By guest bloggers Anastasia and Natalie of Parents’ Ideas
“Russia is the biggest country according to
its territory. Half of its lands lie in the Polar circle
and beyond the Arctic circle. It is also a country with
the biggest amount and territory of wood (22 per
cent of the world forests are in Russia).
The capital of Russia is Moscow. The Moscow Kremlin
is situated in the very center of the capital of Russia.
Since 1991, the Kremlin has been the official residence of
the President of the Russian Federation. The ensemble
of the Moscow Kremlin has been included in the
UNESCO World Heritage List.
The Cathedral of Basil the Blessed is a Russian
Orthodox cathedral erected on the Red Square in
Moscow in 1555–1561. It marks the geometric
center of the city. The design of the building
has no analogues in Russian architecture.
The Russian language is spoken by
278 million Earthlings (fifth most of all languages).
Lake Baikal situated in the south of
Eastern Siberia is the deepest and most
ancient freshwater lake in the world.
Yury Gagarin, a soviet cosmonaut: on 12 April 1961,
he became the first human in outer space and
the first to orbit the Earth.
A fox is the most famous trickster in Russian folk tales.
In ancient Russia a frog was put into
the milk to keep it fresh and cool.
Only 4 kms separate Russia and
the USA in the closest point”.
A Pottery Bird :: Russian Dyimkovsky Toys
appeared in the 15th century when Tzar Ivan III
moved the inhabitants of Ustyug the Great to wild
lands which were called Dyimka (now being a district
of Vyatka) trying to bend them to his will and Moscow.
During spring holidays, these people organized cheerful
activities, a clay penny whistle being a symbol of them.
When the holiday ended, the whistles were placed on the
window-sills between the frames. Some time later, they
started making all kinds of clay animals and people.
Each Dymkovskaya Toy is a handmade work of art
which has no copies. What is the difference between
Dyimkovskaya toy and other toys made of clay? It is the
snowish white which carries a festive but simple pattern
made of geometric figures.
The technique of making a Dyimkovsky toy is very
simple. The toy is made of red clay mixed with river
sand. The figures are made from elements which are
connected with each other with liquid clay. Then the
toy is dried, fired (at 800 degrees Celsius temperature)
and covered with chalk mixed with milk. The final
stage is the decoration with colourful patterns.
Nowadays, one can use any kind of clay and
industrial whitewash when making such toys.
On the other hand, it is not so easy to make a
clay toy which is light and steady at the same time.
Each plant making such toys in Russia does not
allow the secrets of preparation leave its walls.
Today we suggest you to make such a bird:
How To Make A Russian Clay Bird
(please click on all pictures to see them larger)
a jar of water
a towel (for the hands to be always dry)
clay mixed with water (it should be soft like plasticine)
a wet cotton napkin/piece of cloth (to keep the clay covered)
The clay should be neither too dry nor too soft.
The elements which Dyimkovskaya toys are made from:
a ball, a “sausage” and a “drop”.
The stages of making the Bird:
For the body:
a ball is turned into a flat cake,
a cup is made of the flat cake,
the edges of the cup are put together and
a “dumpling” is made which is hollow inside.
For the leg:
a ball is turned into a drop,
the lower edge of the drop (=leg) is made
concaved (for steadiness) and the upper
edge of the drop is turned into a cradle
(the edges of the cradle are
sharpened) to be connected to the body.
Before connecting the body and the leg, the place
of their meeting is moistened with water with the
help of a brush. The bodyand the leg are joined
and are grinded in with rotator movements.
For the head:
The head is a ball the diameter of which is
a bit smaller than the diameter of the breast.
The neck is made like the leg but the cradles
are made both at the lower and upper edges.
The lower end is joined with the body and
the upper end – with the head.
For the tail:
make a flat cake from a ball,
at its lower edge prepare a groove
matching the back of the body.
Stick the tail to the body. It is important that
the tail and the head should be symmetrical.
For the beak:
The beak is a pointed drop.
It is attached to the middle of the head.
For the wings:
Make two drops and
flatten them into leaves,
cradle one edge and
stick the leaves to the body.
One can decorate the head with a ball or a flat
cake (like a beret). It can also look like a cock’s crest.
The breast and the neck are
decorated with a small beard.
The wings and the tail can be
decorated with drops and flat cakes.
Drying and Baking
The toy is being dried up during about 24 hours
(depends on its thickness). The baking is made in a
special oven at 800 degrees (Celsius temperature).
In Russian villages, for baking toys people gather
all of them from all the houses of the village and stoke
up fire in the brick oven for 24 hours changing each
other on duty. It is impossible to make the baking
in the home oven. But one can do without baking.
The toy which has not been baked is not so solid but
one can use it both for playing and decoration.
Priming and Painting
The traditional toy was primed with a mixture
of flour and skimmed milk. Now the toys are
primed with white acrylic or water-dispersion paints.
The priming should be ideally white.
For painting, it is better to use acrylic paints
as they do not soil when being touched. The paint
should be diluted till it becomes like liquid sour cream.
The strokes should be even and not transparent.
The Elements of Painting
Ancient signs which have got a meaning:
a circle means the sun, a ring is an amulet, a line
is a road, dots are human traces and a “river”
is a river. The painting consists of these elements.
In May 2009, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev
visited Kirovsky Museum of Art named after Vasnetsov
brothers. The climax point of the excursion was the
exhibition of Dyumkovsky toys in one of the halls.
The President was suggested to model a toy.
“I have done your errand, - finally said the President
showing the toy he had made and starting painting it”.
Afterwards, he shared his impressions, “Super! For
a long time I hadn’t made and experienced such things!”
A Russian Dish - Vareniki
Russians love making and eating vareniki- a
kind of stuffed dumplings. For a step-by-step tutorial
please click on this link at Parents' Ideas."
Russia is brought to you by guest bloggers
Anastasia and Natalie of Parents’ Ideas. They are
married mums and live in two different cities of
Russia. Anastasia and Natalie are mostly interested
in parents’ ideas, tips and tricks on how to make
household chores a joyful activity and the process
of the child’s upbringing rich and absorbing for
all the members of the family. On the pages of
their blog they are sharing their parental experience
and the experience of other parents which includes
parents’ tips, arts and crafts and
recipes of tasty dishes.
If you have any questions about Russia
please leave them in the comments in the
next few days and Anastasia and Natalie
will answer them!
Links of Interest: