Today is a Metal-maker Day in Russia

Metal-maker Day is one of the professional holidays celebrated by employees of professions related to metallurgy - ferrous and non-ferrous metal industry. This holiday is traditionally marked in Russia every third Sunday in July. It is celebrated by representatives of various professions related or have something to do with metallurgy: blast furnace men, steel melters, rolling mill operators, foundry workers, blacksmiths and many others. Workers that mine the ore, the essential component for metals production, also consider this holiday as their own one.

Since the time of molten metal creation until the present day, various metal alloys have been used to create art works. Antique jewellery, household items and sculptures made with great skill were created using the ancient technology of artistic metal casting. Modern artisans use the basics of this technology, practically unchanged. The essence of the technology lies in the property of molten metal (as well as any other liquid) to fill the vessel in which it is poured. Once cooled, the finished casting becomes an exact geometric copy of the vessel voids.

Artists throughout history have not restricted themselves in their choice of metals for melting. For example, zinc and lead were popular in Europe and Russia in the 19th century; contemporary sculptors often turn to stainless steel. Hence, the classic materials for art casting even today are bronze and cast iron.

Russian bronze casting production passed through three stages in its development: the Palace period (late 18th century -- the first half of the 19th century), transition to the Industrial framework (the second half of the 19th century) and the mass produce era and commissioned castings by private art studios (the 1890s -- 1917).

The leading center in this sphere was St. Petersburg. Bronze sculpture might be referred to as the most striking artistic phenomenon of the second half of the 19th century. To a significant degree, it developed in the mainstream of the realistic trend nd the Russian style associated with it. Cooperation of the bronzers from the capital with the talented cabinet sculptors and the high professionalism and mastery achieved in the field of bronze casting led to the extraordinary popularity of the Russian statuary.

The museum section  “Russian sculpture” features the works by prominent sculptors of the 19th-20th centuries, whose works were cast at large foundries, factories and bronze workshops in the capital: Felix Chopin bronze factory,  Woerffel bronze and lapidary art factory,  Kasli plant of architectural and art casting, The Demidov factory, the Imperial Academy of Arts Foundry, C. Valsuani art bronze factory, Carl Tegelsten bronze and silverware factory, Charles Bertheau art bronze factory, Alexander Sokolov art bronze factory, Nikolai Shtange factory, A. Morant factory, N. Putilov's factory, Robert Kohun bronze and silverware factory, Aktien-Gesellschaft Gladenbeck Foundry, Carlo Robecchi foundry, V. Gavrilov foundry workshop, A. Vasilyev foundry workshop and others.