20 мая 2024  |  
5:53 PM  August 20, 2019

Five days for a masterpiece: Ax Day started near Tomsk on Tuesday

© РИА Томск. Павел СтефанскийFive days for a masterpiece: Ax Day started near Tomsk on Tuesday
© РИА Томск. Павел СтефанскийFive days for a masterpiece: Ax Day started near Tomsk on Tuesday

TOMSK, Aug 20 – RIA Tomsk. The technical opening of the international festival of folk crafts "Ax Day" took place on Tuesday in the rural park "Okolitsa" near the village of Zorkaltsevo near Tomsk; craftsmen only have five days to turn log blanks into masterpieces.

In the morning the participants of the festival from the central stage were greeted by the deputy governor of the Tomsk region Andrey Knorr. According to him, the competitions of the masters will become a "battle of winners": in 2019, the best of the best were selected to participate in the festival.

"The "Ax Day" festival can rightfully be considered one of the largest in the world in terms of geography, number of contestants and their skill level. We are sure that today the best of the best masters of the world are fighting for victory today. Every year love for your creativity attracts to "Okolitsa" more than 100 thousand guests", – Knorr said.

Five minutes for the general photo, and the festival participants dispersed into the competition meadows, where everything was already ready for the start of the creative competition.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Participants of the Ax Day – 2019

From Portugal to Tomsk

A wood craftsman named Malenga flew to the "Okolitsa" from Portugal: four hours flight Lisbon – Moscow, the same amount from the Russian capital to Tomsk. Like other contestants, he has only five days to make a work of art from a cedar cut. On Sunday, the work should be ready.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Malenga came to the Tomsk festival from Portugal
"Where I was born, the tradition of wood carving, making sculptures from wood is very strong. My idea – is to make a mask, it will be closely connected with the traditions of my tribe. In it I will also embody a human face. I don’t have a sketch, when I cut on a tree, a pattern appears in the head and it emerges in the process", – the Portuguese noted.

The sculptor speaks only his native language. All festival days in order to communicate he will be helped by a translator - a graduate of Tomsk State University, Milana Cheremisina. Milan studied Portuguese at the Faculty of Foreign Languages .

"I participated in the Ax Day last year. I really liked it – in the fresh air, in the forest, I could not help but go this year. This work is very inspiring", – Milana noted.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Participants of the Ax Day – 2019

To save legacy

In total 226 craftsmen (wood and birch bark carvers, blacksmiths and ceramists) from 30 countries of the world – Turkey, Armenia, Ukraine, Ireland, the Philippines, Switzerland and others, as well as from 37 regions of Russia, including the Tomsk region, will take part in the crafts festival this year.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Wood master Aslan Ozdoev
Aslan Ozdoev from Chechnya and his wife have been participating in the Tomsk festival since 2017. Aslan has a rare technology of burning wood with a string. But this year, Aslan’s wife will burn and make caskets, and he will work on creating prototypes of Chechen tribal towers.

"It will be a complex of towers. Each family in Chechnya has its own tribal towers, we once lived there, hid, fought, this is our heritage that has now been preserved in the mountains. In my sculpture I want to reflect how our ancestors lived", – the master told.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Participants of the Ax Day – 2019
Nikita Astarov came from the Altai Krai. He will sculpt the goddess of the rivers, says that it is very difficult to describe his work in words, this must be seen.

"My father is a carver, and since childhood I was drawn to this type of creativity, but I never thought that I would seriously engage in carving. Three years ago this vein woke up in me, it started to get the hang of it, and I started working", – the master shared.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Wood master Nikita Astarov from the Altai Krai

To smith the victory

Work is also in full swing at the competition site "Every anvil has its voice". There is a roof over the site, and the entrance to this territory is decorated with wrought flowers and birds, so guests of the festival are unlikely to pass by.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
At the Ax Day. Blacksmiths Contest Site
This year, 28 blacksmithing masters from the USA, Ireland, Argentina and 10 regions of Russia will take part in the blacksmiths competition. The Tomsk region will be represented by blacksmiths from Tomsk, Asinovsky, Molchanovsky and Tomsky districts. Masters have to make a sculpture at least a meter high or a gazebo, swing or bench.

Among the contestants – is the first blacksmith to be shortlisted for prestigious Golden Fleece Awards, Michael Budd from Ireland. Michael says that he has been engaged in his craft for more than 15 years, and this is the second year he has come to Ax Day.

"I love my craft because every time it is a new task, like a new puzzle, and every time something new happens. I like it. Last year I was amazed by the scope of the holiday, I met so many friends here that it would be foolish refuse this year, so I came", – Budd explained.

© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Michael Budd
The weather favored the contestants on Tuesday – there was no rain, the sun was baking through the clouds. But according to the forecast, rainy weather is expected in the region during the days of the Ax Day. Awnings will be pulled over the participants glades during the rain, but the competition will be suspended if there is heavy rain. For the masters the organizers provided jackets from rain and wind and even galoshes.

According to the administration of the region, within the framework of the festival will be also included ceramic contests "Clay Tale" and "Birch Bark Round Dance", at which 25 craftsmen from nine regions of Russia will demonstrate their skills in birch bark processing. Birch bark beetleters will begin to perform competitive tasks on Wednesday. The jury will summarize the results of all competitions on Sunday.

"This year there have been more blacksmiths, birch-barkers and potters. We invite guests: the festival has opened, there will be a wide fair, and artists will be performing. Everyone should attend this festival", – the vice-governor of Tomsk Knorr said RIA Tomsk.

He added that the masters were provided with all the necessary materials as much as possible and created all the conditions so that nothing would distract them from creativity. Outlets and cafes in "Okolitsa" will work during the week and at the end of the festival, so that as many Tomsk citizens as possible can come and enjoy the sculptures.

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