Artist at «Glavsteklo» from 1938. In 1940—1952 lecturer at M1ADA, in 1956—1959—chief artist of the «Neman» glassworks, in 1959—
1961 chief artist of the Dzerzhinsky glassworks. Participant of all-union and international exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists* Union. Rewards: First Prize of the World Fair in New York.

WACHS Kersti Arturovna. Born on September 4, 1940 in Tallinn. Graduated from the Art Institute of the Estonian Republic in 1966. Worked at the «Neman» glassworks from 1967 till 1972. Since September 1972—lecturer of the glass decoration department, the Art Institute of the Estonian Republic. Participant of republican, all-union, foreign and international exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists* Union. Rewards: two prizes at all-union souvenir competitions, Diploma of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

ZHOKHOV Vladimir Pavlovich. Born on February 8, 1933 in Leningrad. Graduated from ICIA in 1960. In 1960— 1963 works at «Krasny May» glassworks, artist of the «Neman» glassworks since 1967. Participant of republican, all-union and international exhibitions. Member of the USSR Artists* Union. Rewards: bronze and silver medals of the ENEA, Third Class Diploma of the all-union exhibition «Physical Culture and Sports in Fine Arts», gold medal of the International Exhibition of Glass and Porcelain in Jablonets-on-Nissa.
CRAFTSMEN

BARONETSKY Mikhail Nikolayevich. Born on March 27, 1948 in Legnitsa (PPR). Flas no regular art qualifications. Grinder and diamond-cutter at the Dzerzhinsky glassworks since 1973.
FEDORKOV Anatoly Fyodorovich. Born on September 29, 1934 in Mozdok, the North Ossetian Autonomous SSR. Has no regular art qualifications. In 1958—1965 glass-blower at the Lvov factory of sculpture and ceramics, in 1965—1967 worked at the «Krasny May». Since 1967 craftsman-designer of the «Neman» glassworks. Participant of republican, all-union and international exhibitions. Rewards: First Prize at the Competition of glass-blowers in Dyatkovo, Grand Prize of the International Exhibition of Glass and Porcelain in Jablonets-on-Nissa, 1973, Diploma and silver medal of the ENEA.
GRAKHOVSKY Semyon Minovich. Born on August 10, 1917 in the village of Guschin Prudok, Lepel District, Vitebsk Region. Finished Borisov Vocational school at the Dzerzhinsky glassworks. Grinder of glassware at the Dzerzhinsky glassworks since 1934. Rewards: two silver medals of the ENEA. Qualified for the title of «craftsman-designer».
L1NKEVICH Gheorghy Borisovich. Born in 1933 in Konstantinovka Donetsk District. Has no regular art qualifications. Worked at «Krasny October», the Lvov glassworks, the Strijsk glassworks, Slovuty glassworks. Glass blower of the «Neman» glassworks since 1947. Participant of republican and all- union exhibitions. Rewards: bronze and silver medals of the ENEA.
PASHKOVSKY Anatoly Valentinovich. Born on January 1, 1937 in Borisov, Minsk Region. Has no regular art qualification. Glass blower of the Dzerzhinski glassworks from 1952. Rewards: decoration «Winner of socialist competition», 1973, 1974, 1975.
PETRENKO Ivan Grigoryevich. Born in 1930 in Nezhin, Chernigov Region. Finished vocational school at the «Neman» glassworks in 1947. Glass blower. Participant of republican and all- union exhibitions. Rewards: bronze medal of the ENEA.
PUKHOVSKY Ivan Mikhailovich. Born in the village of Brody, Lida District, Grodno Region. Has no regular art qualifications. Master of freehand shaping at the «Neman» glassworks since 1969. Participant of the republican and all-union exhibitions.
TIMOFEYEV Leonid Naumovich. Born on January 1, 1920 in the village of Medvedevka, Borisov District, Minsk Region. Finished vocational school at the Dzerzhinsky glassworks. Grinder of the glassworks since 1936. Participant of republican and all-union exhibitions. Rewards: Order of Lenin, two medals «For Valiant Labour», bronze medal of the ENEA, Diplomas and certificates. Noted down in the Book of Honour of Minsk Region.
ZELENEVSKY Anton Ignatievich. Born on April 23, 1932 in Borisov, Minsk Region. Has no regular art qualifications. Glass blower of the Dzerzhinsky glassworks since 1947. Rewards: two bronze medals of the ENEA and Jubilee Lenin centenary Medal.

ZHAVORONKOV Vladimir Ulyano- vich. Born on October 9, 1928 in Vitebsk. Has no regular art qualifications. Glass-blower and trimmer at the Dzerzhinsky glassworks since 1946. Rewards: the Badge of Honour, Medal of the Lenin Centenary, bronze Medal of the ENEA. Qualified for the title «Youths Instructor».

Byelorussian glassmaker’s art