Finift is the production of artistic works with the help of enamel (glassy powder) on a metal substrate. Known products of Ancient Egypt, India, China, Persia, Byzantium, Rome, Ancient Rus, Medieval Europe, which used colored enamels.
In Russia, enamel was known since the 3rd century. They were engaged in the manufacture of enamels and monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, and the master of Moscow, and later, St. Petersburg.
But the greatest development reached the school of Rostov the Great, located in the Yaroslavl region. Rostov the Great in the XVIII century became the largest center of enamel art and remains to this day.
Initially, the enamel was fired in Russian furnaces, and the most difficult in production was to keep a constant and very high temperature. In addition, the craftsmen themselves prepared the paint: they filled the glasses, added lead and other metals, and ground into powder. The production was very harmful, there was always a guarding icon above each stove.
So, how do you enamel now?
Take a thin copper sheet (and sometimes silver or even gold), from which the plates of the desired shape are cut out. The plates are beaten by hand, they are given a certain bend. Then, on both sides, they are covered with enamel – a vitreous mass, which, depending on the constituent oxides of metals, gets different colors during roasting. But more often use enamel of white color, which is called “underwear”. The firing is performed several times, the plate is covered with several layers of enamel, until an ideally smooth surface is formed.
Then the master-philanthropist is already accepted for work
In the process of creating a picture, enamel is repeatedly fired, sometimes, when creating very complex works – up to fifty times! In this case, the color of the enamel after firing is changing, and the artist’s real skill consists, among other things, in the ability to predict how the painting will look after firing.
Enamels work in the same team with jewelers-filigree workers, since Rostov enamel, being a jewelry, usually has a rim, created in the filigree technique. Jewelers collect unique ornaments from copper or silver wire. Ornament is laid out on the glue of small, hand-bent pieces of wire on paper in a box. When the ornament is ready, it is sent to the oven, where the paper and glue are burned, but the filigree remains.
In the works of Rostov masters a bunch of metal and enamel is inseparable and subject to the laws of harmony. Metal is the basis (base) of the product, and enamel painting is its decoration and semantic center. Work enameled in floral, landscape, architectural, historical, portrait and other genres. Each generation of artists brings something of their own into this art. Rostov enamel is almost eternal, it does not dim, does not change color, does not lose its shine. It is only exposed to mechanical stress and can simply break …