Voices From Russia, Too

Saturday, 8 December 2012

8 December 2012. The Work of Skilled Hands… The Animal Sculpture of Sergei Bobkov

00 Sergei Bobkov. Animal sculpture. 08.12.12

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00a Sergei Bobkov. Animal sculpture. 08.12.12

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00b Sergei Bobkov. Animal sculpture. 08.12.12

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Everyone who comes to the studio of Sergei Bobkov (1957- ) feels that they’re in the forest. The talented Russian sculptor crafts very realistic creations with Siberia pine shavings and his golden hands. He said, “It isn’t fun to do what everyone else is doing. To create something out of nothing is more interesting”. His workshop is in a cellar of a local school in the settlement of Kozhany in Balakhtinsky Raion in Krasnoyarsk Krai, 207 kilometres (129 miles) southwest of Krasnoyarsk. Bobkov received a patent on manufacturing art sculptures made of cut chips; he spent four months and used about 50,000 pieces of Siberian pine to create a sculpture of a marmot. That is, Bobkov’s a true rural craftsman from out in the sticks (not a criticism)… he’s not an urban phony with an “atelier” in a loft and a put-on cornpone attitude.

Skilled craftsmen have always fascinated me. I speak as someone who’s rather clumsy, to be frank, except in the kitchen. Ergo, to see people creating with their hands is absorbing. To see something take shape under the skilled hands of a master of whatever craft is one of the most thrilling things in the world. Such people are often “silent sorts”… you can get them to talk after some “persuasion”, but the best practitioners are rather modest about it all (“You should’ve seen my teacher”). I’ll be blunt… these folk are “salt of the earth” and some of the best people that I know. Remember the statement over Christopher Wren‘s tomb, Lector, si monumentum requires… circumspice (Reader, if you seek his monument… look about you)”. You could say that about ALL true craftsmen.

This is truth… I dedicate this (and all my posts on craftsmen) to the memory of a friend’s brother… a trusty man who loved to work with his hands. He was honoured by solid working folk at his death… not all those who knew “what’s what” are in Who’s Who… and many who ARE in it are clueless twits and affluent layabouts. God WILL separate the sheep from the goats, won’t He?

BMD

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