Now goes the story about one folk craft that would die if asmall group of enthusiasts don't sustain it.
Konstantin and Elena Kekhaidi have been producing Filimonovclay toys for 30 years. They say the craft is 700 years old and the firstmaster was a fugitive convict Filimon. It's him who taught people to make toysfrom clay, and after him a village in the Tula region was called - Filimonovo.
In fact it was not that romantic. These places do not havefertile soil but have a lot of bluish clay. So people study pottery. Women madeclay toys. Men - pots.
The craft went down after the revolution: selling toys wasequal to speculation, people were put into prisons for that. 30 years ago therewere only few babushkas who could make toys from clay. Then a small group ofpeople decided to continue the work.
By now Filimonov toy moved to Odoev where some familiesproduce it. In Filimonovo people get even surprised when told that Filimonovtoy used to be made there.
Elena is modelling workpieces of toys from clay. Konstantinpaints burned toys.
They still extract clay in Filimonovo and Odoev. It's thefuture lady with roosters.
Toys are burnt in an electric kiln.
Painting with aniline colors: yellow, crimson and green.More seldom: violet and blue.
Painting depends on imagination. Main details are zigzags,herring-bone patterns, the sun, berries...
Faces are either not paited at all or don't have manydetails. In ancient time people were afraid of an evil eye.
Main characters - ladies, riders, soldiers, animals. Eachtoy is a pennywhistle, by the way.
All steps of production
Other clay things masters make
Some toys from a local museum
The craftsmen work in the school of arts where they teach kids.Many children have nice results. Let us hope that it will contribute topreservation of Russian culture the most people don't care much about.