Khokhloma is perhaps the most widely known Russian folk craft of making hand painted wooden tableware. Frequently used patterns include floral ornaments composed of flowers, grass and berries. Symbolic combination of black background, deep red and magnificent gold is recognized all over the world. Though, it must be noted, no gold is used in the production process. Diversity of Khokhloma souvenirs is amazing, including dinner sets, trays, bowls, spoons, candle holders, music boxes and other interior elements. Each souvenir is a unique example of handicraft and a true masterpiece.
Khokhloma painting appeared in the seventeenth century in one of Nizhny Novgorod provinces. The technology has not changed a lot since then. There are several stages: first workpieces are turned on a lathe, and then the items are grounded with liquid clay mortar and oiled with flaxseed oil, and on the next stage treated with drying oil and dried. This step is repeated three or four times. The next stage is tinning, followed by painting that is done manually. The main tool of the artist is a squirrel-hair brush, a special tool is used to dab berries and flowers. Oil paints are used. Afterwards, the product is covered with several layers of varnish, each of them dried separately in a stove. It is under the influence of high temperature, that varnish turns silver color of the article into golden.
Famous vintage lacquer ladles are true treasures. These peculiar tableware items strike with fantasy and color. The artist truly makes the wood fly transforming it into a magic bird. There are swans, ducks, cockerels and others. They always look terrific, being more of a museum piece than a mere ladle. Fancy up your kitchen with the timeless and beautiful tradition of Russian Khokhloma art ladles!
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