Category Archives: interesting

There a traveler can find interesting information about Russia and St. Petersburg

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Items made of traditional Russian materials

Items made of birch bark

Soft, velvety surface of birch bark is very beautiful and nice to touch, moreover, it has healing properties. In birch bark were stored, such as milk, which could not turn sour two weeks, as well as fish, meat, mushrooms, that too long remained fresh. The natural properties of of birch bark allow  maintain the freshness of the bread for a longer time.  cereals and flour stored in birch bark box would never have insects, besides birch bark could  take the excess moisture of these products.

In Russia you can purchase the following articles made of birch bark: boxes, breadbaskets, mirrors, combs, hairpins, cases, flasks, napkin holders, coasters for hot food, sets for spices.

Semikarakorskaya ceramics

Semikarakorsk Russian folk art craft is located in Semikarakorsk city of Rostov region on the right bank of the Don River, near the estuary of Sal river.

The original artistic direction is characterized by swipe underglaze painting with the use of metal salts with a bouquet-floral ornament, with a focus on the larger central flower, narrative compositions in the style of Russian splint images using Cossack folk motifs, stylized Don landscapes.

Kazakovskaya filigree work

Filigree is one of the oldest forms of artistic metalworking. Feature of Kazakovsky products is the independent meaning of filigree, Kazakovsky products are entirely openwork.kazakovskaya-filigran-podstakannik

Kazakovsky products are primarily characterized  by white color of silvered copper wire, which may be associated with Russian winter. Kazakovsky plant produces a wide variety of art works: decorative vases and bowls, boxes with music, coasters, vases, candy, women’s jewelry, teaspoons, cups, medals, badges, medals and decals.

Filigree is a hand-made item. Each product is unique.

Glassworks, crystal glass (Goose-Crystal city)my-gus-chrystalniy-bell

Since building the plant in Gus Crystal city they started making products of simple and colored glass with flower painting and gilding. All the products made of crystal  were known for their diamond (brilliant) faces, decorated with engraving. The city was also well-known for it’s vases.

After studying the work of Czech factories that manufactured Bohemian glass, the Russian industrialist Maltsev, who was specializing in manufacturing glassware,  purchased samples of  Czech factories’ production, acquired recipes for products. Thus, the plant  mastered the technology of manufacturing Bohemian products as well.

Nowadays the plant still amazes by it’s assortment.  Bells with the images of goose are particularly popular among tourists as good fine souvenirs.

Finift

- production of works of art using a glassy powder, enamel, on a metal substrate, type of applied art. Glass coating is long-lived and does not fade over time, and products of enamel are remarkable for their special bright and clean colors.
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Vologda (Usolye) enamel – traditional painting on white enamel. Initially, the main motive was floral composition inflicted on a copper base: masters were making on a white enamel flower ornaments, birds, animals, including mythological using a variety of colors. However, at the beginning of the XVIII century the art of multicolored enamel was lost, it began to oust monophonic enamel (white, blue and green).

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Rostov enamel -There from the XVIII century in the city of Rostov (Yaroslavl region). The thumbnail images are performed on enamel by transparent fire-resistant paints, invented in 1632 by French jeweler Jean Tooten.

Kholmogory bone carvingrussian-traditional-kholomogorskaya-reznaya-rospis

-One of the types of Russian bone carving, art craft, now centered in the village Lomonosov of Kholmogory District of the Arkhangelsk region. Items made in this technique, are known from the 17th century. The basic techniques of thread developed in the heyday of the craft in the 18th century (combination of openwork ornament with the topical relief images, color engraving, the lining under openwork carving colored foil, coloring bones’ plates); the combs, snuff boxes, chests and furniture were very popular as well as glasses and other decorative crafts, lined with plates of bones.

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Traditional Russian painting techniques

Khokhloma

- an original Russian folk craft, formed in the province of Nizhny Novgorod. The main feature of Khokhloma craft is production of gilded wooden utensils without the use of a precious metal and an original special floral and herb painting.

Lacquer Miniatures (Palekh, Kholuy, Fedoskino, Mstera)

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Palekh miniature – is an original folk craft, formed and maintained in a settlement of Palekh, Ivanovo region. All Palekh lacquer miniature drawings  are based on the iconographic painting, its traditions and techniques.

From the very beginning Palekh artists widely used folk motifs and poetry of Pushkin, Lermontov and others. Range of Palekh miniatures products was very broad: brooches, jars, boxes, cigarette cases, snuff boxes, panels and so on.

Overall Palekh lacquer miniature has a special recognizable style. Conditional colors and architectural forms, subtle, elongated proportions of the figures, which stand out in gold on a black background, are typical distinguishing features of Palekh miniatures.

Kholuy miniature. The main difference is the use of painting Kholui bluish-green and brown-orange tones. Kholuy miniatures are not only more realistic compared to Palekh miniatures and Mstera, but also more decorative than those of Fedoskino.

School Fedoskino – lacquer miniature, executed with oil paints and covered with several layers of lacquer. Russian realistic painting had a significant impact on Fedoskino style. Favorite subjects of that time were drinking tea, scenes from of rural life, round dances and skating in troikas (oldtime Russian team of three horses). Exceptionally attractive caskets and panels, brooches and boxes of various shapes and sizes with miniature paintings and gold ornaments.

Mstiora miniature – kind of traditional Russian miniature painting by tempera paint on paper mache, formed in the village Mstera on the basis of the local icon painting by the beginning of the 1930s. After the beginning of the 20th century, preserving the principles of iconic letters Mstiora miniaturists turned to themes of peasant life, of Russian folk songs and fairy folklore.

Unlike other Russian lacquer miniatures based on the old Russian icon painting tradition (Palekh and Kholuy) landscape plays a special role in Mstiora miniature. It is written by small patterned strokes on the background of a radiant blue sky. Space is constructed by several picturesque parts and has depth. Usually a composition on the surface of the box is framed by thin elegant gilded ornament, floral painting often covers the side faces of caskets and boxes.

Attention: Be aware that cheap souvenirs are not hand made, they just have a colorful print. If you want to buy a good present, check the item several times so you get sure that it doesn’t look bad at another light.

If you want to buy a genuine lacquer miniature, check the name of the artist and the place of drawing on the irem you are going to get.

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Traditional Zhostovo trays

Their production started in the early XIX century. Zhostovo trays or Zhostovo painting on trays is a genre of Russian painting, craft, they are no longer used in everyday life. Now they are a separate independent decorative element of the room.

The most common motive of this painting is often multicolored bouquet on a dark background. This bouquet is necessarily alternated by large garden flowers and small field flowers. Sides of the tray are painted by gold ornaments and everything is covered with a special varnish that gives the tray a characteristic luster.

Gzhel

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Since the second half of the 20-s of the XIX century, many ceramic and porcelain products were painted only in blue paint. Gzhel has its own style – dark blue and blue patterns and colors and decorations on white background. The paintings are made with cobalt, which acquires typical Gzhel color during the process.

Traditional Gzhel drawings are folk life stories of the past – sleigh rides,  shrovetide, genre scenes, fairy tale characters, floral and geometric designs. Patterns are unique, because each dish or tray is painted by hand, in a single copy.

Modern masters were able to recreate a multi-color painting, as well as drawings of gold and platinum.

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Gorodets painting

- Russian folk art craft. Exists from middle of the XIX century in the town of Gorodets. Bright, concise Gorodets painting was on distaffs, furniture, shutters, doors. The usual drawing were genre scenes, figurines of horses, roosters, floral patterns, made by loose strokes with white and black graphic outlines.

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