It is never too late to find and show your talents. A real confirmation of this is the story of a 55-year-old labor teacher of an ordinary provincial school - Sergei Bobkov. His life and career passes in the village of Kozhany, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Russia. He became famous not only in his native village and on the territory of the country, but also abroad as a talented sculptor who creates stunning three-dimensional art products from wood shavings. For several years now, the artist who has found his vocation has been pleasing people with incredibly realistic creations in the form of various animals and birds, whose feathers and wool are replaced by the finest wood plates processed in a special way.
The first research in the field of a new direction in art, a unique technology of which, by the way, Sergei managed to patent, began nine years ago, when the sculptor was 48 years old. Once he drew attention to the unique properties of wood chips, which could help him create something special, beyond the existing ideas about creativity. So the master noted the texture, plasticity and variety of shades of wood material. In addition, it is natural, affordable, while not losing its original aesthetic properties over time. Without putting the idea on the back burner, Sergei set to work, and as a result, the first masterpiece was created - a life-size bird made of wood shavings, captured in a typical dynamic pose.
Prior to that, the artist managed to try a large number of crafts - weaving from a vine, making ceramics, artistic woodcarving and even the production of furniture, but the creation of extraordinary sculptures from wood became truly close to him. The exhibits breathe with amazing naturalness and lightness: the realistically fluffy wool seems to bend under a light breeze, and feathers, airy and light, can instantly come to life and soar into the sky. For almost ten years of his work, the master has made a whole collection of animals and birds, the likes of which are not found in the whole world.
According to Sergei, he is not interested in doing what the majority succeed in, but finding his own path and creating something unusual is a completely different matter, it is great inspiration.
Long before proceeding directly to the creation of a new sculpture, for several months the master thoroughly studies the subject of interest to him. He studies textbooks with descriptions and photographs of the selected animal or bird, and also monitors their habits and features in their natural habitat until he becomes a real expert in this topic.
The history of the manufacture of chip sculpture begins with the creation of a plasticine prototype, which is an almost complete three-dimensional model, which serves as a kind of "dummy" for taking measurements, which are later transferred to the tree.
The base of the future product is cut according to the created sketch from the blocks of wood, which are then covered with wool or feathers. The technology for the production and processing of wood chips is a rather complex process. Since ordinary shavings are a very fragile material, Sergei has to achieve elasticity and strength by soaking wood in water. Then, from the wet bars, the thinnest plates are cut, which dry out for some time between the pages of school textbooks.
And finally, the material is ready, and soon a skilled carver will turn the thin plates into fur, down or feathers. Each element is approximately 5-8 cm. For greater realism, Sergei processes them with chisels and scissors, so that the external similarity is maximum. Wooden feathers and fur with jewelry precision are glued by the hands of a master to the “body” of the future sculpture. The beak and claws are also made from shavings glued together from several dozen layers.
According to Sergei Bobkov, shavings of various types of wood are suitable for this type of art, but he prefers to work exclusively with Siberian cedar.
Making unusual sculptures makes the artisan spend 14-18 hours a day in his workshop, working tirelessly. Complex, filigree work that requires many skills, strength and inspiration brings only satisfaction and joy to Sergei. It takes an artist about 4-6 months to create one masterpiece in the form of a large animal or bird. The sculptor claims that it is especially difficult to work on figurines of fur-bearing animals. For example, a couple of martens, for the fur of which the master needed 150 finest shavings, he created for a long 8 months. Sable wool consists of 30 thousand villi, and for the eagle's plumage it took up to 7 thousand flakes of wood shavings. One of the last major works - two wood grouses - the artist did in tandem with his 21-year-old son Artem.
Chip products are often compared to stuffed animals because of their striking resemblance to their "models". However, the artist does not like this statement at all, because his works are the exact opposite of stuffed dead animals - they symbolize life and bring exclusively beauty and goodness into the world.
The collection of sculptures by Sergei Bobkov is exhibited in the village school, where, in addition to local residents, tourists and vacationers from the nearest resort "Krasnoyarskoe Zagorye" often come.
The master has not yet dared to sell the most large-scale creations, which is absolutely not surprising, because it is very difficult to say goodbye to a creation on which more than six months of work were spent. Small sculptures such as wooden flowers and cute owls are offered for purchase. For example, now on the sculptor's website for sale is a composition of three owls, the cost of which is 150 thousand rubles. For comparison, it should be noted that for one of the most beautiful works of the sculptor - a statue of an eagle - they offered 3 million rubles, but Sergei refused this offer.
The talented Sergei Bobkov has grandiose plans for the future - he dreams of a large art center, which will include an exhibition hall, a workshop and a hotel for those who wish to learn the intricacies of this art form or simply admire the already created masterpieces.