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Wood Carvings from Russia:wood carving, Abramtsevo, Sergiev Posad

As the sun rise warms the frigid cold of the morning splendor, massive tarps are removed from the various displays of vendor delight. It's market day. Craftsman from all over the region make the exhausting trek south, here, to offer their individual pieces of imagination to the wide eyed buyers gathered in frenzy. A glorious rainbow of magnificent craftsmanship decorates the cobble-stone street which has been transformed into something magical. History, family and tradition are as much a part of this morning as the time and effort it took to compose such delicate artistry. The smell of fresh lacquer coats the air as the vendors finish final preparations for the long day ahead. And what is it all for? The reason for such? Not for wealth of pocket and ego. Nor fame or profound recognition. It is done for that smile. That child that is intrigued by such fanciful beauty. Their world will change as they grow. Now, it is a time for story. Now, it is their moment to enjoy. There are several artistic mediums, all their own, and all worth exploring. Today, our adventure takes us down the river of creativity, docking in the harbor of exceptional talent. The unique artistry of wood carving will be explored. Original detail in timeless fashion. The tide rolls in. Calm currents of salty sea roll inland with poetic motion. As the tiny waves break against the aged shoreline, various materials, natural and manmade, appear upon the beach. A shard of wood. No bigger than a loaf of bread drifts slowly to a stop between the grains of sand. It is merely there. But, what possibilities. Bogorodskoye wood carving. This famous folk craft of the Moscow region traces it's roots back to the mid-17th century. Carved into the shape of toys, dolls and symbolic figurines; such as holiday nativity scenes; these creations born from the bark of lime trees, are some of the most unique elements of a medium that has been passed down through the ages. In was in 1913 when Handicraftsman toy-carving Guild had been organized in the village Bogorodskoye by support of the District Council. Much later, in 1993, it was given the name Bogorodsky Rezchik. Wood has always been a favorite tool among traditional craftsman while working with this folk handicraft. The Russian North is also well known for producing highly skilled wood craftsman. The articles created here were aimed at renaissance and conservation. In 1968 the Folk Craft Enterprise was established, eventually named Belomorskiye Uzory. Establishments such as these pave the way for such prominent foundations as the Moscow Applied Arts School. The school trains folk masters in such specialties as decorative painting on wood, paper-mache and wood-carving. Today there are about two hundred masters working at the factory-they are wood carvers, painters, and extremely gifted toy makers. Carved from imagination and desire, these pieces reflect craft, patience and an ability to give new life to an otherwise stationary reflection in our mind's eye. The detail is fascinating, the idea priceless. The options are endless. An artist dreams and it is created. Decoratively carved sculptures and toys are still developing as trends. The new generation of artists have been creating new works consonant to Russian folk-lore, fairy-tales and even poetry. Valuable contributions. Information gathered from the well scripted pages of "Folk Handicrafts of Russia," designed by Aleksi A. Vishtal'uk.