The international expert committee in artistic blacksmithing issued a decision to honor the city of Ivano-Frankivs’k with an Alfred Habermann award – a prestigious international award in the fieldof blacksmithing art. Ivano-Frankivs’k becomes the first city within the territory of the former Soviet Union to receive the award. The Western Ukrainian city has a long history of the blacksmith craft and is famous for its blacksmith festivals and exhibitions.
The expert committee, set up by the International Czech, Moravia and Silesia Artist Blacksmith Association, Comenius Museum in Přerov, and Mrs. Christine Habermann von Hoch, will award Ivano-Frankivs’k with an Alfred Habermann award in an official award ceremony in the Helfštýn castle in Czech Republic on August 27, 2011. The ceremony will take place during the 30th International Artistic Blacksmithing Gathering Hefaiston.
The organizers of the Hefaiston, an annual assembly and international competition of blacksmiths named after the Greek god Hephaestus, claim the Gathering to be the biggest artistic blacksmithing event in the world. The event takes place in the Helfštýn castle since 1982. Over 400 blacksmiths attended the 29th gathering in 2010.
Ivano-Frankivs’k is famous for its blacksmithing tradition with the 9th International Artist Blacksmith Festival and an exhibition Ornamental Forging taking place in the city every spring. Over 20 different nations joined the Europe-wide event to show off their craft. In 2010 a project The Whirlpool of European Iron Cities was launched at the Blacksmith Festival in Ivano-Frankivs’k. It involved a conference that featured lectures and slide-show presentations by the eminent smiths from different countries.
Blacksmithing is a traditional craft for Ukraine since forging was known to the Ukrainian people long before the Common Era. By the 10th century the craft in the country is believed to have achieved the level of sophistication that is on a par with the standards of modern time.
Artistic blacksmithing is widely used in external design in Western regions of Ukraine which explains the demand for professional unions and gatherings in the region. The Alfred Habermann award from the renowned European blacksmithing community singles out the achievements of the Ivano-Frankivs’k blacksmith community.
Alfred Habermann is a world famous European master blacksmith, sculptor, and designer, who came to fame by mid-20th century and remained one of the most prominent figures in metal plasticity till his passing in 2008.
According to WNU