A Buyer's Guide to Khokhloma Crafts

Khokhloma Temple | © vborodinova / Pixabay
Khokhloma Temple | © vborodinova / Pixabay
Photo of Yulia S.
Contributor / Journalist18 February 2018

When it comes to buying a traditional craft gift during your visit to Russia, Khokhloma immediately comes to mind – it’s a traditional Russian craft known for its unique colours and red flowers along with beautiful green and golden leaves. Nowadays, it’s considered one of the most traditional Russian gifts, along with the famous Russian Gzhel porcelain; however, there’s always the risk of foreigners buying fake or simply overpriced goods. Here are the main things you should know before buying it in Russia.

Khokhloma craftwork was first mentioned in Russian history around 320 years ago, when many of the local masters opened their small studios and shops in the villages near Nizhny Novgorod and worked with wood. They continued to improve their skills, so in the end it became a ritual that allowed them to create wooden dishes, plates, spoons, and figures decorated with drawings of Russian flowers created out of the special silver and golden tint produced from a special powder and local oils. The final result was fired in the special kiln according to the secret tradition. All of these steps helped the masters create original masterpieces.

Khokhloma Mug. PublicDomainPictures (c) | Pixabay

Nowadays, several Khokhloma factories located in the Nizhny Novgorod area employ more than 2,000 local masters and artists who are implementing the old traditions into craft gifts every day and providing their clients a unique opportunity to buy various traditional goods, from wooden kitchen plates to vases, spoons, and even tables.

Khokhloma. labenord (c) | Pixabay

However, if you’re looking to buy an original Khokhloma gift while in Moscow, you should visit the Rus Velikaia shop, or simply order from their online site to have a purchase shipped any single city in the Russian Federation. When in Saint Petersburg, go to the Samovary shop, located in the city centre, and check out their enormous stands.

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