Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

Collecting tea. Enamel, copper, painting, engraving. 1982. Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze, Georgia

Collecting tea. Enamel, copper, painting, engraving. 1982. Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze, Georgia

Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze
In the State Museum of Art in Georgia there is an interesting, memorable section dedicated to ancient metal-plastic, enamel, and jewelry. Long you can stand in front of a triptych, carefully considering the salary of gold, decorated with enamels of various ages, and of course, stunning jewels. While other exhibits eloquently talk about the heyday of ancient Georgia in plastic, metal and enamel art. And one of the leading enamel artists of the country is Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze. He used to come here, anxiously stopped before long been familiar icons, medallions, and salaries of ancient manuscripts. They noticeably helped in the study of the fruitful work of Georgian enamel artists, who developed national traditions, shared skill secrets, technology features and artistic techniques that have their roots in the distant antiquity.

Adjarian dance. Cloisonne enamel, painting, engraving. 1983 Artist Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

Adjarian dance. Cloisonne enamel, painting, engraving. 1983 Artist Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

A special place in the art of Georgia is occupied by enamel. Based entirely on hand work methods enamel fills cells formed by partitions of a thin wire, which provides a smooth surface. The brightness and clarity of colors, energetic character of the drawing, the apparent ease of the technical performance of the ancient enamels served as a constant reference point for creative Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze. He is engaged in jewelry, bone carving, wood, ceramics, but most of all passionate about creating enamel mural-plates.

Goat. Cloisonne enamel, painting, engraving. 1980. Artist Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

Goat. Enamel, painting, engraving. 1980. Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

Enamel specialist skills must be fluent in metal processing and smelting of glass, have the ability to think creatively and well know chemical properties of materials. After all, to get the desired color, you need to do a lot of experiments, and few of them will give the desired result. Mikhail Mikhailovich is constantly experimenting, working not only on an artistic way, but carefully takes care of all the technical stuff, he does not leave without serious attention to even minor detail, which also eventually contributes to the creation of the image. He always tries to reveal the decorative qualities of the inherent limitations of a particular material, improving the techniques of painting, gilding, and engraving.

In the Garden. Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

In the Garden. Enamel, painting, engraving. 1985. Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

And what an importance in creating the image has a color palette! Typically, enamels palette expands during repeated mixtures and obtaining colors, resulting in numerous chemical compounds, in the firing process, as well as various powders used in enamels due to the interaction between the metal and enamel. Gradually, over the years, the color in the works of masters of Tbilisi is becoming more complex combinations of colors, matching the color patches helps to achieve imagery, emotional depth motive.

For more than a dozen years Mikhail has been working in one of the rare species of decorative arts. The beginning of creative activity can be regarded the end of the Academy of Arts of Tbilisi in “artistic design of industrial equipment” in 1969. Belonging to the high art is felt in most of the works of the master.

Fish. Cloisonne enamel, copper, engraving. 1990s

Fish. Cloisonne enamel, copper, engraving. 1990s. Artist Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

In his first works in enamel it is closely linked with the traditional theme and style of the Georgian art, especially the Middle Ages. This is evidenced by a series of plates dedicated to the astral signs and images of animals. They vividly resonate with the ancient sculpture and portrait miniatures, with the naive Animal Bronze Age. Beautiful in silhouette, attractive elastic rhythm of open flowers, fabulous convention way of small panels in the shape of a circle. Circle – a favorite form to which he enthusiastically and skillfully add the most simple and more complex scenes.

Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

Shota Rustaveli. Cloisonne enamel, copper, engraving. 1984

Shota Rustaveli. enamel, copper, engraving. 1984. Cloisonne enamel by Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze

He refers to the ancient legend of the Golden Fleece, recreates the original image of the great poet Shota Rustaveli and also performs with the excitement and fantasy the colorful compositions. In the “Adjarian dance”, he accurately recreates the ethnographic characteristics of folk costume, in “In the Garden”, “Collecting tea leaves” – certain signs of psychology, habits, type of activity. All subjects performed in a concise manner, with the share of good-natured humor.

Often, the co-author of Mikhail Tsalkalamanidze becomes Tsiala, his wife – also a master of arts and crafts. They created panels in enamel revealing the connection of temperament and taste, well-thought-out solutions and immediate perky details. Mikhail carefully refers to the eternal themes of peaceful labor on a flowering earth, mother, love for children.

For more than 30 years Mikhail directed Cabinet of applied art in the Republican Palace of Pioneers, instilled in children a love of art, gave them the secrets of the profession, organizing exhibitions of children’s creativity.