Uzbekistan Info

Culture, Arts and History of Uzbekistan
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Metal chasing
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Metal Chasing

Chased-copper articles were popular among the inhabitants of Uzbekistan since olden times. They were valued for their practical use and decorativeness. Chased-copper vessels were displayed on the shelves of open built-in cupboards as part of a living accommodation.

A local style of chasing has come into being during a long period, which is characterized by the distinctive shapes of the articles, as well as by the techniques and artistic methods. Uzbek chasing represents various ways of engraving. The more deep engraving is called kandakori, the less deep-clean engraving is known as chizma. Besides engraving Uzbek masters use notch chasing - shabaka.

Most famed are the Bukhara and Khiva chasers whose works are notable for the beauty and plasticity of form, simplicity and mastery of ornamentation, and depth of chasing.

Ancient chasing in Samarkand was similar to the designs of the Bukhara masters.Chased-copper articles of Karshi and Shakhrisabz were more elaborately designed; local masters used coloured tint for the background and decorated articles with laid-on punched details, turquoise inserts and stained class.

Articles made in the Ferghana Valley, and particularly in Kokand, varied in shape and were notable for their being less deeply though clearly chased, and for the use of minute vegetal ornaments. The masters of Ferghana were the first to portray architectural monuments in their ornaments.

In former times the works of Tashkent chasers did not have high artistic value. Big earthenware for water and food held prominence, which was decorated with a simple vegetal design, which was not deeply chased.

In the 1920's and 1930's art schools were set up, where students were instructed in various ways of ornamenting metal articles. The young masters readily turned to the new methods and ornamentation. In Samarkand and Tashkent the traditional way of chasing is only retained in studios where the most valuable possessions of art are kept, and where masters use both old and new methods.

The oldest chasers working in the traditional way with their families are: L.Fazilov of Bukhara, B.Yakubov and M.Atajanov of Khiva, and the learners of S.Khamidov, who died in 1973.

The large number of factory-made articles, which have replaced chased-copper utensils, has radically changed the nature of this form of art. Copper-chasing is losing its utility, while its artistic value is rising. This is natural as the art of chasing copper in a popular treasure-house of art - a heritage of the past that cannot vanish. This heritage is restored to life in the form of souvenirs and decorations of interiors of dwellings and public buildings.

Uzbek Folk Art Supporters Community, Information Portal, 2002-2013.
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