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- The Matryoshka Nesting Dolls feature the ten pieces
- The boasts authentic style, finely detailed in rich folk tradition and crafted of solid wood
- This Matryoshka Nesting Dolls set comes in one larger doll and nine smaller ones nesting inside each other
- Each wooden figure is exquisitely hand-carved and hand-painted in Russia to match the dolls in the book
- Size: 27 x 12.5cm/10.63 x 4.92in(L x W)
- Material: Wood
- These Matryoshka Nesting Dolls set include10 pieces in different sizes
- Made of high quality wood material, the Wood Nesting Dolls are very soft to touch
- Don't wait too long - this set of Adorable Nesting Dolls is a good opportunity for you or somebody you love to dream a little
History of a Matryoshka Doll:
Matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nesting dolls, are familiar around the world. The concept of one-inside-another has been used in other types of stacking toys, but the magical appeal of each colorful, hand painted Matryoshka doll has delighted children and adults alike for more than a century.
- Matryoshka is a regional female name in Russia; there are many popular variations. Matryoshka personifies a mother of a large family, a woman who is happy, healthy and well fed. The name represents fertility and motherhood. Nesting dolls are symbolic of Russia; they are globally recognized as fine Russian folk art.
- Early History
- The first Russian Matryoshka dolls were made in 1890 in the "Children's Education" workshop . An earlier nesting doll of a laughing bald man had been made by a Russian monk on Honshu, Japan. It is now in the Artistic Pedagogical Museum of Toys in Sergiev Posad, Russia.
- Russian artisans had already perfected the technique of creating nesting objects. They were experts at crafting nested sets of wooden eggs and apples.
- Nesting dolls have been popular play dolls from their beginning. Doll sets might represent fairy tale characters, historical events, or political figures. They are highly prized by collectors and are one of the most popular travel souvenirs from Russia. Matryoshkas were frequently custom made as wedding decorations or for special celebrations.
- Some dolls were created to reflect ethnic or cultural groups. Peasants, gypsies, and royalty have all been represented. Early dolls were often decorated by "porking", or burning, the design onto the wood. The technique sometimes created slight relief surfaces. Antique porked designs acquire a desirable patina.
- Traditional Matryoshka dolls are hand turned on a lathe. No measuring is done. The artist relies on experience and skill to achieve the accuracy needed to make the dolls fit together. The carving process is specialized; apprentices learn from masters.
- Birch is a common wood used in traditional dolls. Other woods are also used. When the doll blanks have been carved and the artist has painstakingly made sure that the fit is correct for each piece, it is time to paint the dolls. The wood is first sealed, and then the hand painting begins. Souvenir Matroyshka dolls are painted in bright colors, and they often are holding baskets, toys or pets.
- Modern souvenir Matroyshkas may be copycat versions that are molded or pressed from wood products. Each doll in a traditional Matroyshka, though, is carved from a single piece of wood.
- Matryoshka dolls are made in all sizes. Some are so tiny that they are carved and painted using a magnifying glass. Others are quite large, fifteen inches or so. There is no standard number of dolls made to nest inside. Three or four are just as appropriate as 30.
- Children's play Matryoshkas were sometimes made in a "pocket-size" so they were easy to carry along.
How to Make Matryoshka Dolls:
- Matryoshka dolls, also known as nesting dolls, are a popular element of Russian folk art. They are usually a set of dolls that fit within each other, hence "nesting dolls." Russian Matryoshka dolls are similar to Japanese Kokeshi dolls in their physical appearance, although Kokeshi dolls cannot nest within one another. However, unlike Kokeshi dolls, Matryoshka dolls are made from one form upon which all the features of the doll are painted. A circle is usually painted in the top center of the doll to denote the face.
- Cut three circles of painter's tape using the exact-o knife. Ensure that you size the circles the size you would like the faces of your dolls to be.
- Press the pieces of tape firmly against each paper cup. This tape will prevent the faces from getting the paint of the body on them.
- Paint the bodies of the dolls onto the paper cups, and allow the paint to dry for about an hour.
- Remove the painter's tape from the cups when the paint is completely dried. Use the fine-tipped paintbrush to paint the faces of the dolls within the circles.
- Use paints to add embellishments to the dolls, such as swirls, dots and any other designs you can create.
- Spray the dolls with spray polyurethane to give them a glossy shine.
- Cut three pieces of ribbon and tie each around a doll to complete your Matryoshka dolls.
How to Paint Matryoshka Dolls:
- Matryoshka, or Russian nesting dolls, are sets of dolls that fit one inside the other. They can come in virtually any size, shape and style, but are generally made to resemble each other, either by wearing the same clothes, being the same colors or having something in common, such as carrying a basket of food. The dolls were originally meant to symbolize motherhood and fertility, which is why traditionally the design is of a woman, but it is now common to find a set that represent a family, or even a variety of different animals or plants.
- Choose the topic for your nesting dolls. While a traditional set is of a group of female characters in babushka costumes, this is not your only alternative. The most important aspects of the dolls is that they have an overriding subject, such as animals, family, political or religious leaders, fairy tales and more.
- Draw the body and heads of each doll using a light pencil. Press just enough so you can see, but avoid going so dark that it will show through your paint. To make things easier, consider making the largest doll the most complex and the smallest the least complex.
- Separate your dolls so you can do them one at a time. Start with whichever you prefer, but make sure each doll is cracked in half. Do not paint them whole because the paint may get into the crack and make it hard or impossible to open without breaking.
- Put a doll part on a pedestal or shelf, some place near your eye level, comfortably within painting reach and well lit.
- Choose your paint. Watercolor does not stick very well to wood and is translucent so your pencil marks will show through, but it can also be extremely attractive. Acrylics are cheap and dry quickly, but they can sometimes look plastic-y, particularly for those who have less experience with it. Oil paints are malleable, long lasting and have a lustrous quality, but some can take a year or longer to dry, depending on the brand and quality (lower quality dries faster while high quality dries very slowly).
- Paint the dolls using the smallest brush you can manage. If you have difficulty controlling a brush, use a crafters' paint pen.
How to Collect Matryoshka Dolls:
- Matryoshka dolls, one of the most popular souvenirs of Russia, are a type of wooden nesting doll in which progressively smaller hollow dolls are stacked inside the largest. The original matryoshka dolls featured a pleasant peasant woman, usually wearing a head scarf. The name "matryoshka" comes from a popular Russian female name that is rooted in the Latin "mater" (mother). These dolls have been made for generations, and some are highly collectible.
- Learn about the history of matryoshka dolls. Sites such as Russian Legacy and Russian Crafts have sections dedicated to the legacy of the nesting dolls. Check out books about Russian art and European handcrafts or books devoted specifically to the dolls, like "The Art of the Russian Matryoshka."
- Explore the symbolism of matryoshka dolls. Many Russians consider them an image of fertility, with the healthy mother as the largest doll and her numerous children as the ones within her. Vibrant colors reflect the beauty of nature in painted flowers and careful details.
- Research the types and worth of various nesting dolls. An excellent reference is the "Collectors Guide to Nesting Dolls: Histories, Identification, Values."
- Determine your collection's focus and budget. You may decide to collect dolls with at least six figures, for example, or vintage dolls worth over $50 each. Find a niche that you will enjoy, keeping in mind that it may change as you progress with your collection.
- Begin your collection. Purchase antique or vintage nesting dolls through eBay as well as local consignment, boutique stores and estate sales. Find new dolls at some art shows, in Russia at gift shops and online through stores such as the Russian Store and Great Russian Gifts.
- Display your wooden nesting dolls in a curio cabinet or display case, which you can purchase or make yourself.
- 1 x Set of Russian Nesting Dolls
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Bought this item on06-02-2011
- Other Thoughts: These are really great and my kids love them! They want MORE! I would recommend these nesting dolls to ANYONE!
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Giuseppe De Pasquale
Bought this item on05-17-2011
- Other Thoughts: Just received these Adorable Nesting Dolls and was shocked to find out they are plastic...my fault...I didn't look...I just assumed they were wood...Disappointed about that...they are still nice but just have a cheaper look to them. Had I known they were plastic I wouldn't have ordered them.
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Bought this item on05-09-2011
- Other Thoughts: Nice toy, good quality, the two year old we gave it to enjoys it. A nice change from all the plastic toys.
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Bought this item on04-20-2011
- Other Thoughts: Very robust plastic construction, nice details on the paint. My 2 1/2 year old loves taking this apart and putting it together, all the while making noises. A fun toy, and harder for the dog to eat than wooden nesting dolls.
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Bought this item on03-16-2011
- Other Thoughts: this babushka is a bit on the tiny side, but other than that, perfectly ok.
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Luiz Carlos de Sousa
Bought this item on03-08-2011
- Other Thoughts: Just adorable. It's difficult to tell from the picture online but these Basswood Nesting Dolls have strawberries on the front. They fight tightly together are a very well made.
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Bought this item on02-25-2011
- Other Thoughts: Purchased this while it was in the gold box. When we got it, the Adorable Matryoshka Nesting Dolls's head was stuck inside the Lion's head and there was no way to get it out.It did a wonderful job getting us a new one. The second set works perfectly. Other than the mishap on the first one, the set is a-okay with me.
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Arthur J. Tedesco
Bought this item on02-23-2011
- Other Thoughts: Very fast shipping! The Matryoshka Nesting Dolls are cute, but difficult to open. The very last nesting doll cat was stuck and we couldn't get it out without some tool assistance. Our daughter really likes it, but the cats are difficult to open for little fingers.
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