The Russian clay toy was a part of people's life for many centuries. The art of making such things and the traditions of craft were passed down from generation to generation. These seemingly baubles are the embodiment of beauty, labor and lifestyle of the Russian people.
History of the origin of clay toys
On the territory of our country archaeologists have found the most ancient clay toys dating back to the second millennium BC. They were rattles, various utensils and small earthen imitations of tools. During the excavations (Moscow, Ryazan), toys of a later origin were also found. They were of cult significance and were made in the form of figures of people, birds, horses. These toys were created by molding from clay and then roasting in the oven. Sometimes they were decorated with painting and covered with frosting.
The history of the clay toy developed rapidly. Its production in the 17-18 centuries. grew rapidly. Figures were made specifically for sale at the spring fairs. Clay is a plastic and soft material. It was suitable not only for the formation of dishes. She made all kinds of toys-whistles, images of people, birds, animals, rattles (rattles) and much more. Each master had his own style and manner of molding and decorating the product. When Alexei Mikhailovich as souvenirs and gifts, these little things willingly bought the royal court.
At that time, clay toys were sculpted by everyone, from small to large. Engaged in this for the most part in the autumn-winter season, when time, free from rural cares, was abound. And to this day, the national toy of clay does not lose its relevance. Created in all possible variations of form and color, it has the magic ability to bring comfort, warmth and good mood into the house.
National clay toy: differences in origin and manufacturing method
Toys can differ in the composition of clay, taken for crafts, and in the manner of modeling characteristic of this or that kind of product. The best images are made of fatty clay. Basically it is used for making Filimonov toys. Each product is characterized by certain shapes and colors, which depend on the type of clay found in a particular area and its plastic properties.
Clay toys, made before, represent a special branch of pottery, preserved to this day. Expressiveness and simplicity are the main criteria for modeling these products by craftsmen.
Russian ceramic toys are very popular: Abashevsky, Kargopol, Smokovsky, Filimonovskie, etc. This craft has spread to many countries of the world.
Clay toy Kargopolskaya: the history of the revival
The name of these crafts due to their place of origin, the city of Kargopol Arkhangelsk region, or rather the villages around it. It was there that at first the peasants created toys from the most accessible material in these places - clay.
Quite interesting is the history of the revival of this fishery. In relation to other types of craftsmanship, the revival of which was organized in Soviet times, the art of Kargopol toys in Russia at some point was practically lost. However, some samples of products have been preserved and brought to our days thanks to Ulyana Babkina. She was able to give a second life to the once-vanished kind of craft. Clay toys, the photos of which are presented below, reflect all the individuality and peculiarities of places of origin.
Features of appearance of the Kargopol toy
Kargopol crafts, in comparison with their other relatives, are distinguished by their rather archaic appearance. Nevertheless, they are quite recognizable in their style, style and painting.
Subjects are divided into two categories:
- Narrative toys that demonstrate a rural way of life, as well as recreating fabulous stories. Subjects can be completely different - "Girl for washing", "Fishermen", "Three horses" and the like.
- Old types - all kinds of animals, polkan (a man with a horse's body), a shark (a woman with pigeons in her hands).
The most important ritual theme of these toys is the "mother-woman", whose prototypes are the life-giving forces of the "mother-damp earth" and the sun. A favorite figure among the masters of Kargopol is the female figurine "Bobka".
Modern masters can be invented new subjects with the preservation of the signs of the Kargopol toy. This only multiplies the already abundant abundance of images of such handicrafts.
If you follow all the traditions, the painted toy is a whitened figure, decorated with different colors, but without any gloss and unnecessary details. Despite the variety of colors, shades, including bright ones, look quite muffled. Face painting is quite simple.
Painting clay toys is quite simple, but it takes its origin from a long time. Here you can see rectangles, ovals, rhombuses, strokes, stripes, specks, oblique crosses. A set of paints mainly consists of brown, ocher, black, green, brick-red and blue shades. Silver and gold colors are added more rarely.
Clay whistles: their significance and beliefs
Clay toy-whistles began to be perceived as a child's play relatively recently. Earlier, in the time of pagan gods, these figures wore magical significance. They were used to scare away evil spirits.
The Pinega conspiracy says that the toy is capable of luring out illnesses. The same purpose was used by various whistles. They were often sculpted in the form of various animals and birds, which, in general, were the traditional theme of Russian folk toys.
In the Tula region, there were beliefs that whistles could remove damage from a person and return it to the one who sent it. These or other kinds of figurines could relieve various hurts. As a rule, they were placed in front of the window to protect the child from evil and disease.
In the 19th century, an ancient rite was held in Vyatka with the use of a toy whistle, designed to drive out evil forces and attract good ones. This holiday was called "Svistoplyaska" or "Whistler". These days adults and children whistled into clay whistles, indulged in dances and fun.
What is the individuality of crafts made of clay?
Considering all the works of early and modern masters, including foreign ones, one can see an abundant variety of whistle crafts. It depends on many factors, including a picchoo - a tool for piercing holes in a toy. By the length of all the tools are almost identical - from 80 mm to 100 mm. However, the cross-section can be very varied - round, oval or rectangular.
Each master's birthing is his personal tool, made by himself, so the technique is different for everyone, and the result, accordingly, differs from the others. Nevertheless, there are known ways to make whistles absolutely without any adaptations, where only hands are used.
Importance of hand-made articles in the modern world
Making clay toys is an individual process for every person. Such activities are very useful in school circles. With their help, one can evoke in children an interest and love for world culture, develop motor skills, artistic taste, train perseverance, perseverance and patience.
Properties of clay, applicable for the manufacture of toys
It is easy to guess that clay toys, including whistles, are made of clay. In its natural form, it can be found in various colors, but usually after firing it changes color to white or red. Therefore, it began to be called "white-tailed" or "red-hot".
Red-claying clay is most widespread. It, as a rule, occurs on the shores of lakes and rivers, ravines and slopes. It can also be found on construction sites during excavation.
But you should know that natural or living clay is not always suitable for making crafts, because it often contains all kinds of impurities - small stones, sand and the like. Clay with a sand content of up to 5% is called "greasy", and the one in which the share of sand reaches 30%, is called "lean".
To produce a quality whistle, you should take a medium-fat material (10-15%).
Preparation of material for work
Clay dough, or ceramic mass, is a mixture that has undergone a certain technological process, after which it is ready for making pottery. On an industrial scale, special machines are used for this - presses, screens, ball mills, etc. But for making it in a small amount, the whole process can be simplified.
- Recruit clay in your career. A small amount of material should be pre-burned in the oven to ensure its suitability for work.
- On a clean surface, decompose the lumps and dry them.
- Then crush them and remove the existing impurities of chips, stones, loaves, etc.
- In the ground mass add water at the rate of three parts of the liquid and one part of the clay. Stir the solution thoroughly.
- Let the mass settle until the heaviest part (stones with sand) settles to the bottom. The remaining clarified water should be carefully drained.
- Bury the middle layer of clay and immerse it in a plaster bath or bucket.
- Allow the mixture to dry until a thick dough, then during work it will not stick to your hands.
- Knead the clay in order to remove excess air bubbles.
- The quality of the material can be checked as follows: roll a tourniquet with a diameter of 15-20 mm, bend it slowly in half. If the place of inflection remains smooth, without cracks or practically without them, then this mass is suitable for making whistles.
- For reliable preservation, the resulting mass should be placed in a cellophane bag and sealed tightly. In this form, clay can persist for several months. In a dry lump, you can add a small amount of water and rinse it thoroughly.
If in your plans - to make only a couple of whistles, try to use the material available to you without the above-described pre-treatment. Clay from some deposits is already ready for use. If it is not possible to prepare the material in the listed ways, then it can be purchased at the enterprises that manufacture ceramic products, in art shops or online stores.