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Fall Khokhloma



Often people told me that my creative style look very Russian. And nothing there is surprising, especially if you look at this wonderful dish called "Khokhloma”. It reminds me of my childhood.

On today, we are not used this dish for eating. But I remember when I was little; I had a Khokhloma teaspoon and I used it to eat my cereal. And I think I'm not mistaken if I say that in every Russian house you will find that wonderful dish.
And of course, I could not use it to inspire me to create my fall kits.

Khokhloma is an ancient Russian crafts and probably that the best kind of Russian craft known abroad. Its true origin is unknown although there are several legends about it. We assume that was born in the seventeenth century in the province of Nijni Novgorod.

But what is the most interesting is how that dish is made. That dish is made of wood looking very massive but in the same time it is very light. Indeed, it is extremely light. Its secret is in the manufacturing process that is quite complicated and lengthy.

Firstly, they modify a log of wood in the appropriate form by cutting out the excess of wood. That becomes a basic unpainted piece of wood. After the drying process, it is covered with liquid clay. Then it is dried for 7-8 hours and they put manually on it several layers of varnish (linseed oil). That operation is very important considering the quality of the final product and the painting depends on this step. They do this by using special pads made from sheepskin or from calfskin. The linseed oil has to be distributed uniformly. They repeat this process 3-4 times until the oil stick a little bit on the finger. The next step is to polish the surface of the pieces with an aluminum powder. After that step the pieces acquire a beautiful mirror-shine and they are ready to be painted.

Then they use oil paint. The main colors of Khokhloma are red and black. Also they can add if needed brown, green or yellow.

All pieces are hand painted and the painting designs are never repeated. There are various ornaments, but mostly they use red strawberry and sorbs tree with their foliage.

Then they cover the piece 4 to 5 times with a special varnish with a period of drying after each layer. Subsequently, they are placed it for 3 or 4 hours in an oven at a temperature of 150 ... 160 ° C, until the formation of a golden brown layer. And that's the famous Golden Khokhloma.

Although Khokhloma pieces are made of wood you never see that wood. We just see golden background with colorful shining drawings with a metallic dazzling glare.

But as you can see, there is no gold that is used in the manufacturing process. That's the great art of Khokhloma.


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