Plique-a-jour Enamel Works

About Artist

Awards

  • Creative Art Award – Enamel Society USA 2011
  • Excellence in Metal – Philadelphia Craft Show, Philadelphia PA, 2006
  • Boston Museum of Fine Art Award – Craft at the Castle, Boston, MA, 2001
  • Award of Excellence – New Face / New Work, Craft at the Castle, Boston, 2001
  • Second Place – Centennial Art & Craft Exhibition, Providence Art Club, RI 2001
  • Award of Excellence – Westchester Craft Show, White Plains, NY 1999
  • The Rolex Prize – Philadelphia Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA 1998
  • Award of Excellence – Washington Craft Show, Washington, DC 1997
  • The Rolex Prize – Philadelphia Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA 1996
  • Chairman Award – 9th International Enamel Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan, 1996
  • Best in Show – North East Enamel Guild Exhibition, PA 1996
  • Chairman Award – International Competition of Enameling Art, Uneno Royal Museum
  • Second Plane in the Show – Philadelphia Craft Show, Philadelphia, PA 1995
  • Best in Show – “Enamel South West – 94″ San Diego, CA, 1994
  • Award for Excellence – International Enamel Exhibition, Covington, KY 1991

Museum

  • Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
  • All Russian Museum of Decorative and Applied Art, Moscow, Russia.
  • Museum Municipal de I’Esmalt Contemporani de Salou, Spain.
  • American Enamelist Society Museum Cold Spring, KY, USA
  • Newark Art Museum, Newark, NJ, USA
  • R.I. School of Design Museum, Providence, RI, USA
  • Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA, USA
  • Walters Museum, Baltimore, MD. Joan Riddle Collection

Solo Exhibitions

  • 1997 - “Plique-a-jour Enamel by Valeri Timofeev”  “Picasso Ceramic”  The Museum of Art and Sciences, Daytona Beach, FL, USA
  • 1995 – “Enamel by Valeri Timofeev”  Art Center, Newport New, VA.
  • 1995 – “Art works by Valeri Timofeev”  Deland Museum of Art, Deland, FL
  • 1993 – “Plique-a-Jour” Jamar Gallery, Cincinnati, OH
  • Keynote Speaker
    • International Enamel Conference, Brisbane, Australia 1998
  • Juror
    • Craft at the Castle, Craft Show, Boston, MA, 2002

Valeri TimofeevSmithsonian
magazine 2000

by Diane M. Boltz

Latvian-born Valeri Timofeev was already a respected jewelry artist in Moscow when he became interested in the plique-a-jour enameling technique of pre-revolutionary Russia. The process, which creates a brilliant translucent effect by suspending the enamel between the openings of delicate precious-metal framework, all but disappeared after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Determined to revive the “lost” art, Timofeev, who now lives in the United States, spent years researching the process. In time, he mastered the technique and went on to develop his own individual style. Each pieces is unique, and when you hold one up to the light, the effect is that of sunlight streaming through a stained-glass window: it virtually explodes with color.

American Craft Magazine 2003

by Ellen Howards

A Russian born in Latvia in 1941, Timofeev studied mechanical engineering and civil aviation before moving to Moscow in 1967 to pursue a fine art education. Adept at Handling metal and solving technical problems, he went on to study drawing and obtain a degree in decorative and applied arts.

Timofeev decided to become a jeweler in 1972, when he saw the work of Rasul Alihanov, an artist from Dagestan, in particular a plate that incorporated engraving, filigree, niello, cloisonn’e and champleve.  It was the technical virtuosity that inspired him most and Timofeev choose to make enameling integral to his work, first in jewelry, than in other objects.  In the course of mastering traditional enameling techniques he found the greatest challenge to be plique-ajour, which had been dormant since the Russian Revolution.  Beginning around 1982, he explored the technique by seeking out jewelers of the older generation, studying pieces in museum, reading and experimenting constantly, learning one secret at a time.

He does not attempt highly representational imagery, partly because of the restrictions of the enameling process.  ”I prefer the symbolic,” he explains, “because Symbols are everywhere around us.  People should add something from themselves and translate it for their own personal language, It’s like a bridge from my understanding to yours.  I don’t need to speak English to create this work.  If I do it with love and energy, my excitement goes through this line and color combination,  he said, pointing out the sinuous vine encircling a bowl the color of Burmese rubies.  ”It’s my personality in another medium.

Craft Arts International 2005

by Antonia Lomny

Born in Latvia, trained as a jeweler in the former USSR, former member of the Union of Soviet arts, and now living and working in America.  Valeri Timofeev is currently the leading exponent of the art of plique-a-jour enameling in the world.  Driven by both the beauty of  art of plique-a-jour technique and the riddle of its early manufacture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Russian workshops of such quality as Faberge, Ovchinnikov and Khlebnikov, Timofeev has re-created and adapted the technique to modern times, saving it from relative obscurity imbuing it with great artistic potential.  A flare for showmanship, an indomitable spirit and a strong sense of purpose, not to mention a droll sense of humor, further inform and personalize his work.

Although much of Timofeev’s work is informed by his Russian background, he also captures a contemporary feel through the experimentation he brings to his work, the sheer boldness of his design and the incorporation of organic, abstract forms that evoke both cerebral and tactile sensations.  He brings to the international field of enameling the vision of a modern man who is not afraid to blend the richness of his culture’s history with modern aesthetics and contemporary interests.  By borrowing freely from his own past and that of the Russian nation and blending these inspirations with his own aesthetic consideration, he creates work that is at once flamboyant and disciplined, artistic and commercial.  Timofeev is drawn to extreme contrasts, which must echo the appeal that pliue-a-jour in the second half of the 19th century would have had for him for him — the marriage of one of the most delicate enamel techniques with one of the strongest color palettes and the need for strong design skills to carry off the contrast.

Timofeev’s interest in plaque-a-jour was first excited ion the mid 1980′s while he was working as a jeweler in Russia.  At that time, the appeal of this technique may have been a reminder of richer, less restraining time for Russian artists.  The intricacy of techniques and the lushness of materials used before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 were legendary, with Russian jewelers of the epoch reveling in the richness of Russia’s mineral deposits and an unsurpassed number of patrons seeking novelties and new design.