What are the patterns of Khokhloma?
A word like “Khokhloma” is known to many, and some even know what it means. These are unique patterns that came to us from the Middle Ages. And what does such a painting look like? And where is it used?
What it is?
Khokhloma is an old Russian craft that first appeared in Nizhny Novgorod in the 17th century. Initially, this painting was used for processing or decoration of furniture and dishes made from wood. But today it has become more widespread.
A bit of history
The history of the Khokhloma painting dates back to the Middle Ages. If you believe one of the legends, then a man lived in the Nizhny Novgorod forests on the river bank long ago. No one knew how he appeared in these parts, but many managed to find out that he was a craftsman.
This man cut dishes from wood and painted it in such a way that it seemed as if it was made of gold. The king ordered to find the master and lead. But he disappeared in an unknown direction, but he taught the murals of all the inhabitants of the surrounding villages.
According to another version, the idea of such a painting belongs to the Old Believers.There is also an opinion that Khokhloma appeared before the Old Believers. One way or another, but today the village of Kovernino, located in Nizhny Novgorod, is considered the birthplace of such a craft.
How are products made?
Manufacturing technology products with Khokhloma painting is not easy. First, coarse billets (made of baklushi) are made of wood. Then the master, using a lathe, removes all wood surplus with a chisel. Gradually, the workpiece acquires the shape of a future product, and then gets the final desired shape.
Next, the blanks are ground with purified liquid clay, then dried for 7 or 8 hours, and then covered with linseed oil (linseed oil) in several layers. In this case, the master dips a tampon into the oil prepared from calf or sheep skin, with which he rubs the linseed oil into the surface, distributing it evenly throughout the workpiece.
When the oil dries “tack-free” (this is a condition in which the surface has dried, but still adheres slightly to the fingers), the next stage begins - tinning. Aluminum powder is rubbed into the product, which gives the mirror-silver shine.
Then begins the most interesting, namely the painting. Masters use oil paints of red and black colors (they are considered basic), as well as green, yellow, white and brown.
Moreover, real craftsmen never draw contours, but immediately draw a picture. Typically, several special tools are used to create drawings: a brush (it applies thin elegant patterns) “frog” and “poke” (a piece of sheep wool) with which the masters draw the bases of flowers and berries, as well as stencils used for applying geometric ornaments.
When the product is completely painted, it will be varnished in several layers, and then placed in a furnace heated to about 150 degrees, and left there for several hours. As a result, a lacquer-oil golden thin film is formed, and the surface will acquire a glossy sheen and a beautiful shade.
What do the patterns look like?
Khokhloma Russian and Ukrainian patterns are made in natural themes and consist of plant elements, such as berries and blades of grass. All of them in the photo and in life look cute and gentle, due to the lack of sharp corners and straight lines.The prevailing curls, spirals, soft lines.
There are two main techniques for creating patterns: horse and background. At the first, the master applies openwork drawings in black or red paint on the background of the product. With the background technique, the background can be black or red, and the drawings themselves are applied with gold paint and some others.
There are several groups of ornaments:
- Herbal painting. Vegetative ornaments which look as field and meadow grasses prevail. Spikelets, curls, stalks and so on can occur.
- Painting "for berry" or "under the leaf". In this case, in the painting you can see oval leaves, flowers, as well as berries. This pattern is more interesting and complex.
- "Gingerbread". Usually in the center of the product is drawn a geometric shape (square or rhombus), which is decorated with curls, blades of grass, berries, flowers. In the center of the figure is drawn a symbolic sun.
- "Kudrin." On a red or black background is a lot of curls, painted with golden paint.
The main elements of the painting:
- Osochka. It looks like a bracket and is drawn with a slight movement of the brush tip from top to bottom.
- Droplet. The brush is simply applied to the paper.
- A blade of grass is a brush stroke with a smooth slight thickening in the middle.
- A bar is a continuous line of one thickness, twisted into a spiral.
- Curl. This element is performed as a tendril, but twists less, and in its middle there is a considerable thickening.
- The bush consists of several blades of grass, droplets, antennae, sedges and curls, placed symmetrically.
- The berry is drawn by a strip of paper folded into a tube.
Today Khokhloma is a very fashionable pattern, which is used not only by craftsmen, but also by designers of furniture and clothing. For example, the famous designer Denis Simachev produced a whole line decorated with Khokhloma ornaments. His clothes look stylish, youth and bright, thanks to which is very popular.
Now you know everything about Khokhloma.