The Union of masters of blacksmiths art in Ukraine

The question of the establishment of the Union of masters of blacksmiths art in Ukraine is already settled juridically and practically. All the necessary documents are registered according the procedures. The Union has its seal, bank account and governing board. Its members are given with their first certificates. Blacksmiths art festivals of local and international significance as well as seminars and exhibitions are actively organized. The brightest example of it are festivals in Donetsk, Ivano-Frankovsk and the Crimea that lately have improved their level and sometimes are visited by more guests than festivals hold by other countries of Europe and CIS. It can be done due to the brotherhood of blacksmiths from the western, eastern and southern regions of Ukraine. For example, it would have been impossible to hold the festival in Ivano-Frankovsk that welcomed blacksmiths from more than twenty countries of the world without an active financial and organizational support of Donetsk and well-organized team of Crimean blacksmiths. The exotic and picturesque blacksmiths art festival in Sudak also couldn’t have been hold without support and participation of masters prom all part of Ukraine.

Such founders of the Union as Victor Burduk, Vladimir Demin, Sergey Polubotko and Igor Rudenko with the active assistance of its members have done a great work to establish practically and legally viable and prestigious organization. But it is only the first step of its establishment. A lot of work on systematization of its activities, creation and implementation of new projects still has to be done. We also have to correct all the mistakes connected with the drawing of active and gifted young blacksmiths into the work of regional departments of The Union and establish new regional departments. It should be noticed that the Union is founded neither for getting some lucre for its members nor for pleasing the ego of those who have achieved something in art forging. It is founded for blacksmiths to support each other, cooperate and solve their common problems.

There are golden words ‘Prosperity in the unity’ on the coat of arms of the Crimea. As a chairman of the Crimean regional department of the UMBAU I think that these words should be the motto of the following work of the Union. But it should be also taken into account that our organization whatever official status it has, is essentially a creative union and must consider individual peculiarities of its members as well as its regional departments such as the Crimean one.

Considering that the blacksmithing in the Crimea is reviving (unlike in the western regions of the country where the pleiad of the masters of blacksmiths art wasn’t broken), the backbone of the regional department are, basically, comparing young but very promising blacksmiths. Being unencumbered with the forfeit fame and services, they actively participate in all the festivals and exhibitions, constantly attend classes in the best forges of the country, take in all the best, carefully study and apply advanced manufacturing sciences as well as restore old methods and techniques of manual forging and have succeeded to bring the blacksmithing of the Crimea up to the level of the blacksmithing in the regions with ancient traditions.

We already have quite significant and great works. For example, there is a three-and-a-half-meter-high manually forged lotus with four-and-a-half-meter diameter and three-and-a-half-meter high installed in Nikolaev. It is unique in the world. Following the example of Donetsk blacksmiths there is the Forged Figures Square established in Sympheropol Dybenko square this year. Now each forge of the city has its place for installing its works: park benches, street lamps, different forged figures. There are 7 works presented to the city. Blacksmiths from other cities and regions of Ukraine have expressed the intention to immortalize their names in the square.

The ministry of education of the …… (autonomous Republic Crimea) and the Sympheropol City Council are going to establish an educational data base for teaching young blacksmiths. It is planned to open a forge in the children’s park for promotion of the blacksmiths art among children and young people.

Forges in medieval castles and towns of our peninsula are being reconstructed. The question of the creation of the treatment-and-health-improving center for Ukrainian blacksmiths is on the agenda.

It is difficult to describe or even innumerate everything done in one article, but it is much more difficult to cover the problems that are to be solved in our region: problems of education, resource base for metal and equipment supply, legal guarantee, retirement insurance and then some. Everybody understands that no one but us will solve these problems and make those who are duty-bound to do it solve them. It can’t be done by one person. That’s why we established the Union.

It will be difficult. But it is interesting for us and we are not going to draw back. If not we, who than?

The chairman of the Crimean regional department of the UMBAU
Oleg Krivoruchenko

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