Khokhloma painting

Tags: souvenirs, nizhny novgorod
Souvenirs from Russia

Khokhloma painting is stunningly bright, beautiful, and is characterized by golden luster. The handicraft evolved in the XVII century, not far from Nizhny Novgorod.

Khokhloma craftsmen used to paint wooden utensils and furniture. By some account, the Old Believers actively participated in the creation of the handicraft. In those days they lived in the Novgorod Province. According to another version of the story, painting on wooden products with the use of tin powder was known in large handicraft villages, such as Semenovskoye and Lyskovo, even before the Old Believers. The mentioned village of Semenovskoye has long since become a city. The city of Semenov is one of the major centers of Khokhloma painting.

A characteristic feature of Khokhloma painting is a black background on which floral or animal print patterns is painted in red, green and gold. Scarlet strawberries, bunches of ripe ashberries, twigs, leaves, birds, fish and animals.
The expression "to kick baklushi" means to idle around and waste time. In fact, the process is quite time-consuming, but does not require special skills; hence the negative sense of the expression. Baklushi are semifinished wooden billets used to craft tableware and utensils. The finished products are made from baklushi on a turning machine, then they are primed with vapa (liquid clay, purified in a special way), and dried. The finished product is covered by several layers of linseed oil, and when the last layer is practically dried up tin powder is rubbed in manually to get a high gloss finish, using a special swab made from sheep wool. And then it’s time to paint. Khokhloma painting is made with black, red and yellow oil paint. Green is allowed for floral motifs. The results are incredible, original and beautiful products!

You can see artists at work and buy useful and beautiful souvenirs at one of the two Khokhloma painting centers: in Semenov - in addition to the "Khokhloma Painting" factory there is the "Semenovskaya Painting" factory - and in the village of Semino of the Koverninsky District, in the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast.