Russian clay toy was part of the lives of the people for many centuries. The art of making these gizmos and crafts tradition passed down from generation to generation. These seemingly baubles are the epitome of beauty, work and lifestyle of the Russian people.
The origin story of clay toys
On the territory of our country archeologists found the most ancient clay toys related to the second Millennium BC. They were a rattle, various utensils and a small clay crock of tools. During the excavations (Moscow, Ryazan) were found and toy of more recent origin. They carried religious significance was made in the form of figures of people, birds, horses. Created these toys by sculpting in clay and subsequent firing in a kiln. Sometimes they were decorated with paintings and covered with glaze.
The history of clay toys have developed rapidly. Its production in the 17th and 18th centuries, were growing rapidly. Figures began to be produced specifically for sale at the spring fairs. Clay is plastic and soft material. It was suitable not only for forming glassware. From her sculpted all sorts of toys-whistles, images of people, birds, animals, gramatiski (rattles) and more. Each artist had their own style and manner of sculpting and decoration products. When Alexis as Souvenirs and gifts these little things are willingly to purchase the Royal court.
At that time clay toys were all molded, from small to large. Did it mostly in the autumn-winter season, when the time available from rural concerns, was enough. To this day folk toys made of clay does not lose its relevance. Created in all kinds of shapes and colors, she has a magical ability to bring home the comfort, warmth and good mood.
Folk clay toys: differences in origin and method of manufacture
Toys can vary in composition of clay, taken for DIY, and style of sculpture peculiar to that particular type of products. Best molded images of fat clay. It is primarily used for the manufacture of filimonovo toys. Each product is characteristic of certain forms and colors, which depend on the type of clay found in a particular locality, and its plastic properties.
Clay toys made previously, are a special branch of pottery that have remained to this day. Expressiveness and simplicity are the main criteria modeling of these folk artists.
Great popularity use Russian ceramic toy: Abashevskaya, Kargopol, Dymov, filimonovskaya, etc. This craft became popular in many countries of the world.
Clay toys of Kargopol: the history of the Renaissance
His name these crafts owe their origin to the town of Kargopol, Arkhangelsk region, or rather of the villages around it. It was there at first the peasants had created toys of the most affordable of any material – clay.
Pretty interesting history of the revival of this craft. Compared to other types of skill, the revival which was organized in Soviet times, the art of the Kargopol toys in Russia at some point it was almost lost. However, some products have managed to preserve till our days thanks to Ulyana Babkina. She was able to give a second life to once-extinct species of craft. Clay toys, photos of which are presented below reflect the entire personality and characteristics of their origin.
Features of the appearance of Kargopol toys
Kargopol DIY, compared to their other relatives, are quite archaic. However they are fairly recognizable by their facial features, style and painting.
Subjects conditionally divided into 2 categories:
- Story toys showing the village lifestyle, as well as recreating fairy tales. Themes can be completely different – "the girl behind the wash", "Fishermen", "three horses" and the like.
- Vintage types are all kinds of animals, Polkan (the man with the body of a horse), Keeper (woman with pigeons in hands).
The most important ritual theme of these toys is the "woman-mother", the prototype of which is the life-giving power of "mother damp earth" and the sun. A favorite among Kargopol masters is a female figure "Bobok".
Modern masters can be invented new stories with preservation of the signs of the Kargopol toys. It only multiplies the already rich abundance of images of these craft.
If you follow all the traditions, painted the toy is a white-washed figure, painted different colors, but without any gloss and unnecessary details. Despite the variety of colors, shades, including bright, looks quite muted. Face painting is simple enough.
Painted clay toys is fairly simple, but it takes its origin from ancient times. Here you can see rectangles, ovals, diamonds, lines, stripes, speckles, oblique crosses. The ink set consists mainly of brown, ocher, black, green, brick red and blue shades. Less added silver and gold paint.
Clay whistles: their value and beliefs
As a children's fun clay toys-penny whistles become accepted relatively recently. Earlier, in the days of pagan gods, these figures were magical value. They were used to scare away evil forces.
Pinega conspiracy States that the toy is able to win over diseases. The same purpose and had various whistles. They are often sculpted in the shape of various animals and birds which, in General, and was a traditional theme of Russian folk toys.
In the Tula region there were beliefs that whistles could remove the damage from the person and return it to whoever sent it. Certain types of figures can get rid of various ailments. As a rule, they were placed in front of the window to protect baby from evil and disease.
In the 19th century, the Vyatka was performed the ancient ritual with the use of toy whistles, intended to expel evil forces and attract good. This holiday was called "Pandemonium" or "Svistunya". These days adults and children whistling in clay whistles, indulged in dancing and merriment.
What is the individuality of hand-made articles from clay?
Considering all the work early and modern masters, including foreign, you can see a rich variety cvetkovich DIY. It depends on many factors, including from birdie – tool for piercing holes in the toy. The length of all tools is almost identical — from 80 mm to 100 mm. But the cross section can be very diverse – round, oval or rectangular.
Birdie every master is his personal tool, made by him, so the technology is all different, and the result is accordingly different from the others. However, there are ways to make whistles with absolutely no devices, in which only the hands.
The value of the crafts in the modern world
Making clay toys is an individual process for each person. Very useful this kind of training in school clubs. They can be used to cause in children interest and love for world culture, develop motor skills, artistic taste, to train perseverance, persistence and patience.
Properties of clay, applicable for the manufacture of toys
Unsurprisingly, clay toys, including whistles made of clay. In natural form it can be found in various colors, but usually after firing, it changes its color to white or red. So it became known as "white-burning" or "krasnogruda".
Deposits of clay
Krasnogruda clay is most prevalent. It usually occurs on shores of lakes and rivers, ravines and slopes. You can also find it on construction sites when digging ditches.
But you should know that natural or living clay is not always suitable for Handicrafts, as it often contains various impurities, small stones, sand and the like. Clay with sand content of up to 5% is called "fat", and one in which the proportion of sand up to 30% is called "lean."
To produce high quality whistle, should take the material of average fat content (10-15%).
Preparation of material to work
Clay dough, or ceramic material is a mixture, past a certain process, after which it is ready for the making of pottery. On an industrial scale for this purpose, special machines – presses, screens, ball mills, etc. But for making it in a small amount the entire process can be simplified.
- To gain a career in clay. A small lump of material should first be annealed in a kiln to ensure its suitability for the job.
- On a clean surface spread out the clumps and dry.
- Next, crush them and remove any impurities chips, stones, blades of grass, etc.
- In powdered mixture add water at the rate of three parts liquid and one part clay. The solution is thoroughly mixed.
- Give mass to stand until the bottom settles the most difficult part (stones and sand). The remaining clarified water should be carefully drained.
- You take out the middle layer of clay and dip it in a plaster tub or bucket.
- Let the mixture dry to a thick dough, then during operation it will not stick to hands.
- Knead the clay to remove excess air bubbles.
- The quality of the material can be checked in the following way: roll a harness with a diameter of 15-20 mm, bend it slowly in half. If the bend remained smooth, without cracks or almost without them, it means that this mass is used for making whistles.
- To reliably maintain the resulting mass to put in a plastic bag and tightly close it. In this form, the clay may persist for several months. In the dried lump you can add a small amount of water and perimate it carefully.
If your plan is to make only a couple of whistles, try to use the available material without the above described preprocessing. Some clay deposits are ready to use. If you cannot prepare the material listed ways, then it can be purchased at the enterprises engaged in the manufacture of ceramic products, art shops or online stores.