If you remember I have shared my birch bark jewellery boxes in my blog before (here). I love birch bark art, so last week I've found a birch bark artists and asked them to tell me more about their art. 2 artist, husband and wife Alexander and Alfia Gurin are working together in their family business. This is their story told by Alexander.
Alexander graduated from an art college in 1991 in Nizhni Tagil, Rissia. He was going to be an illustrator, but he came across a company who needed a birch bark artist. Since they were willing to teach a professional artist this trade and he did not start any work yet, he was willing to learn. He thinks it was a good luck. Even though a company went bankrupt soon, he still had his new skills!
He met his wife at the same college. She was interested in ceramic, leather art and birch bark art too. When they got married they decided to start their own birch bark art business.
|Here you can see the process of decorating traditional Russian jars by using a dreamel|
They produce lots of different products of the birch bark. Some of them are traditional and some are modern: jars, jewellery boxes, salt holders, lucky charms, home decorations, thimbles, magnets, etc.
|These are birch bark buttons|
Decorative diplomas are a popular souvenir. The company just could not avoid making them! Some of them are made by hand and some are laser-made.
|This is a laser-made diploma|
This diploma is handmade. I use a poker worker to write, says Alexander, so here you can see my hand writing. My hand writing is not bad when I use this tool. Too bad I cannot write like this with a regular pen or a pencil...
Once we decided to try and make a ship model out of birch bark. Dark stained birch bark is a perfect material to imitate and old boat wood.
Now we work in Novouralsk, Russia. We also teach kids in an art center there. This art is not easy for kids, so we do not have many students there. Most kids do not want to continue after they start. The more we enjoy teaching those who keep coming year after year. Sometimes we go out of the city to the smaller towns to teach adult student.
If you want to invite us, we will come to you too!
|These are our adult students in Krasnoufimsk, Russia.|
(you can see our email address on the blackboard)