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Traditional Tuesday – Gzhel Porcelain

gzhel
Plate in Gzhel style Source: http://tinyurl.com/h27u6pk

Around 1800, the Russian artisan brothers Kulikov, from the region of Gzhel, near Moscow in Russia, perfected a secret porcelain technique that was only previously used in China. It must have been difficult to keep that secret as it wasn’t too long before others from the area also began producing porcelain, and by 1917, one factory in Gzhel, produced 2/3 of all the porcelain in Russia and was the largest porcelain factory in Europe.

Source: Ebay mQybo9IAygpoAZFe6-HQ0Ag

In Russia, the tradition of Gzhel porcelain continues today with a strikingly beautiful and traditional form of tableware and decorative porcelain, that is appreciated throughout the world.

Russian handicrafts: Gzhel porcelain factory near Moscow – In Russian!

The Gzhel Paint Technique

“Painting is made by special cobalt paints which is put on the raw un-glazed porcelain pieces. Then the painted products are burnt in the high-temperature ovens. As a result of burning the cobalt painting, almost black before burning, becomes bright and vivid blue. Then the products are coated with glaze and are burnt at second time. This technique allows to protect painting  very well.”

Source: http://russian-crafts.com/crafts-history/gzhel-style-porcelain.html

The depth and variety in colour value in Gzhel painting is achieved only with the brush technique and the pressure of the bristles on the surface.

Tours of the Gzhel factory can be arranged for visitors. Paint your own masterpiece of Gzheli. As I won’t be in Moscow anytime soon, I decided to try out a little Gzhel on simple white cardstock. These motifs are quite easy to achieve for the beginner painter or folk artist. Pinterest has loads of inspirational photos.

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If you’re able to master some basic folk art techniques,  you might design a small sample of Gzhel art to enjoy for yourself.

What do you think? Is this traditional art form really something to ponder about?

Rosemaling traditional art
Something to Ponder About

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Australia, History & Traditions

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Letters

Letters, especially hand-written ones, are fast becoming an historic phenomenon. The excitement that comes with receiving a letter correlates to the amount of time waiting for it. And if it is a handwritten letter, it is almost as if that person is spending some time with us, as we hear their voice in our head when we read their words, with their own personal inflections and mannerisms.

Letters in all forms are wonderful. I used to be an avid writer, as was my family, and have many copies of my old letters from penfriends.

I have dug through my photo library to find some unusual examples:

balloon post
Unusual: A letter from Hungary and a souvenir postcard from New Zealand

 

Unusual text and sayings: Postcards from over 100 years ago belonging to my grandmother
Vintage postcards

The postcard on the right says: Folkestone Markets. I don’t even know where Folkestone is, but I am thinking it is in the UK????

But the best of all is this one:

antique postcards
Antique postcards

and this from grandfather to my grandmother over 100 years ago. Who says Victorian/Georgian times were prudish?

In Norway, they were leaving letters, of another sort, on furniture:

Rosemaling

and in Australia: the ‘larrikin’ sense of humour lives on in these unusual letter boxes:

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Thunderbirds are go!!!

 

 

Horse mailbox
Quirky Horsemen living here?

 

 

Must be some Norwegian Australians living here :P
Must be some Norwegian Australians 😛

 

The Daily post weekly photo challenge gives us many things to Ponder AboutWeekly Photo Challenge widget by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com

More posts in this challenge:

http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/weekly-photo-challenge-letters/#like-4777

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/04/25/weekly-photo-challenge-letters-helvetica/#like-3542

http://quarksire.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/daily-post-photo-challenge-letters/

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/return-to-sender/#comment-19369

http://wisemonkeysabroad.com/2014/04/26/weekly-photo-challenge-letters/

http://artifactsandfictions.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/street-art-letters/#like-5400

http://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/weekly-photo-challenge-letters/#like-2114