When I recently reviewed the images I took at the ABANA La Crosse conference in 2002 I saw the folder for Oleh Bonkovskyi. Incidentally, I have seen his first and last names spelled in a variety of ways. When I arrived at that conference I almost immediately visited the gallery and was impressed with the pieces he had on display so I resolved to spend time watching him demonstrate. I had seen his younger assistant, Sergij Polubatko (again, spelling uncertain) at the Flagstaff 2000 conference. There are both, now, well known Ukrainian artist blacksmiths.
I did enjoy watching them work, took a few pictures and their creation, Urella, was the only piece I bid on in the auction and was lucky to get it. His work has appeared in the Anvil’s Ring on at least two occasions. In the 1998 Spring issue on pages 36 and 37 there are four variations of the same candlestick theme displayed in Urella. Additional pieces of his work were in the Fall issue of 2001.
I had been intending to write something about this for quite a while but when I stumbled onto the following two archival links it sealed the deal.
http://www.bgop.org/newsletters/2002-01.pdf The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac helped to arrange for Oleh’s 2002 USA visit: And in the issue which followed the conference
http://www.bgop.org/newsletters/2002-07.pdf there appeared an image of my Urella. So, I decided to post a couple of images of Urella today, although they aren’t of professional quality.
I found some additional information about Oleh and will post the link although I don’t have any personal connection to the events. The site said, in “2007 and 2008 Oleh Bonkovsky and Charles Hughes preformed demonstrations for the Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmith Association at the shop of the association's President, John Steel.”
|I was fortunate to pass Oleh after the auction and we posed together.|
|Urella today without the usual blue and yellow candles symbolizing the flag of the Ukraine.|