Rostov enamel - two words that we used to hear together inextricably. Few people know about the other, if enamel is from Rostov.
The enamel, or in translation from the Greek “brilliant, radiant stone”, came to Russia from Byzantium in the 10th century, but it was fixed only in the 17th century, after the invention of fireproof paints on the enamel basis. The main theme was the iconography, and the main center of the craft - the city of Rostov the Great. A large number of monasteries and pilgrims gave the craft an excellent base for development: the Orthodox Church needed elegant, durable miniatures to decorate the vestments of priests and liturgical utensils, and the pilgrims needed inexpensive images from holy sites.
Until the beginning of the last century, the production of enamel was harmful and heavy. To reduce the melting point of paints, lead was added to them. But despite this, almost every second yard was engaged in enamel work in Rostov - the products sold so well. The chronicles mention that there were more workshops than bakeries and pharmacies.
With the advent of Soviet power, the icons had to be abandoned, and the portraits of the leaders first came to be replaced, and then primitive painting — the gang was transferred under the direction of the factory of enameled pans. In the 70s, a brushstroke and vegetative theme came from Zhostovo. “Flowers”, as the masters themselves affectionately call the motif, have become so famous that many mistakenly consider them to be the original Rostov enamel. The familiar scandal appeared to everyone not immediately, but as a result of joint projects of Rostov enamellers and Kostroma jewelers.
Today, the Rostov-Finift factory works with a wide variety of topics: they write airplanes, steamboats, oil and gas towers, flowers, and, of course, icons.
Graphic solutions have recently become popular in jewelry, strict casting has pressed the tracery, and geometric patterns have replaced plant patterns.
“Finift is not a topic, it is a technology of manufacture, a fiery letter, if to speak more romantic,” explains Natalya Konova, the museum’s tour guide at the factory, “so anything can be shown. Painting changes over time, and thanks to the possibilities of painting, we are not limited.
The process of making finifti multistage and difficult. First, the form is cut down in the copper sheet, with the help of forging it is given a volume. Then the form is covered with a base layer of enamel: first, using a special sieve, the enamel powder is sifted onto a plate, then everything is sent to a muffle furnace for a few minutes. On the prepared plate, a so-called snapshot is taken - a schematic drawing of the future image. After the picture is prescribed enamel paints in three stages: malyevok, dash and the last - potenok. Registration may be more, depending on the complexity of the idea. At the end, the finished plate goes to the jeweler and is framed in an elegant frame made of filigree.
The craftswomen in the factory do not have a specific thematic specialization, but each has its own favorite stories. Many of the workers have graduated from the Fedoskino Art School, and some have no special education at all, but are hereditary enamel artists — the parents have taught.
From time immemorial enamel was an elite trade, and today Rostov the Great continues to hold the brand. The craft has not only survived, but continues to actively develop, develop new plots, improve technologies. You can get acquainted with the Rostov enamel and create your own picturesque enamel plate at the master class in the museum at the factory of the same name in the city of Rostov.