Woodcarving with northern flavor
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Woodcarving with northern flavor

April 06, 2021

We continue telling about the Stars Corporation Nornickel corporate competition winners.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Today our guest is Boris Frolov, head of the hazard control laboratory at the center for radiation and environmental monitoring of the Nornickel polar division’s control and analytical department.

To tell the truth, Boris is the boss only during working hours. The rest of the time he is a creative person. It was the desire to do something with his own hands that pushed him to his hobby – woodcarving.

He respected mechanics and automation since childhood, so he combined both directions in his hobby: Boris makes his works – wooden art panels – on a CNC milling machine. This is an automated multifunctional complex for processing workpieces made of wood, metal, glass, stone and so on.

The soul of the process is given by the structure of wood – unique, subtle, different every time. Boris does not hide the fact that in Norilsk it is difficult to get a ‘worthy’ wood for work. Therefore, materials for carving have to be ordered from the mainland.

Not all wood species are suitable for creating a panel in a mechanized way. More often solid cherry, maple, oak, beech are used. Maple wood, for example, is similar in color to birch, but has an attractive texture and hardness.

Ash is a particularly valuable variety: highly environmentally friendly wood with a beautiful structure and an excellent shade. Ash is somewhat reminiscent of a mighty oak, but lighter. Soft alder and linden are used less often.

Interesting that alder has a peculiarity: the wood changes color. Initially, the blank is white, but over time it takes on a reddish tint, and then light pink.

“I have always felt that I lacked talent for manual work or drawing. Here, the work is automated, but with the author’s contribution. I find a 3D model freely available on the Internet on specialized sites, or purchase the models I like directly from the authors. Then, using special software packages, this model is converted into a control program for a milling machine. I select the blank, cut out the model. I grind the finished product by hand and then coat it with oils – Danish, tung, teak and others”, Boris reveals the ‘success technology’.

So the work was born, which was marked by the competition jury – Hunting for a Mammoth, made of beech and covered with Danish oil. Boris liked the plot in terms of design and composition, and now this panel adorns his office.

There are plans for a new work from linden on the topic of shamanism.

“I found an interesting author from Yakutia who creates 3D models. He has very original plots, I am curious to embody them in a panel. Like him, I am interested in the topic of the North, its history. One of the models by this author, which I have already done before, is Kamlanie (Shamanizing). I applied with this work to participate in the Stars Corporation contest this year in the applied arts block and ideally fit into the general theme of the competition – Norilsk motives. The work was accepted for participation”, says Boris.

Subsequently, the new panel will join its predecessors in Boris’s office. Unless, of course, it will be presented to friends. This is a common practice for every creative person: many of Boris’s products find a place in the personal collections of his friends. And he also makes things to order – fortunately, the machine’s set of functions is wide.

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Text: Maria Sokolova, Photo: Boris Frolov’s personal archive

April 06, 2021

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