“Electrification” Vase
The item was manufactured at the Leningrad Artistic Glass Factory
on the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, 1967
The vase created by Estonian artist Helle Põld is kind of
a hymn to the most ambitious plan of Soviet Russia and later of
the Soviet Union: the plan for electrification of the country.
“GOELRO Plan” poster (part of the triptych),
by Alexander Lemeshchenko. Reproduction
Electric-power transmission
Source: RIA Novosti archive
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All through out the Soviet history, the matter regarding the electrification
of the country remained a top priority. The people in the Soviet Union
Union repeated verbally, printed on postage stamps and on placards,
the famous Lenin saying, “Communism means Soviet rule plus electrification
of the whole country.” This topic was also popular in Soviet decorative
Soviet decorative and applied arts, the fact exemplified by Helle Põld's
unusual creation.
“Communism means
Soviet rule plus
the electrification of
the whole country
The design of this tremendous vase is very “glassy.” Flat
circular disks,placed one on top of the other, form the highpedestal
for the vase and give rise to certain figurativeassociations.
The meshed pattern of electrical supply poles which
encircle the upper bowl finalize the theme. The
layout of the vase is astonishingly proportional
and harmonious.
The “Electrification” Vase, made in 1967 for the 50th anniversary of
the October Revolution,remains one of the best and most interesting
thematic glass art pieces.
Helle Martinova Põld (1928-1987) came to the Leningrad Art
Glass Factory in mid-1950s. She had good control of the material
and was a fine engraver. It was Põld who upheld the already
dying production of thin mat engraving over transparent
crystal. She created vases, lampshades, crockery, cups, flasks,
beer mugs, ashtrays, cigarette cases, and souvenirs, which
made their way to mass production and became very popular. She
learned the high art of engraving from her teacher, Estonian
professor Max Roosm who mentored a whole generation of
Soviet glass artists.
Collection custodian:
“In 1920, one of the most significant years in
the Russian history, the famous fantasy writer,
Herbert Wells, visited Moscow. He met with Lenin
in the Kremlin, and familiarized himself with
the plans for the electrification of the country
supposed to take from 10 to 15 years. He considered
this to be utopian. After this visit he wrote an
essay called ‘Russia in the Shadows,’ where he
affirmed that the completion of such projects in
Russia is only possible in fantasy.
When Wells revisited Moscow 14 years later, he was
Herbert Wells, pre 1922.
astonished by what he saw: this was a totally
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different city. The ‘Utopian’ plan of electrification
had been implemented and even over- implemented: the
USSR had become an industrial super power and held the
third leading place in the world.”