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Smithery

The Ironwork The Ironwork The Ironwork The Ironwork The Ironwork Frosted finish on tin plate. Photo: ustyug-museum.ru Frosted finish on tin plate. Photo: ustyug-museum.ru Frosted finish on tin plate. Photo: ustyug-museum.ru
  • The Ironwork
  • The Ironwork
  • The Ironwork
  • The Ironwork
  • The Ironwork
  • Frosted finish on tin plate. Photo: ustyug-museum.ru
  • Frosted finish on tin plate. Photo: ustyug-museum.ru
  • Frosted finish on tin plate. Photo: ustyug-museum.ru

The art of hammered ironwork is peculiar for ancient traditions, high skills and advanced technology. A wide spread of the smithery in the north was favored by the reserves of marsh ore and cheap timber. The ironwork made by a blacksmith penetrated into everyday life: none of the peasant’s families could do without a knife, an axe, a scythe, a sickle and other tools. Almost in every village there was a smithy where a peasant made ironwork by the orders of local natives. Legends were composed about a blacksmith work as his trade, connected with fire and transformation of a firm metal in the red-hot pliable bar, was equal to magic and communication with evil spirits. Neglected treatment of it could cause fire in the village that’s why the smithies were built in far away outskirts.

The blacksmiths create real miracles making decorative articles. Overcoming the natural firmness of the material they attached it any form and a white-hot metal, obedient to the will of a man, obtained an elastic strength of a bent small switch that was used for making volumetric articles or a light slit of the delicate lace.

Many hammered articles were made especially for the city architecture. Frugal furniture of the peasant’s log house was decorated with different hammered articles.

In 17-18th centuries an art of «Frosted finish on tin plate» was well developed in Veliki Ustyug city. A smith hammered through a thin iron sheet with a preliminary marked pattern with accurate strikes. Then «metal lace» decorated a lock of a pole axe, a door cover plate and a hinge or was fastened on the sides of the boxes, chests and caskets.

In the 17-18th centuries there were broadly used chests in the form of a tower for keeping cloth, garments, values and documents.

Today an art of a smith is preserved in many museum exponents attracting interest of the visitors. A hard handwork was replaced by machines. But the demand in hammered iron decorations for home and interior purposes, in exponents for the museums and exhibitions will hardly escape. That’s why nowadays in different corners of our country and in the North smithery is reviving in the «iron lace» of the cornice of village houses, smoke chimney, candlesticks and etc. The revival of hammered ironwork promises new achievements.

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