A magical tree of wishes and knowledge of the Narts’ epic tales, a common image in sacred books and philosophy, this apple tree yielded every day a single fruit but that of miraculous power. Three silver pigeons, the tale goes ahead, came flying by every night, hiding in the tree to snatch the precious apple of Narts. This image fascinated Asya Eutykh, a creative, unique jeweler, silversmith art designer. Recently she managed to complete her masterpiece and, say, created this wishes and knowledge tree. Well, just a metaphor? Or as the wishes tree was “planted” by Asya it turned out to be a tree of knowledge bearing fruits for herself?
Eventually, she succeeded and deserved reverent appreciation of a sheik and presidents but didn’t draw a lot of interest of the locals. She is esteemed in the republic as a national valuable artist but didn’t manage to have her wishes come true: she lives with her family in a one-story brick house build in postwar time, rooms resembling theatrical scenery. The only appropriate and comfortable place for living is her workshop.
I have to match my work and obligations at my home. You see, that’s not what I dreamed about. I vividly remember how I bothered my dad demanding him why there were no columns and marble stares in our house. Since then I’ve been in pursuit of such marvelous house to be there a good wife managing my own household…
A noisy drilling device she uses for engraving accompanies our calm commune so I don’t catch some of her words, Asya does not want to interrupt her routine work giving a perfect finish to a Scythian dagger’s hilt. I do not mind since I have been hatching another image, this time Adeyef, a legendary woman of same old Narts epic tales. Several years ago Asya had made a statuette of Adeyef, a much valued toy in their home: the silver woman holding a tiny star in her shiny palms resembles Asya herself. I noticed Asya’s hands sparkling with silver dust that almost tattooed her fingertips.
Ruslan, Asya’s husband comes in bringing cups of tee, for me and a bowl for his wife: Asya explains that her hands often get chilly and she just loves to warm them up holding a bowl of hot tee. Her hands that equipped completely Jordan prince’s bodyguard. We are sipping tee and our informal talk goes ahead.
You should see an Arab, our host, who provided his house in Amman, we lived in and at times dropped by visiting with us. He was at a loss for words when he saw me, a woman, operating with welding torch, metal and flame. That is not common in the Middle East. We almost didn’t have time for a nap: just sought to accomplish our work, the sets of traditional Circassian ammunition including finely decorated daggers, cavalry swards, small oil boxes and holsters for the prince’s securities. They adjusted those holsters for their modern handguns. Prior to now weapon in eastern countries and culture had been more than just a mere part of tradition.
How far would you go in your devotion to traditional Circassian style of surface decoration metalwork?
Since I started my art designer’s carrier I felt obligation to rehabilitate traditional Circassian techniques. You know, the technique seemed to be gone forever, those ordinary craftsmen, who managed to create their own distinct artistic style
unique masterpieces, were forced to leave their country (“Khakuzh”) at the final of Russo-Caucassian war with other Circassians (Adyghes). They scattered around the world, their art merged into different traditions and eventually, the genuine Circassian technique and style passed away. But while I worked with ancient articles of millenium age I found out my commitments to a certain model of decorative art restrained and did not let me to work out my own decorative technique and a style of ornamentation…
Actually, Asya is firm and never agrees for a bargain, never she let a penny off her highly assessed masterpieces since she respects herself and the articles she makes. That’s true, individuals, collectors and museums (namely the GIM, Russian initials for State History Museum) pursued to acquire Asya’s works of art, but to her regret, not Adyghe museums, which haven’t bought thus far any of those with her name brand.
Since the Bible times the proverb reads, that no prophet is accepted in his hometown. Just recently, I was visiting with Manaba Magomedova, a famed craftswoman in Kubachi, Dagestan. We discussed the issue: if you’re a woman you have to excel a man in every way to be appreciated.
You mean, you have not been appreciated yet? Don’t they recognize you as a successful artist?
I think, they do not! You know, when people see my collections they usually get confused and do not believe those things were accomplished by a woman. Who cares that in the past 10-15 years over I’ve been working hard and have to sleep four hours a night at the most.
Asya didn’t even quit her work as she was pregnant and went ahead with her new design project. Fortunately, she has born two nice-looking sons since but do not want to relax. Ruslan cared much and didn’t allow her to deal with reagents. Asya’s husband, a graduate of Moscow university, a robot designer himself, became her assistant and got involved in his wife’s projects.
As I know, just the same situation in Manaba’s family, – Asya said. Manaba’s husband also works with her, assisting his wife. Actually, I do not know any other happy family where a craftswoman would succeed as well an artists as a good wife and mother. It turns out the other way round…