Kaslinsky Plant of Art Casting

Kaslinsky Plant of Art Casting


Kaslinsky Iron-Smelting Plant was founded on the shores of Lake Kasli by merchants from Tula. Soon after, it was acquired by the famed manufacturer family, the Demidovs.

Second half of the XVIII century. Nikita Demidov significantly reconstructs and expands the Kaslinsky plant. The plant was producing over 2,000 tonnes of pig iron, which was mostly processed into iron at the site. The plant’s blast furnace was rebuilt and wooden premises replaced by stone ones.


The plant was sold to merchant Lev Rastorguyev, who took up defense orders.

Starting in 1815, the Kaslinsky plant was producing large quantities of cauldrons, pots, washstands, irons and all kinds of chalices and vases.

The plant begins mastering art casting. First candleholders and openwork plates are cast.
The plant begins mastering the most difficult molding technique in art casting — the «dry» lump molding, which allowed the plant to greatly expand its product range. As pig iron is considerably cheaper than bronze, pig iron moldings were more accessible for customers and became part of everyday life. Sculpture art from Saint-Petersburg and Europe were sent to the plant for replication.
The plant wins its first gold medal on the Free Economic Society’s fair in Saint-Petersburg.
Professional sculptors are invited to Kasli to create new models, training the local school of art casting. The plant replicates in pig iron the best works of Russian sculptors — Peter Klodt, Yevgeny Lancere, Alexander Ober, Nikolai Laveretsky, Fyodor Kamensky, Parmen Zabello, Fyodor Tolstoy — as well as foreign ones: Clodion, Paul-Edouard Delabrierre, Pierre-Jules Mene, Louis-Auguste Moreau, Jean-Louis Gautier and others.
The plant wins the highest award at the All-Russian Art and Industry Fair in Nizhny Novgorod and the right to mark its work with Russia’s state coat of arms, the double-headed eagle.
Kaslinsky Plant’s art wins Grand Prix at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The Iron Pavilion, designed by Yevgeny Baumgarten, won particular acclaim.
A special art casting workshop was set up. The plant takes state orders, making bust portraits of Soviet leaders such as Lenin and Stalin, animal and life sculptures, architectural works for parks and public buildings. The plant’s work decorates Moscow’s subway, the All-Soviet Agriculture Fair in Moscow, bridges and embankments of various cities.
The plant’s Iron Pavilion from the 1900 Paris Fair was re-created and is now on display in Yekaterinburg’s art museum.
The Iron Pavilion is registered by UNESCO as the only architectural structure from pig iron in the world to be part of a museum collection.
A new art casting workshop is built. The plant casts sculptures to be displayed in many Soviet cities. Art casts are sent all over the Soviet Union, as well as to Britain, the Netherlands, the United States.
Late 1980s
State orders dry up, and Kaslinsky Machine-Building Plant, as it was then called, begins to change hands.
Kaslinsky Machine-Building Plant is acknowledged bankrupt. Kaslinsky Casting Plant is created on its basis, with all shops but art casting closed down.

Mechel OAO acquires the art casting shop of Kaslinsky Casting Plant, which was transformed into Kaslinsky Plant of Art Casting. The plant undergoes reconstruction, new production facilities are built.

Mechel lends the plant full support, both in funds and advertising; helps market its unique products and keep the plant loaded with orders for technical and architectural casting. Mechel Trading House regularly places orders for art casting.

With Mechel’s active participation and care, the plant, which marked its 260th anniversary in 2007, continues to preserve and multiply its traditions, enlarge and upgrade its production base, invest in upbringing, training and perfecting of its masters.