Artistic smithery
Artistic smithery has deep ethnic traditions. Various metals (including nonferrous metals) had been first used in Lithuania in the 2nd millennium B.C. Mostly they have been used for decoration. Significantly later (from the Ist millennium A.D.) the smithed iron, due to its resilience, solidity and perfect plastic characteristics, had been used more and more often for the war tools, vehicles, traveling and dowry chests and for the decoration of memorial monuments. Some of the decoration traditions remained till today. However now the smithed iron is applied far more widely. Its processing possibilities underwent changes as well: nowadays iron is not only smithed, flattened and stretched, but also variously flexed, twisted, riveted and welded.
Nowadays folk artistic smithery most elements of decoration have typical characteristics of national folk art, the decor proceeds with the old and deep traditions of smithery art, however at the same time new and special ways for expression are sought. Today smithery is decoration of apparel and manufacturing of souvenirs, smithery of decorative suns and memorial monuments, decoration of residential premises, farmsteads, public building, streets, plazas and squares.
In the course of creation of the jewelry works, folk artists creatively use traditional old smithery materials (copper, brass, silver, cupronickel), technology (twisting, entwining, stretching, embossing, welding) and elements of the old metal decoration and ornamentation (rhombuses, squares, spirals, herringbones, etc.).
Together with the ornamentation and souvenirs the smithery of household appliances – candlesticks, ashtrays, flower stands - began, which had no precedent traditions. The style of these works combines traditional plant and geometrical decoration elements of memorial monument tops, fences, gates, dowry chest bindings and the newly created forms (blacksmiths: V.Jarutis, A.Staškus, S.Glinskis).
A separate field of modern artistic folk smithery comprises of the so-called decorative “suns”. Almost every modern blacksmith has passed the stage of the suns’ smithery. The suns have not only analogical ornamentation of traditional memorial monument tops, but their smithery and coupling is also typical.