Delicate work amazes

Visitors to Belarus’ National History Museum need microscope to enjoy exhibits of Russian Lefty

By Alexey Vasnetsov

Master Vladimir Aniskin creates miracles; among them is a tender rose, perched on a single hair, made from dust. Other wonders include an aerodrome for 20 planes on a poppy seed and copies of state awards on the face of a grain of rice. The Russian left-hander’s works are usually housed in St. Petersburg’s Museum of Micro-miniatures — the only one in Russia. Almost half of Mr. Aniskin’s amazing works are on show in Minsk at present: 22 pieces in all.

“Only classical pieces are duplicated — such as fleas wearing shoes and camels in the eye of a needle,” smiles the exhibition’s curator, the regional representative of  the Russian Lefty Museum in Belarus, Oksana Gatalskaya. “A microscope is placed by each exhibit, since few can be viewed with the naked eye. No school of micro-miniaturisation exists, so each master independently learns how to create his works. Nor do generations pass their secrets along. For example, to repeat the Rose in Hair miniature, Mr. Aniskin asked Russian Nikolay Syadristy for permission. Mr. Aniskin’s rose is unique in how it is made, despite being a copy.”

The master actually makes his own tools and holds his breath while working, since even an exhalation can destroy his work. Mr. Aniskin also has his own discovery: household dust. It is colourful (rather than grey) under the microscope and can be used to add colour to miniatures, processed using his secret technology. He has two hand-made tools: a lathe and grinder, which are both smaller than a child’s palm!

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