Russian Matreshka

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Russian Matreshka.

Good morning ladies and gentlemen! My name is Elena , I am from Russia. I am glad to be here today and make a presentation for you. The topic of my presentation is a Matreshka. I chose this topic as Matreshka is a traditional Russian souvenir, a doll, a toy and children played with such a toy even hundred years ago in Russia. Also Matreshka is a symbol of Russia, and considered to be one of the phenomenon in the world folk art. It is very popular not only with the connoisseurs of the language, history and culture of country but also by those who just begin their acquaintance with Russia. Nowadays, it is ok to find Matreshkas in every souvenir shop, in any house, especially if there is a small child in the family. So, every Russian person has to know about Matreshka and how it is produced. I think it will be also interesting for you to listen to this information and to look at this Russian doll. My presentation will be just an explanation of the process of making a Matreshka and it will last for about 5 min. If you have any questions, I will be glad to answer them at the end of me speech.

It is hard to imagine now that only about one hundred years ago Matreshka has not existed at all. The first one appeared only at the end of the 1th century when a new artistic trend known as Russian style appeared. The legendary Matreshka was made in the workshop Childrens Education . Owner gathered in his studio highly qualified creative toy makers who had talent, initiative and fantasy.

A famous predecessor and prototype of Russian nesting doll was brought to Russia from the Island of Honshu (Japan), by the way the Japanese claimed that the first doll of such type was made by uknown Russian monk. It was a figurine of a good-natured bold headed old man, Buddhist sage. Now this figurine is kept in the Artistic Pedagogical Museum of Toys in Sergiev Posad (Russia). But whatever the case, Russian craftsmen liked the idea, and Matreshka was born. A professional artist named Sergei Malyutin made the first sketches of Matreskha at the beginning of the 180s

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In provincial Russia the name Matrena was a very popular female. It was associated with the image of a mother of a big family who was very healthy and had a portly figure. Even now Matreskha is considered to be a symbol of motherhood and fertility. A mother doll with numerous dolls-children perfectly expresses the oldest symbol of human culture.

So, now about the process of making Matreshka

First, it is important to choose the proper type of wood. Because of its softness, linden wood is generally chosen, less often alder or birch. After the trees are cut down, usually in early spring, they are stripped of most of their bark, leaving just enough to prevent the wood from cracking while it dries. The logs are then left stacked for several years so that they can enjoy proper circulation of air as they dry.

The cutting of the wood needs to be done at the right time, when it is neither too dry nor too damp. Only an expert can determine when it is just right. Then the wood is processed and cut according to necessary shape and size. The next step, each Matreshka is diveded in two parts in the middle, horizontally. Then empty space is cut out inside these two pieces. The same procedure is used for all Matreshka doll. The smallest Matreshka doll in the series is made first. The number of Matreshka dolls held one within the other varies from to 60. The largest Matreshka may be as tall as its maker! When each Matreshka is finished, it is covered with a starchy glue that fills in any hollows in the surface. The final drying begins, and the Matreshka doll is polished to a smooth surface to enable the painter to spread the paint evenly. Then the Matreshka is given its inimitable style.Every Real Painter has his own style. The painter creates unique work. The painter puts a part of own soul and love into work. After the pictures are ready, dolls are covered by the several layers of the lacquer. The lacquer adds glint to the doll and defends the pictures. Each locality developed its own style and form of decoration. Different themes are featured flowers, churches, icons, folktales, family themes, even political leaders and celebrities.

An artist named Sikorskii was one of the first whose Matreshkas became popular with the public. His dolls bring the highest prices, with individual sets costing as much as ,000 US dollars. His success stimulated other artists, and during the past nine years, Matreshka-making has been given an energetic push.

And in conculsion, Id like to say that Matreshka is both sculpture and painting, image and soul of Russia.. Thank you for your attention. Do you have any questions?

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