The glass blower from Svetlogorsk
Yury Lenshin is a famous glass blower from Kaliningrad. He is such an extraordinary man and I promised that I would write a blog about him and his work once I returned to Argentina. I had the privilege to see him twice during our stay in Russia.
I remember my first glass blowing demonstration in Venice like yesterday. My mouth was hanging open when I saw the molten glass being transformed into beautiful ornaments. Vases and many other items came alive in front of my eyes. I have never seen a glass blowing demonstration again until we saw Yury in Svetlogorsk.
He works from May to September in Svetlogorsk because a lot of tourists go there during spring and summer. He usually sits in the town center where he displays and sells his work. He doesn`t work with molten glass. He uses a special machine that works with gas that heats up tubes of glass. To achieve the golden hue of his work he uses “Espolvorizaba” a fine metal powder on the hot glass.
He is indeed a very talented man. Creators of fine arts find it very difficult to perform in front of crowds. Yury doesn`t have this problem. He was famously quoted as saying that he is a happy man and that he loves what he does.
He didn`t give us a demonstration the first time when I saw him but I was fortunate to see him in action a month later in Kaliningrad. People loved watching him as he twisted and turned the glass.
Yury Lenshin a world class glass blower
A little bit of information about Yury. He is the only street glass blower in Russia and has received various medals and awards for his extraordinary work in the Soviet Union and also in The Russian Federation. Once he was offered a contract to work in Paris but he refused to go and said “For a Russian person, it is very difficult to live abroad. Kaliningrad is my home and I will not go anywhere from here. ”
He had exhibitions in many countries like France, Belgium,Cuba,Luxemburg,Costa Rica, Canada and many more. He is only 1 of 15 glass blowers in the world that do this type of work. He also appeared in the Russian Guinness Book of Records.
His work can be found in many famous residences throughout the world.
Why is his work so special and where did it all start?
Yury lived in Tajikistan when he was young. His father worked in a chemical factory where they made glass. In the beginning he made equipment for laboratories but soon he was inspired to make more complex things, that nobody else had done before him. He didn`t have instructors and teachers and learnt and developed his skill by reading books.
First he started with animals,birds,boats and later chandeliers. It wasn`t until he returned to Kaliningrad in the 1990`s that he dedicated all his time to develop his art. He is currently working with a colourful Italian glass called “Murana” and makes jewelry for women including necklaces,pins and earrings.
If you find yourself in Svetlogorsk go and pay him a visit. I am sure you will be so impressed with his work that you will purchase an ornament for your home.
Where: Kaliningrad and Svetlogorsk, Russian Federation
When: May-August 2012