I'm looking for an article in English about "Vacha manufacturing", suspect that I have seen that before at knife forums... I can't find it now. Maybe someone has a link, or a text in a foreign language? (In my opinion, this historical information was associated with an advertising cataloque, but I can be wrong).
Russian metalwork history писал(а):
More than two thousand types of handicraft and cottage industry owe their origins to and have flourished in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. Many of them have been widely acclaimed in Russia and have become popular items for international visitors. In terms of the quality of folk and decorative arts, the Nizhny Novgorod Region occupies a leading position within Russia.
Where decorative metalwork is concerned, the Nizhny Novgorod region boasts several production centres. The main ones are in the towns of Pavlovo, Vacha, Vyksa, Vorsma and the village of Kazakovo in the Vacha district.
The town of Pavlovo could be considered the very centre of the production of cutlery and table decoration in Russia. Its methods include decorative designs, caulking and guilding with what is known as Near-Gold. Pavlovo also forges sabres and all kinds of knives: here you find them as souvenirs, for use in hunting, as a present, with a decorative carving on it, with an adjusted end to the hilt, as well as knives made of stone and precious metals. The knives, sabres, daggers and swords made by the master craftsman Valery Safronov enjoy particular popularity.
The traditions of ductile metal forging are continued in Pavlovo by in Ermoshin's workshop. You can get to know more about the history of Pavlovo handicraft production in the museum attached to the Arts and Crafts College.
The village of Kazakovo in the Vacha district is where high quality filigree work is carried out. Among the objects decorated in this way are vases, jewelry boxes, coasters, women's jewelry, lamps, icon lamps and much else besides.
In the factory in the town of Vacha, artistic metalwork designs are used according to old master craftsmen's traditions particularly in the production of table cutlery and kitchen knives. The factory was started in 1839 by the serf D. Kondratov.
The town of Vorsma produces more than 30 types of jackknife and ceremonial axe. The knife handles are made of precious woods such as beech, oak, walnut and red arbor.
High up on the right bank of the river Oka, in all its beauty, stands the town of Pavlovo. It officially entered the annals of history in 1566 when it was first referred to in writing in the papers of Ivan the Terrible.
Pavlovo was situated on both the water and land trade routes between Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod. This aided the development of, among others, the iron, steel and leather industries. Metalwork, arising from the fact that the surrounding marshes contained ore gradually overtook all other local industries. Items from Pavlovsk were sold not only in Russia but also abroad. "Surely there is nobody who isn"t familiar with Pavlovsk metalwork?" asked the Russian writer Pavel Melnikov-Pechersky. "Almost every one of us has eaten his dinner with a Pavlovsk knife and fork, repaired his pen with a Pavlovsk penknife, locked up their belongings with a Pavlovsk lock and, from a certain age, began to shave with Pavlovsk razors.
The collections and exhibitions at the Pavlovsk History Museum tell the story of steelwork with the breathtaking mastery of one of the magic-fingered metalworkers themselves. The main reserve alone contains more than 20,000 exhibits. The collection of locks is particularly interesting, with exhibits weighing from a mere 0.7 grammes to fifty kilogrammes. Several exhibits are only visible with the aid of a microscope: for example, the mechanical golden flea with platinum legs, or the lock, mounted in the eye of a needle, both executed by the master craftsman Pavel Kupilov. It is also worth mentioning that if the flea is wound up with a miniature key, it begins to merrily hit the block it is mounted on with a little hammer. In this way, today"s experts from Pavlovsk have outclassed even the master craftsmen from Tula.
The museum complex has been set up in the mansion of a hunchbacked merchant from the second guild called VI Gomulin. It is a fine example of mid-19th century architecture, constructed in the Eclectic style. Much has been preserved: stucco ceilings, tiled stoves, carved doors and antique furniture.
The closing decades of the 18th century were, for Pavlovo, a period of exponential growth in the number of stone buildings, and rapid development of trade and industry. Three churches were built practically simultaeneously: the Churches of The Resurrection (1778), The Intercession of the Virgin (Protecting Veil, 1782) and the Ascension (1795). Not far from the trading areas, the stone mansions of renowned personalities sprang up and administrative buildings also started to appear. Thick walls and small windows, vaulted ceilings in the cellars, storerooms and halls on the ground floor, architectural details in Baroque style – these are the characteristics that have been preserved in the majority of the town houses found here. The harmonious combination of the dominating bulk of the churches compared to the surrounding one, two or three-storied houses lends the town"s skyline a particular flavour. At the beginning of the 19th century, the local industrialists built stone houses in a style where the characteristics of classicism dominated but with the addition of provincial decoration. Even if the houses that we know today have sustained considerable damage following reconstruction and conversion, they do, nevertheless, bear witness to a high level of construction among the industrialists of the 19th century. In the centre of Pavlovo, the structure of the Trinity Cathedral (1813) rises upwards to the sky. Two additional churches have survived to the present day, those of The Assumption and Our Lady of Sorrows.
Among all the villages in Russia, Pavlovo marks itself out as having original and unusual attractions. Local selectors bred their own type of lemon here based on cuttings from Turkey imported during he 19th century. The residents of Pavlovo were real lovers of cock and goose fights and the melodious song of canaries. Special breeds of these birds were even developed; breeders won awards for them at Russian agricultural exhibitions. Even today the taste for the exotic has not entirely disappeared in the traditional pastimes of the inhabitants of Pavlovsk. Why not go to the Pavlovsk club Liubava. Every year the club runs a canary festival and cock and goose fighting events.
Where production and business are concerned, there are still plenty of entirely praiseworthy items produced in small private workshops and forges. The buildings of the Pavlovsk Car Factory Museum, the decorative metalwork factory Souvenir, The Kirov Decorative Arts Factory and private workshops open up new and interesting vistas for visitors to the region.
Metal roses, all sorts of hunting knives and commemorative decorations are all wrought by the skilled hands of our contemporaries: you can even see them at work at the exhibitions that are regularly organised at Pavlovsk.
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It was founded in 1754 due to construction of the ironworks. In 1774–1776, the workers of the plant took part in the insurrection led by Yemelyan Pugachev. In the early 19th century, Pavel Anosov made the first Russian bulat steel blades in Zlatoust. It was granted town status in 1865. The town is also known for the first cannons made of Russian steel. In 1903, the Tsarist authorities brutally suppressed a strike, organized by the workers of Zlatoust. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zlatoust" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;