Russian folk toys

DymkovoRussian folk toys are well represented by work from a wide variety of centres renowned throughout the country for toy making. In and around Moscow one of the most popular kind of toys is those from Bogorodskoye, which are skiltully carved in wood. They vary in character and degree of complexity, and show great diversity of theme. The lathe-turned toys of Zagorsk have original painted ornamentation with poker-work outlines. Babino craftsmen (Podolsk district) make fascinating miniature toys, brightly coloured and polished.

Russian folk toysPainted toys have been a traditional craft in the Gorky region for centuries. Some are shaped with an axe. In the Gorodets district they are decorated with flowing, free-hand painting, while those from the village of Fedoseyevo are instantly recognisable by their designs of crimson flowers on a brignt yellow ground. Lathe-turned toys are also made in the region.

Those from Semyonov district can be identified by their higly distinctive style of ornamentation; on toys from the Voznesenskoye district colours are intensive, almost violent; in the Gorodets district certain craftsmen are celebrated for their floral, Khokhloma-type patterns.

Hand-modelled toys of fired clay are decorated in a variety of styles. Dymkovo craftsmen favour a fanciful and highly colourful manner, their colleagues in Filimonovo are less exuberant, while those of Kargopol go in for even more subdued colours. In some cases the clay toys are simply colour-glazed.


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