Zhostovo Metal Trays

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Autumn Flower The village of Zhostovo outside Moscow has become a symbol of unique folk art. For more than 150 years now many of its inhabitants have been developing the skill of decorating but one thing, trays. Their skillful hands have turned this household utensil into a work of art. Bouquets or garden and field flowers strewn against the black background adorn these trays, giving people joie-de-vivre and awakening admiration over the beauty and diversity of nature. Every human being shares these feeling, and therefore few people remain indifferent to the Zhostovo craft, which has long become world famous. Started as lacquer miniature painting, the manufacture of trays gradually evolved into an independent craft, which engaged the inhabitants of several villages such as Zhostovo, Ostashkovo, Khlebnikovo, Troitskoye, Sorokino, Novosiltsevo and Chivirevo. Zhostovo played the leading role and gave the name to the entire craft. The tray as a household utensil had been known since times immemorial, but in the 19-th century the demand for trays rose as the growth of cities and the expansion of the network of hotels, eateries and bars, where trays were used both for their immediate purpose and as interior decorations. It was that new market that enabled the Zhostovo masters to establish themselves as a distinctive tray-making industry. They took into account the experience of other production centers, but instead of merely borrowing the shapes and techniques they liked, they reworked them into their own inimitable style. Along with absorbing some of the techniques of other tray-makers, the Zhostovo craftsmen primarily tried to develop their own, local traditions. Painting Trays Zhostovo painting started with "zamalyovka", in which the silhouettes of flowers and leaves, organized into a bouquet composition in the painter's imagination, were sketched in whitened paint. After the initial painting dried, shadows were laid in scumbling (transparent) colors. This shadowing technique immersed the bouquet deep into the background, outlining the shadowy parts of plants. Next came the most important stage of "prokladka"- the thick painting of the main body. The bouquet took shape through minute details and highlights, giving birth to either a contrasting or harmonized composition color scheme. "Blikovka", or highlights emphasized volume and lighting, finalizing the shape and making it conventionally material. The subsequent 'chertyozhka" picked out the details in swift and light outlines of petals and leaves, the veins and seeds in the flower cups. The painting is finished off with "privyazka", the tying up of the bouquet with the background with the help of thin grasses and tendrils. Zhostovo trays have transformed from a household object into fullfledged decorative panels in the course of their history, and the craft which served as auxiliary source of income for farmers, hs acquired the status of unique Russian folk art. Zhostovo craftsmen forcefully develop the historical craft, enriching it with new shapes and new content.
Charming Evening Shining Flowers Still Life
Charming Evening Shining Flowers Still Life
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