From Mine to Store: Ichien Ballaga’s Bejeweled Bullfinches



Among birders, bullfinches are distinguished by their front-heavy, bullheaded form. But there’s nothing blunt about Ichien Ballaga’s jeweled rendition of a pair of bullfinches about to take flight. The founder of Moscow-based Ichien infused an uncommon airiness into a piece that boasts a lot of volume. But then a certain grace was baked into the design from the get-go: “As soon as I started drawing, these graceful birds started appearing through the rough lines, with outlines and shapes forming as if by themselves,” Ballaga recalls. “Within minutes, two were fluttering all over the w
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