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Ivanovo Oblast , Lackey

Kholuy - miniature lacquer painting

Холуй - лаковая миниатюра
Фотобанк Лори

The history of Kholuy as a trade and industrial village can be divided into three periods, if we take into account the employment of the population in a particular commercial activity. The prosperity of the population in different periods was based on salt making, icon painting, and lacquer painting.

Staring from the 18th century, the art of icon painting began to develop rapidly, in part thanks to the constantly growing demand for icons. The icons created here were sent to the northern regions of Russia — Vologda, Arkhangelsk, Olonetsk, Saint Petersburg, and even the capital. Moreover, the craftsmen of Kholuy received orders from other countries, including Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Serbia.

«After a long period of experimentation, the artists came up with a technique of lacquer painting on paper-mache. The first experiments with miniature painting were made in 1932. Such artists from Kholuy as Palekha and Mstera were the founders of a new art — Russian miniature lacquer painting on paper-mache,» V. Chirkin, the director of the Russkaya Lakovaya Miniatura company, tells us.

All stages of creating lacquered jewel-boxes are carried out by hand. It is a long and laborious process that guarantees the lacquer miniature will endure many years. The artists create and choose paints individually. They work with egg tempera — a mixture of vinegar, water, egg yolk, and pigment. Then they apply leaf-gold and polish it using wolves» teeth. Then the object is lacquered not less than five times and polished. The whole process is made by gentle women's, or rather girl's, hands.

The golden period of lacquer miniature was in the 1950-60s. Contemporary examples regularly participate in fairs in Russia and other countries. They receive awards and medals. There are both experienced and honored as well as young and talented craftsmen in Kholuy.

Site on the map

Phone number: +7 (4934) 72-09-96
Address: Ivanovo oblast, Yuzhskiy district, Kholuy village, Molodezhnaya st., 3

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