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Lomonosov factory short history
From the booklet, St. Petersburg, 1994.
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In 1744 a porcelain factory was founded in the environs of St. Petersburg, which laid the
foundation of the porcelain industry in Russia. The composition of the first
Russian porcelain and glazes, as well as the porcelain manufacturing were
evolved by the Russian scientist D. Vinogradov with regard to the local raw
materials-Gzhel clays and Olonets quartz and alabaster. Credit is also due to
D. Vinogradov for training the first Russian master craftsmen of porcelain
manufacture, who were mainly serfs. One of them, Nikita Voinov, was in charge of
the technological processes of the Factory for six years after D. Vino-gradov`s
painters were trained at the Academy of Fine Arts. The Factory supplied the
needs of the Tsar`s Court and, as compared to private porcelain works, was a
small-scale production. The articles produced were extremely costly and were
very rarely put up for sale.
On the occasion of the centenary of the Factory`s foundation a museum of porcelain-ware was
opened, which comprises now more than 20,000 items reflecting the evolution of artistic porcelain production.
Items manufactured from 1750 to 1820, when prominent masters from the Academy of Arts
participated in the designing and decoration of the porcelain, are of particu-lar interest. Later the links between the Factory and the Academy of Arts decreased abruptly and the artistic quality of the articles and the technology of their produc-tion deteriorated.
In the early nineteenth century the Factory was reconstructed and the manufacture of complex
and large-size porcelain pieces was initiated. In 1915, in connection with the war, the character of the Factory`s output was swiftly changed; the delivery of porcelain of technical application from Germany and Eng-land was suspended and the Factory adapted to the production of laboratory vessels, heat-resisting porcelain tubes, pyroscopes, spark plugs, etc. In 20s the efforts of the Factory
were focused on the development of the technology and industrial production of the most complex articles intended for technical purposes, and on the designing and manufacture of propaganda porcelain which accorded with this period in the life of the Soviet state. The ware produced in the first post-Revolutionary years were exhibited abroad-in 1920 in Riga, in 1921 in London, in 1922 in
Helsingfors and Berlin and in 1923 in Lyons, in Revel propaganda Porcelain was awarded Gold Medal. S. Chekhonin, A. Shekotikhina-Pototzkaya, N. Danjko, M. Lebedeva, B. Kustodiev, K. Petrov-Vodkin, M. Dobuzhinski and other outstanding artists contributed to the work of the Factory.
The items produced at the Factory won in 1925 the Gold Medal at the Paris World Exhibition
and some individual artists were awarded gold and silver medals for their works.
In 1925, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, the
Factory was named after M. Lomonosov, a great Russian scholar. In 1931 an artistic research laboratory was formed which united artists and highly qualified painters and modellers.
A great number of large decorative and thematic vases and bowls, large-size busts of social
figures, sculptural groups and bas-reliefs were restored at the Factory. The Factory fulfilled the commissions for the porcelain decorations for the Moscow underground and river stations.
In 1937 the articles of the Factory won the Gold Medal at the World Exhibition in Paris.
In 1944, in connection with the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Factory, a
pioneer of the porcelain industry in Russia, it was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.
The historical specialization of the Factory in the manufacture of high-quality arti-cles of
everyday use and unique items of interior decoration for Palaces of Culture, Workers` Clubs, governmental buildings, etc. has been completely revived in the post-war period.
In 1954 the reconstruction of the Factory, including the building of new production premises
and the replacement of out-of-date equipment, began. In 1958 at the
International Exhibition in Brussels the Factory`s produce won the Gold Medal,
and several of the Factory`s painters were awarded gold and silver medals.
The Factory produces a varied assortment of porcelain-ware-tea and coffee services of
different shapes and decor, goblets, cups and saucers and presentations sets, flower vases, sculptures (mainly representing animals), decanters for wine and all kinds of souvenirs.
Up to 500 items are simultaneously in production. All complicated painted decora-tion is
carried out in porcelain items by free hand painting, while simple graphic pat-terns are transferred onto items by a multi-coloured movable transfer tissue made at the Factory and then are finished by painters.
A number of articles are decorated, besides overglaze and underglaze painting, in powder
gold with the incision of an engraved design. Many services, vases and nearly all animal sculptures are painted in overglaze colours. About ninety per cent of the Factory`s entire output is produced of so-called "hard-paste" porcelain fired at 1400 ?C.
Animal sculptures decorated with underglaze colours, usually salt solutions of vari-ous metals, are made of so-called "soft-paste" porcelain fired through a temperature of up to 1300 ?C.
Lomonosov Factory is the first in the country to have worked out technology and set up production
of thin-walled bone china items, which are notable for enhanced whiteness, thinness and transparency in comparison with traditional hard porcelain. In 1980 a group of the Factory specialists responsible for this work was awarded the State Prize for developments in the field of science and technology. In the same
year as special recognition of the contribution to production develop-ment and international cooperation the Factory was awarded "Gold Mercury" Inter-national Prize.
Porcelain items with "LFZ" trademark are well known in 30 countries; they are exported
into Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Japan, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and others. Lomonosov Factory is a permanent participant of international exhibitions and fairs. Participation of the Factory in the International Leipzig Fair in 1948 was honoured with Gold Medal.
Artistic creativity, marvelous traditions of mastery, lively representation - these are characteristics given to the Lomonosov Factory`s porcelain by the or-ganizers of sale-exhibitions of the products of well-known European factories sponsored by Harrods, one of the largest trade company in London. Lomonosov Factory`s porcelain in many aspects owes its success to its creators- artists and sculptors. Each artist working at the Factory is a bright individuality, organically representing a facet of the Russian school of porcelain art and developing best traditions of craftsmen of previous generations. Porcelain of
the oldest Russian factory still remains a sample of art and high quality.
Lomonosov cobalt net items