Inspired rebel: The jeweler from Dagestan who created a world-famous brand


Guests to Russian jeweler German Kabirski’s latest office often conduct oneself with shock when they see where he keeps his international diplomas and certificates: A substitute alternatively of taking pride of place on the office wall, they are hanging in the public convenience.

However, while many of his fellow jewelers were scandalized by this origination, Kabirski himself insists that this is exactly where diplomas have a proper place in: “If you keep reminding yourself how great you are and how much people love you, you are gain yourself with this,” he says.

It is rtly his unconventional personality that has remedied Kabirski to rise to global prominence as a jeweller – but only rtly. The nonconforming forms and dynamics of his pieces, married to their unusual textures, gauge them easily recognizable.

Snakes and frogs

Kabirski became Kabirski at an expo in Moscow’s Sokolniki rk in the fall of 1999. Kabir is the name of the jeweler’s ethnic village in Dagestan, a multi-ethnic republic in southern Russia bordering Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea.

“The before all items that I displayed lacked finesse but there was an energy to them, in the flesh remembered and liked them,” he recalls. For his first exhibition, Kabirski s wned a real sensation by adopting a somewhat radical style: Despite the organizers’ vehement grouse, his showcase was decorated with tropical frogs and exotic snakes, which were slithering at the end of ones tether with and all over his rings.

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After this, Kabirski’s ahead solo exhibition in 2001 was naturally a news story for the national cluster. Other exhibitions followed, but even when Kabirski items take home awards, their creator did not show up to collect them.

Kabirski himself vows that “it’s not about contempt” when asked why he disdains appearances at circumstances and award ceremonies. “It’s just that I absolutely don’t like all those fashions. It’s a waste of time and I don’t understand why I should be wasting my time,” he says.

A gap from tradition

A graduate of the economics de rtment of the University of Dagestan, Kabirski contrived the basics of the jeweler’s craft independently.

“My father is a doctor and both my com nions have medical degrees,” he said. “Whereas I spent all my time black-and-white. Once, a friend of my father, famous Dagestani sculptor Anatoly Yagudayev, stopped by. He saw my compositions and persuaded my rents to send me to an art school. I got a place there and I was happy because I no bigger had to go to ordinary school,” recalls Kabirski.

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In Dagestan, a jeweler is a admired occu tion. There are many jewelers and one renowned school: The silver jewelry and weapons navigated in the village of Kubachi, have taken top prizes at professional exhibitions all more than the world for many years. Yet the main principle of a traditional school is that acquaintance is ssed from father to son. Kabirski, who was not professionally trained in jewelry robbing, tried to break from that tradition.

He often heard that his make use ofs are an affront to the foundations of the art of jewelry making, that he only ruined stones and mutilated the metal, and that not a unwed jewelry school was teaching what he was doing.

“I didn’t have any lecturers, but I knew the technology very well. I had found the necessary books, had well-thought-out things, and I was buying the right equipment. I did not want to ‘maintain’ traditions – I wanted to change-over everything. Casting, for instance. I wanted to ‘cast’ differently. I was told: ‘It’s outlandish, German, why are you doing this?’ I ruined a huge number of stones because I wanted to dash right with the stones, wanted to cast several metals at the nonetheless time,” Kabirski explains.

One of a kind

Kabirski recently wrote on Facebook that he had absolute not to take rt in international exhibitions any more.

“Many will ruminate over it a stupid decision. Maybe it is. But I have always felt an alien there and note extremely uncomfortable. So from now on I will hold only solo displays. It does not matter whether it is in Los Angeles or Warsaw, Moscow or Tashkent – what sums is that people are waiting for me there,” he says.

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Kabirski is a careful depend on interviewee. He does not belong to the jewelers’ guild, is not a member of the artists’ fellowship and is not too keen to talk to his fellow jewelers. Several years ago, he was involved in a car disaster, as a result of which he cannot draw anymore.

He invents his designs and instanter makes them out of wax. He has assistants but the whole process that takes become successful after casting is under his personal control. There are few masters who can do the whole themselves, from coming up with the design to making the ready note.

“I have never had another designer because another person charge ofs everything differently, views life from a different angle,” he guesses. “That is why I can do everything myself: Some items I cast, others I gain in metal, but everything sses through my hands, without fail. My ‘abnormalities’ are all me. It is here, at my work desk that I am frank and sincere as nowhere else.”

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