(Editor’s) Remark: Workshop “Bagulnik” ceased to exist in 2006.
It’s a well-known fact that a human heart likes the things which at first glance have no utility at all. Paradoxically, even though we could live without them, they are the things that create emotional atmosphere in our houses. Imagine an unbelievable spring bouquet of lilies of the valley in a rock crystal flacon in the rainy month of November. Or an oval nephrite jewelry box with a painted miniature, keeping granny’s pearls inside. Or you can imagine a touching little bulldog from obsidian which rolled itself up into a ball and which curled up on a padded pillow from jasper. I catch myself at a thought that I want to touch these little things exhibited at the window of Stone curving art workshop “Bagulnik” in Saint Petersburg. Psychologists say that touching the things that you like brighten the mood and relieve stress. Maybe that’s why bankers and oligarchs often buy this workshop’s interior decorations in this workshop. But what is left for us, who are not oligarchs, is to be happy that we can look at those beautiful things at jewelry exhibitions.
The “Bagulnik” was created six years ago by artist and sculptor Sergey Falkin. Before that step there were years of interest in stone carving and a real work in Tsarkoselskaya amber workshop where he worked on the famous project “The Amber room”. However, amber doesn’t always allow an artist to realize his fantasies, so, Sergey learned to work with stones: nephrite, smoky quartz, agate, cacholong, amethyst.”Bagulnik” is not the first workshop of the artist, but for now it has been the most successful one. The work on stone carving sculpture takes a lot of time. One can take from one week to two months. Each work has its own difficulties, and special knowledge is needed to overcome each of them. It’s not the kind of knowledge that can be easily found in books, but it can be passed around from one artist to another. They are flowed only from mouth to mouth. The carvers and jewelers, who work in the firm, can handle the most difficult technic problems. For example, quite recently they have made another mechanical “toy”. Just imagine that: an elegant dragonfly with agate wings sitting on a pure lilac flower which is covered with guilloche enamel. You are turning the key a few times and the music is starting to flow and the dragonfly – to flap its wings. Such beautiful things were popular in the XIX century and nowadays only “Bagulnik” makes them.
The workshop almost never works with show-rooms. They prefer to invite customers to their own office. Our correspondent wasn’t so very lucky because hot holidays (gifts) rush this year started surprisingly early – in November. Enterprising people don’t wait for chaotic December to buy gifts – they arrive to “bagulnik” beforehand and buy the works exhibited in the office, or make their orders later in November. They are being arrived to “Bagulnik” to buy showed artworks in advance. Some of them are doing orders further in November.
She could only see a few artworks that “survived” in the office shopping windows: a touching branch of scarlet raspberry, a majestic black rose and a whole brood of dogs: an italian greyhound, a dachshund, English and French bulldogs, a shiatsu, a spaniel… It turned out that the firm was preparing to December exhibition “Saint Petersburg jeweler”. As far as the next year is the year of dog by Chinese calendar the Pre-New Year exhibition was dedicated to the closest friend of a human in nature. That’s why there were so many dogs.
Sergey Falkin successfully runs the firm but he has still enjoys most to draw and to carve. His artworks were being had got lots of prizes places at jewelry exhibitions both in Russia and in other countries many times. Sergey Alexandrovich have prepared a personal exposition of his 40 artworks (which he have made during the last seven years) to for “Saint Petersburg jeweler”. Many of them have been “living” in private collections for a long time and were rendered by their owners for the exhibition. Some of artworks at the exposition have been doing newly are brand new and they are showed for the first time. Then these artworks are exhibited together, they convince that slight stone carving plastic is an art, various in style and in no way less expressive than sculpture or painting. And this art is not less expressive art then sculpture or painting.
The number of works that has left the workshop in the recent years approaches several hundreds. Due to the fact that most of them are in Moscow or Saint Petersburg we can make a conclusion our wealthy compatriots have admitted and loved stone carving art again, just like it was in the that has been happening last centuries.
Of course, This love has its economic part absolutely. High art stone carving sculpture has always been and still is not only an object of luxury but a good investment as well. Owners of Sergey Falkin’s and his workshop’s artworks definitely know the fact that these nice trifles will rise in price as time will pass. The reason for this is that these artworks were made by Faberge formula of harmony: an artistic concept, masterful work and high class stone. Sergey Falkin says that it’s not always easy to keep to this formula, because in the recent years Russia was overcrowded with cheap Chinese stone carving sculptures. But this formula is the only way to success.
Author Alexandra Makeeva
“Liniya uspecha” (The line of success) magazine / 2006
Translator Vera Badalyan