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Metal and roses

The 15th International Blacksmithing Art Festival “Park of Forged Metal Sculptures” ended in Donetsk
25 September, 17:56
Photo courtesy of the author

Donetsk citizens spent September 21-22 listening to the sound of hammer. The weekend saw a traditional annual festival “Park of Forged Metal Sculptures” where blacksmiths from Ukraine and all over the world had an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in creating forged metal masterpieces. The festival was held for the 15th time. With every passing year, number of participating artists grows, with more and more of their creations adorning the Park of Forged Metal Sculptures, located behind the Donetsk City Council building. The park already has fairy-tale lanes, a lovers’ lane, a zodiac lane, a Euro-2012 lane, and so on.

This year’s addition to the park was a collective artwork The Smith, now adorning its main ‘flower bed.’ The over-three-meter-tall metal man symbolizes strength, power, and spiritual heritage of Ukraine. His shoulders feature relics of Cossack glory, while an icon hangs from his chest. The smith sculpture stands surrounded by forged metal flowers, mostly roses. Most of them were ‘planted’ last year, but there are a few new exhibits, too. One of the flowers is a creation of Volodymyr Rzhepetsky, a blacksmith from the city of Pervomaisk. He told us: “I have been working with metal for 11 years already, and 6 of them as a blacksmith. I put more than 12 hours of work daily, both for money and for my own enjoyment. I love my job, but if you ask me why, I would not be able to answer you. This is a complex issue.”

A dozen metal enthusiasts were present at the event. They enjoyed talking to each other and sharing knowledge on that day. “This festival is for us a kind of workshop we hold for each other. We are looking for creativity, skills, and new friends here,” Rzhepetsky said. He brought his works to the festival for the second time himself.

The event saw blacksmiths joined by potters who revive pottery in Donetsk region, beekeepers, embroiderers, jewelers, and masters of other arts and crafts.

The festival has long been a Donetsk trademark, and despite the fact that the park space for new sculptures is steadily diminishing, the organizers assure it will be able to take no less than 150 new artworks from around the world.

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