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handicraft art    

        Trays from Zhostovo

Zhostovo trays are fantastic articles created by skillful masters from Zhostovo settlement, which is located in Mytishchi District of Moscow Region. A tray is a usual house article, but it becomes fantastic due to fascinating subjects and colour combinations. Everyone likes colourful improvisation of talented masters.

The craft appeared under the influence of painting on metal. It was based on manufacture of lacquer articles made of papier-mâché. At the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries the articles made of papier-mâché, such as caskets, snuff-boxes, tea-sets, cigar-cases, appeared in the villages called Danilkovo (not far from Fedoskino), Ostashkovo, Zhostovo.

The craft springs from the workshops of the Vishnyakovs, V. Leont’ev, E. Belyaev, F. Shapkin and others. By the middle of the 19th century 12 workshops had already worked continuing the traditions of Ivanovo chintzes, Fedoskino miniature, village painters of chests and spinning-wheels. They created their own school of metal trays’ painting.

Before the tray became a marvelous picture it was fashioned into rectangular, round, “guitar” or octangular form, then, it passed into the hands of a putty man, who primed the tray. Then, it was given to the painter. Using a soft brush, he painted in oil different flowers, leaves and berries on the tray’s surface, which had been already covered by lacquer. Thanks to painters’ fantasy famous Zhostovo bouquets, floral garlands and wreathes, expressive still-lives, fairy-tale characters and, of course, Russian troika depictions were created against black, colour, metallized or mother-of-pearl lacquer background.

Old technique of painting is kept and used till now. At first, the painter draws the silhouettes of flowers and leaves, gathering them into the bouquets. It was called (and is called up to now) “podmaliovka”. Then, a painter makes shadows, then – long primer, then – highlights. After all, he draws carefully all details and binds a bouquet with background by slim volutes. In conclusion, a gold tracery is painted on the tray’s bead; the tray is covered by 3 layers of light lacquer and polished.

According to the President’s Decree dated the 6th of November 1993, Zhostovo folk was included into the State Index of the most valuable objects of culture of the Russian Federation. “Zhostovo Decorative Painting Manufactory” – it is the name of the place where professionalism and talent of the handicraft masters create a real marvel – Zhostovo trays, at all times a desired present for every family.

Девичник. 2001- 2006.
  Авторский журнал. 
© "Девичник/ Devichnick", 20012006.
© Оформление, текст, фотоматериалы Молотилова Л. К., 20012006.
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