The event began with the gratitude from invited guests, awarding prizes to participants of the fair and awarding a winner of the competition among the craftsmen, initiated and organized by the UNDP office in Kazakhstan — Timur Aktayev.
-I am an industrial designer engaged in architecture. I studied in Almaty, and then I went to Russia. In fact, the work that won the competition was not the one; a series of works was previously prepared. This is organizer made of felt. It is basically original, as I have not seen anything before that is why I decided to offer this work. Felt is soft material, therefore I used it in the work and did not scratch the table. I work with the felt for a long time. Despite the fact, that the felt gets dirty and covers with dust, nonetheless, it is wear proof, very durable and does not stretch linearly. The most profound explorations on felt are on the subject ‘Furniture’.
There is no ornament in my work, it is designed in a calm color, focus is on the uniqueness of the material. In my opinion, ornaments must be applied where it is appropriate. The ornament has sacred meaning, strict canon of application, so I carefully relate to its use. The ornament cannot be a bearer of originality and nationality, it is misconception not a feature. I created an organizer for this fair and it is quite appropriate to consider it national.
The cost of works is not large, although they are made by hand. There are works that can be done quickly and easily. The matter is not in price but in value.
-I decided to be engaged in creative work before the retirement foremost for self-development, soul and of course, it is a kind of peculiar fitness. The work takes 5 hours a day in average, more complicated works definitely take more time.
I did not study it specifically. I started from dry felting, then I continue to do wet felting, as you can do any item with the help of this technology. Small things can be done with the dry technology and it limits you.
I am a teacher of primary school. I sewed dolls, real Barbie and doll family till the 8th grade. My mates made fun of me and as a result, I gave it up.
I am a designer and invent patterns and items. I have a small assistant as well. For example, the painting to the EXPO is specially prepared by my granddaughter, who is the 2nd grade. There are a lot of felters who make toys, but a few people make clothes from felt, that is why I am engaged in the production of felt clothes.
-This Kazakh batyr No.4 from the series ‘Kazakh Khanate’: XV-XVI century, the armor is taken from Kaliolla Akhmetzhan’s reconstruction. The details include quilted armor, helmet in the form of shishak, coat of mail, aldaspan — a kind of two-handed sword with extension at the end, there was no scabbard, that is why it was carried in the hands. I started production of cast soldiers last year, when we celebrated the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate. The first series is called ‘Kazakh Khanate’. I am a collector of miniatures myself.
I usually order my miniatures, sometimes my relatives brought them from different countries. The background of my work is in the following. My son was interested only in samurai armor, he did not know anything about Kazakhs. I started looking for Kazakh batyrs, it turned out that there is no production of Kazakh batyrs in the world. Our ethnic group counts for several thousand years and this niche was completely free. So I decided to cast soldiers and other miniatures.
When I casted myself, it took a lot of time and figures were expensive as well. It is planned to open casting shop in October of this year in Astana, but we already cast figures of girls and baksy.
I made mini-empire of soldiers during this year. However, not all figures are produced for the market. Hobby gradually becomes the main income. Sculptors, casters and molders work in my team and list of staff is not limited by it.
There are future projects on casting, they are undoubtedly connected with the organization of EXPO in 2017 in Astana.
By Malika MURSALIMOVA