Birch bark art by Russian artists Alexander and Alfia Gurin

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

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)
Alexander and Alfia Gurin.


Katie Kennedy said...

Such intricate beautiful work! I would not have the patience for it! They are truly talented artists!

aquariann said...

Wonderful wood work! I especially love the last birch button in the second row.

Natalia Khon said...

I like that one the best too :)


Thanks so much for sharing this - really interesting to get the artists perspective.

Natalia Khon said...

Thank you for the feedback! I am glad they told about their work. A couple of things surprised me: the buttons and diplomas.

Natalia Khon said...

Yes, the buttons are lovely! I had no idea they were making the buttons. I have never seen them for sale before!

Natalis Iolalis said...

замечательный пост, И детки очень талантливые

May Chiu said...

Birch bark art is so pretty!

Natalia Khon said...

I agree with that! :)

Jewelry Designer Blog. Jewelry by Natalia Khon. Design by Pocket