Crafts Around the World
Series 1300 – Program
1308 - Russia
Russia, the largest country in the world, is located in northern Eurasia. It also has the largest reserves of energy and mineral resources. Many of the traditions are influenced by early Byzantine and Slavic cultures. Our first project is an onion dome - a beautiful example of Russian architecture. The onion dome is characteristic of Russian orthodox churches throughout Russia, including St. Basil’s Cathedral located in the Red Square in Moscow. The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of an enemy. A Greek cross with four arms of equal length tops the brilliantly colored onion dome. Then, we make our version of a matryoshka or nested doll using foam. Matryoshka dolls or nested dolls are the most famous traditional souvenir of Russia. Most are dolls but owls are another popular design. The next project is a lacquer box. Russian paper maché boxes are made by pressing layers of paper with resins under great pressure. The base is painted black with a brightly colored picture painted with an artist hand. Some of the detail is so fine that a single squirrel hair is used as a brush. The box is finished with many coats of lacquer. The last project is a Fabergé style egg with a hidden surprise inside. The house of Fabergé is a jewelry firm founded in 1842 in imperial Russia, producing Fabergé eggs for the Russian tsars. Most are miniatures and usually made of precious metals or stones, decorated with enamel or gem stones.
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