They have started training young medalists in Saint Petersburg 17 2016

New coins. Jubilee roubles. Commemorative tokens. Various medals. Medalists invent and realize all that in metal. There are very few specialists of the kind in the country.  

The main problem of recruiting new specialists to this rare guild has been the absence of a profile-training center. At the beginning of October, the first medal class in Russia was opened on the basis of the Saint Petersburg State Institute of Painting named after Repin.

The class is located right within the territory of the Mint (in the Peter and Paul Fortress). The head of the studio and the initiator of its opening is Professor Alexander Vasilievich Baklanov, Head Artist of the Design Center of Goznak and the author of all the present Russian coins, from the kopeck up to the 10-rouble coin.

The idea of creating a studio like that was born many years ago, said Alexander Vasilievich to The Evening Saint Petersburg. We need artists and specialists, the profession is in high demand! Where should we take the new personnel? Before today, we simply found artists ready to master the uneasy skill. We trained them to all the niceties of the business for a few years at the production site. However, every time it means time and disbursements. This year, the management of the Academy of Arts and Goznak expressed mutual interest in co-operation.  

The result is the long-awaited studio the first one in almost a century! The studio consists of two renovated light halls. Working places. Pedestals for models. The students will spend four years in these rooms. They are traditionally grouped to authors studios after the second year and remain in them till the end of the studies. The sixth year is for preparing the diploma.  

The students will study according to the general program drawing, sculpture, composition, as well as a special one the medal production technology, engraving, heraldry, the medal art history, Alexander Baklanov explained. It is far from the ordinary specialization. One needs to be able to work with different factures and be on good terms with people, with the team.

Creating coins and medals is collective work, one cant do that on his own. Moreover, strict discipline and diligence is very important! We receive dozens of new orders every year, we work practically without a break, and we should make everything on time.

The first group consists of three students from the Sculpture Department (there are totally 10 people at the course).

I study sculpture my mom is also a sculptor, she graduated from the same institute, said Leonid Chernov, a third-year student. But it looks like I will be the first medalist. It was naturally no coincidence that I came here. It is first of all a great opportunity to combine studying and production, at the Institute. Secondly, I go in for metal engraving, stone carving; that is my topic. I like the works of Antonio Pizanello, an artist of the Renaissance he had an amazing feeling of relief and reproduced the portrait and psychological characteristics very accurately, on coins also; Fedor Tolstoy, who created the set of medallions dedicated to the victory in the Patriotic war of 1812 the set is considered the best work of the Russian medal art of the 19th century. Its great to be geared to such examples

the first task for the new students is modeling a head from nature. A sketch first, then a carcass, and clay in end. A month is given for the whole work. They will come to working with fine surfaces gradually.

In four years, during the diploma work, each of the three students will create a series of coins or medals according to a set topic. By then, three more courses will be added to them in the studio.

By the way,

Since October, one can visit the History of Money exposition in the Museum of Money at the Mint not only with a group, but also individually.

There are over two and a half thousand exhibits on display in the huge two-level exhibition area. Unique objects from the collections of the Special Fund of Goznak and Muntz-Cabinet of the Saint Petersburg Mint have become the collection basis. Many items are displayed for the first time; in particular, projects of the state credit notes of the model of 1843; a project of the state credit note of the model of 1909 with the autographs of P.A. Stolypin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Emperor Nikolay II; project drawings of the soviet banknotes of the 1920s 1940s; trial coins of 1995 and 1998.

The modern 5-kilogram gold and silver commemorative coins occupy a special position in the collection. They are the heaviest of commemorative coins ever struck in Russia.  

The Million installation is the dominant; it consists of a million of 1-rouble coins. The designers created it for a few months using glue for fixing the construction. The Million weighs 3.5 tons.  

Source: The Evening Saint Petersburg, October 7, 2016
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