Filimonovo toy – One of the oldest surviving handicrafts, Filimonovo toys are more than seven hundred years old. The artisanry emerged in the area due to rich deposits of a special clay named Sinika. It was used not only to make toys, but also for crockery.
Pennywhistle toys have remained the main product of the Filimonovo factory through today.
Sinika is blue clay with some unusual properties. It is very oily, which complicates the process of modeling – it tends to crack while drying and the cracks have to be repeatedly smoothed, which gives the figurines that very distinctive, disproportionately refined form. During the tempering the clay changes its color to bright white.
The main motifs of Filimonovo toys are animals and humans. Animal figurines are graceful and elongated. You can tell them apart by the form of their horns and ears. Ladies with babies and gentlemen are far less graceful; they remind you of more primitive sculptures. Another very famous motif is the lovers, represented by two figures embracing one another.
Filimonovo toys are not primed! The painting is laid directly on the clay with acrylic paint of maroon, yellow, and green colors. Animals are characterized by a combination of stripes and single color elements. Pagan motifs are widely used.
The village of Filimonovo is located in the Odoevo district of the Tula Oblast. In the small town of Odoevo there is a Filimonovo Toy museum.