is a traditional Russian handcraft, first mentioning of which is
dated back to 1175. At that time an enamel was considered one of
the most precious and beautiful materials. Its' origins go back
to the ancient Byzantium. Since that time, the art of finift have
gradually become purely Russian. The name "Finift" originally
came from the Greek "Fingitis" (white or shining stone),
then got changed to "Finipt" and later became "Finift".
In 18th century the city of Rostov the Great became
the main center of enamel painting. The city itself is famous for
its' rich artistic tradition among Russians and foreigners alike.
The artists of the present time still carefully preserve the ancient
tradition of Finift for generations to come.
The process of creating beautiful Finift is very
delicate and requires an enormous practical experience. Even the
slightest change in it can ruin an almost finished piece. A thin
layer of enamel powder is placed onto a copper plate and cured in
an oven. This process is repeated several times to achieve the smooth
look of enamel.
After the initial preparation, it's
the artist's turn. The biggest challenge for the artist is to predict
what color the painting is going to be on the finished piece. The
painting itself is never done in just one layer. Usually it takes
three, four, and sometimes even more layers of paint to achieve
the desired look. After each layer of paint is applied, the piece
is cured at high temperatures. These beautiful and unique artistic
creations are able to keep their original brightness and color for
centuries never fading or loosing its' beauty.