Russian spinning wheels

Russian spinning wheels

Spinning wheel. 1927
Upper Uftuga, Solvychegodsky Uyezd,
Vologda Province
Master Lapin Alexey Amplievich
(1899-1964)
Wood, painting.
91.5 x 27.5 x 60.5

The spinning wheels collected together form an impressive picture of the living festive art of the people, the imagination and talent of which was created and powerful as the spider-shovel monuments, elongated with a petal on the figured legs, and turret-spindles reminiscent of architectural structures, and spinning wheels similar to a flower on a thin stalk. Each has a special character.

Lazhe within one in form and ornamentation of the species you will not find absolutely identical products. This is how one of the main laws of folk art manifests itself: variability within the established canons.
The variety of spinnerets in the Russian lands arose historically. Spinning wheels were made as a home art craft or as a local small craft and, as a rule, distributed within their volosts. Only in some areas there were such conditions, under which spinning wheels became the subject of bargaining and diverged more widely.
The variety was also influenced by the influence of the artistic traditions of neighboring cities, if any, or by the considerable distance from these centers and trade routes. Many ways of spreading distaffs in the North became rivers and their tributaries. But what is a Russian spinning wheel? This is a vertical riser with a blade in the form of a scapula for tying a tow (a bundle of wool or specially processed and prepared for spinning flax fibers, hemp), connected to a horizontally placed plank – the “Donets”, on which a spinner sits. Spinning wheels were cut from the stumps of birch, spruce with roots or compounded, where the clamp was fastened to the protruding head of the bottom or into the “spike” or screwed.
Such a design of spinning wheels are common in the vast territories of the Russian North from the western regions to the Urals and further, in Siberia. In the central lands, in the Volga region, around Moscow a different structure has developed. The main artistically processed part – the bottom, which is attached to the crest on the leg or a simple flyer, on which the tow is attached.
These two types of structures arose in the extreme antiquity. Spinning rods are known in the Neolithic Age. This is indicated by the findings of archaeologists in the Vologda region on the Modlon River.
During archaeological excavations in Novgorod, Pskov, Moscow, crests, blades and donkeys of spinning wheels dating back to the 11th-15th centuries were found. In the XII-XVI centuries there were local varieties of spinning wheels.
Stojas of ancient Novgorod distaffs – small spatulas on thin legs, Pskov are more massive, and from Moscow in Zaryadye only a crest is preserved. Since ancient times, individual objects have reached. Spinning, stored in museums, belong to the XVIII and mainly to the XIX-XX centuries.

Russian spinning wheels

Donce spinning wheels. 1880s
Villages along the Uzole River, Gorodets District, Balakhna District, Nizhny Novgorod Province
Wood, painting.
1.7 x 31.5 x 74

Since the XVIII century, the distribution of a self-wheel with a wheel of the European type, significantly accelerated the work.
But it did not supersede the ancient designs, since only these traditional spinning wheels possessed the magic of works of art. They continued to be manufactured until the 1930s. Old spinning wheels in families were protected and passed on from generation to generation. They are the objects of active collection and study in the largest museums in the country. This work was especially successful in the 1950-1970s.
Masters who made spinning wheels, as a rule, were good carpenters, carpenters, they built their own huts, manufactured furniture, built boats, made wooden utensils. And if ordered spinning wheels especially skilled craftsmen, then again, there were family orders.
And what was the spinning wheel for a Russian woman? She was something more than an instrument of her labor, accompanying the life of a woman from childhood to old age. Mother, the mistress was supposed to dress the family, weave, sew, embroider. But for this it was necessary to spin and spin. The girl was put in a spinning wheel for five or seven years.
During the maiden years it was necessary to have time to strain and weave so much to bring a dowry to the husband’s house. Sitting behind the spinning wheel – the work is tedious and monotonous, but the youth brightened it, going on merry gatherings with songs and jokes.
Girls and guys came dressy, each girl had a beautiful spinning wheel. The guys gave the girls spindles, which they themselves often and grinded. The work of a skilled craftsman who knew how to hide a thin thread, caused respect, and laughed at the famous song about Duna-thin-wool. At such gatherings, the girl often found her destiny, here often married couples were formed.
The spinning wheel, thus, acts both as an instrument of labor, and as a ritual object. In addition, each spinning wheel for its owner is a gift of love, a memory of a loved one. Already a little girl got her first spinning wheel from her father. Zanevshevshegosya girl father gave a spinning wheel especially decorated, specially ordered from the master or made with love own. Such spinning wheels sometimes have a solemn inscription. Here is what the Pomor carved into a carved spinning wheel during fishing in the White Sea: “In the year 1899 of the month of April, 6 days on the winter sea were at Sosnowiec, 30 versts from the ground. A spinning wheel of the girl Ovdotya Larivonova. In the middle of the spinning wheel, take care of the father of God. ”

Russian spinning wheels

Spinning wheel. 1890
Borok, Shenkur county, Arkhangelsk province
Master from the family of Amosov Wood, painting.
85x23x51

The woman received the next spinning wheel from her husband: “Ivan Efimov Naumov worked for his wife Elizaveta Andreyevna. Who I love, I give, I love heartily, I give forever. ” There are also jocular mischievous inscriptions: “There is a circle on the spinning wheel (that is, a carved socket), and a friend is near the spinning wheel. He sits and does not interfere, balalaika comforts. “The work of spinner and weaver was respected among all peoples.The image of the spinner, the lyrical, the poetically exalted, occurs in fairy tales.In the ancient myth, the three goddesses of fate – Parks – spin the thread of human life. the great Athena, the Slavs have a mysterious Mokosh, and later, in medieval Rus – St. Paraskeva Friday About the spinning wheel, spindle,
about the worker-spinner is sung in folk songs.
Her image appears in popular prints, in a folk toy, in paintings on spinning wheels, children’s cradles. Spin was so characteristic of the old Russian village, which was reflected in the work of many poets. And we must admit that spinning wheel is becoming a landmark, embodying one of the important spheres in the culture and art of the Russian people. This exhibition is devoted to this original phenomenon of Russian art.
Patterns are formed according to two principles. Either it is a tape open composition of regularly repeated squares, triangles, lined rhombuses, or it is a closed composition with a center in the form of a circle – ray, vortex, petal rosettes surrounded by half-sockets and their quarters framed by squares and triangles. In the simplest versions it is a simple expressive circle-socket on a smooth blade field.
An example of an open composition is a spinning wheel decorated with rows of small drawn squares that form a compact field in the center of the blade. Despite the apparent simplicity, the pattern “plays * its elements, the squares seem to break up into triangles, then gather in rows of rhombs.
Some spinning wheels on their lobes have a circle almost in all its square surface with inscribed in it seven ray outlets, like a starry sky.
The centric composition scheme receives a variety of developments on many Kadnikov spinners, without repeating and surprising with the inexhaustible ability of carvers to form-making.
Here at the end of the XIX century distaffs with openwork patterns of blades were distributed. Various configurations of the outlet were supplemented with slits, or vertical slots detected rows of columns like miniature colonnades. In some spinning wheels the carving was painted and supplemented with picturesque floral motifs.

Russian spinning wheels

Spinning wheel. The beginning of the XX century Borok, Shenkur county, Arkhangelsk province
Kuzma Matveyevich
Master Amos (1884-1930) Wood, painting. 92x25x51,5

In the Nikolsky district of the Vologda province, the blades of spinning wheels are larger, and the carving is smaller and thicker, often it is colored with various colors. It should be noted one more group of spinners, similar in general type to the Vologda spinning-spools. This exotic species existed in the north of the Kostroma province in the Soligalichsky district in the border area with the Gryazovensk district on the Szeged. The local spinach have a small square blade on a thin, upwardly extending leg. Remarkably, instead of the usual teeth or small towns along the upper edge of the blade, it is decorated with an intricate figurine, like a sultan with two horns curving inward along its sides.
Ordinary earrings on the lower corners turned here into two large spiral curls. In the center of the blade, like a sunny sign, there is a rosette inscribed in a square. Not spinning wheel, but the standard of some eastern warrior. The spinning wheels of the Soviet seem to be brought to the Russian North from somewhere far away, from the Mongolian steppes. Mysterious spinning wheels!
The earliest time in the collection of the museum can be considered a spinning wheel, the lower part of the blade is decorated with six rows of diverse deep-cut planks of triangles playing with chiaroscuro and making a live-chiseled surface. The square figure in the upper part is framed by small triangles and two oblique patterned strips directed towards the lower quadratic ornamental field. This is an image of a casket. Similar did in the XVII-XIX centuries in Veliky Ustyug and beat them with overlays of the gauged iron.
The patterns of triangles, squares and rhombuses stretch out according to the principle of an infinite series, they acquire a centrality, where the radial rosettes, which are widely spread along the surface of the blades, dominate, like the sun signs. In others, the static nature of the patterns seems to explode from within by a bursting force: vortex sockets begin to spin along the entire surface of the spinning blade. But these vortices often frame large lyre-shaped figures, and then the entire pattern seems to be an ancient image of a pomegranate fruit in a section. But no matter how mobile the pattern, the edges of the blade restrain it, and the calm rows of triangles and squares in the lower part of it can be likened to a plowed field above which a luminary-rosette rises.
Much will be said to the attentive visitor of the exhibition, seemingly silent exhibits. And now they lead us further, to the northwest, to the lake edge of the Olonets province, to the Kargopol district to Kenozero and the small short river Ken.
Here, spinning wheels were made in the form of an elongated, narrow board on a short, thick stalk that passed into the bottom. The triangular pommel of her, like a hat, adorns five round towns. The blades are covered with a fine carving of a complicated pattern made of elements such as a circle in the center, ornamental stripes in the lower part. Here the circles turn into ellipses with ribbed curved thrusts. This is nowhere else seen receiving threads. Fan-like rays diverging circles or squares, then go in a chain in one direction, then towards each other, forming an edge in the joints, and then the pattern begins to appear convex. Patterns on kenozero spinning lines lie in clear, plane-forming bands, triangles and circles, painted in sectors.
Shallow carving complements the painting on the blue or green – roses, buds, branches with large flowers.
In the neighboring Konevskaya volost of Olonets province, the blades again acquire a rectangular, elongated shape. They are framed with carved ornamental stripes. In these frames are inscribed with contour carving of the image of houses, with patterned fillings. And here there is a coloring and a flower list.
Painting is one of the leading trends in the Olonets region. Spinning wheels are painted or combining painting with carving pleasing with the sonority of light colors. Painting depicts poetic ideas about the flowering nature, which embodies shrubs, stylized tulips and roses. They are performed in gentle translucent colorful strokes. The painting dominates in many areas of the Olonets province, but it is similar to the decorative painting of other provinces by its picturesque techniques and motifs.
The carving of Olonets province has its own peculiarities. Olonets spinning wheels in comparison with the whole array of Vologda are distinguished both by the architectonics of form and by the nature of the carving. In Vologda, the pattern is compositionally static, despite the dynamism of its individual elements. The main motive visually always fits in the center of the decorated plane or slightly higher, which gives the whole composition a balance, harmony and lightness.
In the Olonets spinning wheels with their elongated blade and short leg, the main figures of the composition are below the center, why the spinning wheels seem to be growing out of the ground. A shallow carving carpet covers the ornament on the surface.
Another group of large-scale distaffs of the XIX century is represented at the exhibition by the work of the Tver masters from Rzhev and Staritsa districts in the south of Tver province.
They retained the most archaic features in both design and decoration. These are two planks, cut one into the other at a right angle. Seeking to lighten the spinning wheel and break the monotony of the long board, the masters turned the lower part of it into a figured one, consisting of circles, trapezoids on a circle. In other spinning wheels, the circle below is as if covered by a crescent moon. The thread on them is quite deep. These are sockets and various field configurations filled with small cuts.
In the pommel of a spinning wheel one can find a circle with a cross inside and two birds on either side, as if guarding this sun. And under this sculptural composition on the blade, another multivalent motif is cut out by a contour, which can be understood as a tree of life.
This is the only way to decipher the figures of roosters, the circle and the tree, correlating their deeply traditional images with the ancient pagan symbols known to us. In the spinning wheels of the 1920s, ornamental and decorative art dominate, forgetting about symbolism.
Russian spinning wheels can surprise the viewer with completely unexpected shapes. In contrast to the northern in the Yaroslavl province are known spinning wheels-turrets. The turret is a spinner’s leg with a jewelerly fine carving in the form of bundles of twisted columns or a pillar with a perfectly found silhouette and cut through openwork tiers of small windows. It is attached to the pyramidal carved shoulder of the Don. The blades of these spinoks are small, elongated in accord with high legs, covered with geometric carving.

The researcher of folk art MN Kamenskaya saw in these spinning wheels the influence of architectural images of stone tent-like temples and bell-towers of the 17th century. Original traditional carving gets a new and refined solution here, as another researcher – VM Vasilenko – subtly observes.
In the Yaroslavl province, on the territory of Lyubim and Danilov districts, bordering on the north with the Gryazovets uyezd of the Vologda province, and in the north-east with Buisky uyezd of Kostroma province, for at least a hundred years, the whole of the nineteenth century, spinning wheels were made from a small rhombic shape openwork lobster and a wide flat foot-board. Smooth outlines of a beautifully curved blade, slightly inclined forward leg, they resemble a floating swan. Their entire surface is covered with a cobweb of fine contour thread with small inclusions of geometric bands. The spinning wheels have got the figurative name “terem”, probably because on their broad legs the image of a tower with a spire and a clock was cut out.
Spinning wheels “terem – outstanding works of art. They are beautiful not only in form, but also in the richness of carving, low-relief, notch, nail-shaped, contour, through. Their front part is covered with images of scenes from the life of peasants and townspeople.
Most often these are scenes of tea drinking, feast, dancing, riding in a sleigh. On dancing dancers, long-necked caftans and tall caps reminiscent of coachmen’s coats. On women for samovars, either village dresses or decollete dresses worn in the middle of the XIX century.
And in the samovars the real forms are so accurately transferred that they can serve as the basis for the dating of spinning wheels.
At the same time, the images are conventionally flat, decorative and even grotesque, which is most likely unintentionally obtained by carvers. The contour carving technique itself introduced this feature.
The tops of the distaffs openwork. If you look closely, you will recognize in the slots a tree with birds on the branches and a pair of horse heads at its base. At the top of the tree, the rosette is the sun. In combination with a socket on the blade, all these motives can be understood as an image of the eternal symbol of the tree of life. It’s amazing how stubborn these ancient symbolic images are in peasant art. They are present in wood carving, in embroidery, and in the weaving of many Russian provinces of the north of Russia.
The kind of spinning wheels that form a single bush with the Yaroslavl “terems” exist in the border areas of the Gryazovets Uyezd in the Vologda province and in the Buysky district of the Kostroma province, only in these places the forms of the spinning wheels are simpler and coarser.Their blades are shaped like a semicircular bowl on a broad pedestal decorated with a plaque On many spinning wheels there is a colonnade, crowned with a double-headed eagle or vase, complemented by a floral painting of a picturesque character. It is the creativity of neighbors, and on the basis of local traditions of sawing house carving, and the architecture of the provincial Empire.
In the late XIX – early XX century, under the influence of urban culture, the development of spinning wheels in the Novoladozhsky district of the St. Petersburg province in the villages between the rivers Volkhov and Syas, in the so-called Spasovschina, was developing. Spinning wheels here were in the form of crests or small spatula on chiseled legs.
On the shores of the White Sea on the Onega Peninsula and on the southern shore, the so-called Tersk, the Kola Peninsula, an original variety of carved spade-shaped spinning wheels developed.
Their blades are elongated and markedly expanded upwards, ending with cutout pommels of complex pattern or high towns with circles on their points resembling a fairy-tale crown. Such spinning wheels were cut by fishermen and St. John’s wort at the White Sea during the spring fishing.
In the case were going to be taken with a thin plate or caught in the sea pieces of boards. Upon returning home, carved paddles, slender and fragile, were planted on high chiseled stems-posts of local carpenters.
The patterns on the spinning wheels are shallow, densely covering the surfaces of the blades, and sometimes the bottom. These patterns of spinning wheels from the Onega peninsula are similar to a cluster of snowflakes or whimsical geometric arabesques, organized in several circles, vertically and decreasing in size downwards. The triangular-vyemchataya thread is combined here with a contour, reproducing realistically depicted birds, fish, reindeer. Their miniature expressive figures are placed among the circles filled with shimmering light and shade of fine carvings.
Taking paternity from grandfathers and fathers, from generation to generation, Pomors made spinning wheels only to their loved ones in memory of themselves, supplying often on the reverse side with inscriptions, local “annals.” For the uniqueness, individuality of the appearance, the local spinning wheels were called “faces”. And in terms of slenderness and features of the forll, they can be compared to a bird’s feather.
Available on the spinning dates of production allow us to talk about the continuous development on the shores of the Onega peninsula of art of decorative carving from the beginning of the XIX century until the 1930s. But the local traditions of wooden architecture, including carved decorations, go back to the XVII century, and possibly even in the earlier times – the 16th century, when the Pomors took part in the construction of the Solovetsky Monastery.
Thus, one can recognize the opinion expressed in science that the tradition of local art has more than one century and is directly connected with local carpentry art of Pomors.
Also convincing is the assertion about the long-standing ties of art on the Onega peninsula with the traditions of Norwegian wood carvers.
With Norway, as the Pomors called this country, they were bound both by everyday and cultural communication.
Throughout the Russian North, the making of carved spinning wheels is everywhere living in the form of a domestic or small village craft.
The painting of distaffs with paints, as a rule, was concentrated in the centers of peasant crafts for the production of wooden utensils, birchbark tues, arcs, chests, and in some places and sleighs. Here the masters worked for families in several generations. Sometimes such trades were occupied by whole villages and volosts. Here, houses were painted. Painting is no less an ancient art form than carving, and is rich in its traditions. But the main works of peasant paintings kept in museums, as a rule, are not older than the 17th century, and those in the villages mostly refer to the XIX – the beginning of the XX century. The tree in everyday life is short-lived material. Dated things are not common. All this makes it difficult to study the paintings.
According to their technological and stylistic features, peasant paintings are divided into two large species; picturesque and graphic. Picturesque exist almost everywhere.
Scenic painting on spinning wheels had its own stable compositional and plot solutions (Figures 32, 33).
In this painting, freely located on the surface of the blade of the spinning wheel, the motifs of a large flower in the center with the surrounding colors are more frequent; then motifs of bouquets, vertical branches, symmetrical bushes in flowerpots. The flowers were painted flat by receiving multicolored paint smears, then more voluminously – by fusing one color into another, using livenings and glaze swirls.
These paintings were executed with oil paints, and the most common glue. The painting was applied with a brush, most often without a primer, directly on the board with subsequent coating of linseed oil.
Graphic paintings on spinning wheels and household items in the practice of peasant craftsmen were less common. They are known in a number of centers – large settlements on the Northern Dvina and Mezen. The picturesque and graphic variety of them was determined in the Gorodets area on the Volga.
Mezenskie murals of distaffs, the focus of which is the large village of Palaschelje on the middle reaches of the river, seem the most ancient due to the strict geometricity of the ornament, the carpet covering the sprues of the spruce spinok, and the gloomy color structure. These paintings only know two colors – warm red and black. And the covering layer of linseed oil eventually makes the painting still “darker”.
Indeed, in these spinning wheels the ancient technique of painting on wood comes to life. Soot and shore red clay are their colors, the binder is a solution of larch resin in hot water. The painting is applied directly to the wooden base waxed on the end with a stick and split at the end with a grouse feather. Surik began to be used from the very end of the XIX century.
Mezen ornaments – stripes of squares, triangles, vertical and oblique dashes, strokes – are close to the geometric style of woodcarving.
This thread is often adjacent to the legs of spinning wheels with a painting. Mezensky masters except for geometrical figures wrote rows of birds, similar to S-prominent curls-fluffy, and, most importantly, rows of deer and horses.
They are silhouettes, their heads and backs are indicated by a thin contour with the strokes of the pen, the trunk with red paint, the thin legs depicted in the run form heart-shaped figures. Animals are surrounded by small crosses, ovals, strokes, spiral curls.
Figures of deer, horses follow in rhythmic repetition one after another and form a fascinating undulating pattern. It is a herd and herd run, although the images are not even hinted at genre.
With such a peculiar ornamental approach to the depiction of animals and birds, with all the laconism of the artistic language, in the paintings of the Mezen spinning wheels, a poetic, almost magical sense of nature, based on its deep knowledge and closeness to it, is hidden.
This is revealed in the paintings on the reverse sides of spinning wheels. Here the main place is occupied by genre images of hunting for a bird among trees or on a wolverine, or a lonely running horse, or fishing.
Stability of the composition of the images of the Mesenskaya painting is explained by their vital basis. Residents of Mezen from the time of colonization by Novgorodians of these remote places engaged in hunting, poultry farming for gathering goose down for sale, breeding deer, raising horses of special Mezensky breed, suitable for distant transportation to Arkhangelsk and to the capital – Moscow and St. Petersburg. “Mezenki” was sold to other parts of the North
In addition to the forests, spinoks depicted ships on the turns. They painted with love for detail and inscribed: “Steamship Ermak icebreaker of the Pacific,” “steamer, Mezen.” This ship belonged to the sawmill plant of Rusanov in the mouth of Mezen.
The 1901 spinning wheel depicts a handsome man with a screw ship with two pipes, spilling sparks in smoke clubs, with the inscription “Steamer Salavetsky in Onega 1895”. The ship “Solovetsky” belonged to the famous and rich monastery, drove pilgrims and flew through the White Sea.These drawings are naive and sincere.
They reflect the lively interest of folk artists to reality. But these drawings are deprived of the high artistic structure, which is inherent in the paintings on the faces of spinning wheels.
Dates on the spinning wheels are limited to the time from the second half of the XIX century until the 1930s. The paintings appear in their current and almost unchanging form.
Another largest area of ​​graphic painting on objects of life and distaffs is the Northern Dvina. There were five foci of this art; Pere-Moghorye, Rakulka, Lower Toima, Puchuga, Borok are large settlements that unite several villages. They arose in the process of settling the Dvina land in the 12th-15th centuries by two streams of colonization from Veliky Novgorod and Moscow.
In these places there lived peasants who did not know serfdom, adherents of the old faith, talented, enterprising, mostly literate.
Many learned the letter in the Solovetsky Monastery, where boys of ten years of age were given a year or two to study any crafts. They were called yearlings. Such yearlings could be met quite recently. It established the art of correspondence of ancient manuscripts with half-notes, the decoration of these books with screensavers, capitals, miniatures, drawing of popular prints on spiritual and moral themes, iconography.
Many collections of Severodvinsk manuscripts are now kept in the collections of the Drevleshranilischa of the Pushkin House. Were in the Dvina lands cultivated agriculture, cattle breeding, crafts. The prosperity of the region was facilitated by economic and cultural ties with the largest cities of the North – Solvychegodsk and Velikiy Ustyug.
Artistic traditions of the ancient Russian art of Moscow and Novgorod were transmitted through them. It was the traditions of the 17th-18th centuries, carefully preserved in these places, that became the basis for the emergence of the stylistic richness of decorative paintings on household objects, and especially on spinning wheels.
In the village of Rakulskaya, in the village of Ulyanovsk, a center for the manufacture and painting of spinning wheels and utensils arose. Racural painting is associated with the names of masters from the Vityazev family. Their products have been known since the second half of the XIX century. Fishing in its developed state lasted until the end of the 1920s. The spinning wheels of the Vityazev family were sold to the upper reaches of the Dvina River and to the north to the headwaters of the Pinega and Vyh.
The shape of the rakul spinning wheel goes back to its prototype – a carved local spinning wheel with a long narrow blade, smoothly turning, writhing, into a leg decorated with three semicircular projections on each side. Such protuberances-festoons and platens were decorated here on the Dvina wooden utensils, and in the carvings of the Royal Gates of local churches this reception is known from the 16th century
The painting on the Rakulian spinning wheels gradually replaces the carving and by the second half of the 19th century it appears stylistically formed.
On the blades of the Rakulian spinning wheels there is a large S-shaped curved branch with luxuriantly spaced rounded and lancet leaves. On the contours they are outlined by black ink with a pen.
Wide strokes inside the contours are laid red, blue, yellow, emerald green paint. Their sound reinforces the white flourishes on the width of the brush. The dynamism of the pattern is intensified by finely spaced fan-shaped sultans and antennae in the axils of the leaves. A whimsically winding branch on an olive-yellow background grows from a triangular hill like a tree of life. On many spinning wheels, small black birds are sitting on the leaves. But more often a large bird is placed in a frame below the bush. The general exquisite nature of the painting is enhanced by white quotes, like drops of dew, sprinkled the whole bush.
The overall color scale on the earlier spinning wheels is similar, harmonious. On the distaffs of the end of XIX
– the beginning of the twentieth century, backgrounds make light, bright yellow, and the color becomes coarsened, built on contrasts of color. The painting is painted with glue paints on the chalky soil with the covering of linseed oil.
Rakulskaya painting has adopted and preserved in a new guise the tradition of the ancient Russian “herbal” letter, widespread in the Russian decorative art of the XVII century, and did not go beyond its limits in the direction of the plot paintings.
The subject painting received a primary development in Permogorye from the beginning of the XIX century to the first decades of the 20th century. This is indicated by the available dates on utensils and spinning wheels.
The process of replacing the carving of the painting took place here. The forms of permogorski distaffs are similar to rakul and as ancient. The technique of painting is close to rakul culture, it is conducted on the chalky ground, but the paints, the flour, are ground on the egg base. This is evidenced by the scene of the painting of the arc on a Permogorsk tueske, painted by the famous local master Yakov Yarygin.
Near the master, painting the arc, lie eggs in the basket.
In Permogorye, a lot of masters were engaged in painting a wide range of wooden products, distaffs, birch bark tunes. The most famous were the families of the Yarigins, Misharins, Khripunovs.
Here a different from the rakul herb ornament was formed, very close in shape to small leaves and curly curls, thinly drawn by a pen along the contours and with broken lines of details inside them, the character and style of the XVII century ornament. On Permogorsk distances, a stylized flowers and berries on the branches, drawing with their bends heart-shaped and S-ovoid compositions, were painted with black paint on a light yellow background.
Inside the contours, red, brown and dark green colors are applied. Between the tracery patterns the artist writes small curls, similar to twigs of red corals, and circles-beads. Above or below the whole composition in the jagged circle, like a memory of carved rosettes, a bird with a human face is placed, and in the crown there is a fairy-tale Sirin.
Spinning wheels of the first half of the XIX century decorate narrative compositions, which greatly press the ornament. He moves to the edges of the spinning wheels, he himself becomes the background and environment in which spinning scenes unfold in the mansion. Their roofs are adorned with unicorns and lions (again motifs of the XVII century), chatting couples, tea drinking scenes behind a samovar, driving in a sleigh. And everywhere there is a prophetic Sirin. Life and fairy tale live in these paintings nearby. The vital validity of images affects the exact transmission of women’s clothing, hairstyles, headdresses or scarves. Even the manner of tying their ends to the head is passed.
Figures of men on the early spinning wheels – in long-necked caftans, on the spinning wheels of the second half of the XIX and beginning of the XX century – in trousers tucked into boots, in shirts loose and vests. Hair combed to a straight part. There is in the collection of the Russian Museum a spinning wheel, on the back of which there is a wheeled steamer. At the helm two sailors.
By the end of the XIX century, the ornament on spinning wheels began to prevail. Figures of people, pugtsih tea for samovars, spins, riders in a sleigh on all sides are surrounded by large-leaved ornament, are as if in weightlessness. Spinning Bottles Toyama, Puchugi and Bork are in shape classical rectangular blades on high carved legs with interception. They were bred from birch and spruce in the villages along the middle course of the Dvina River and brought to the masters of the masters. Spinning wheels, as a rule, were nominal, signed to order. The work was relatively expensive. Masters in these centers worked for large families. In Bork – Amosov, in Nizhniy Toym – Tretyakov and Menshikov, in Puchug – Kuznetsovs. The masters were familiar with each other Amosov and Tretyakov even exchanged patterns-stencils of horses, sleighs, lions, birds, which were depicted among the herbal patterns.
And in these centers the herb ornamentation was close to the ornaments of the northern manuscript books of the 17th-19th centuries. The Amosovs and Tretyakov wrote books themselves, while Tretyakov and Menshikov lined them with ornaments and miniatures. Menshikov was also an icon painter.
The paintings on the spinning wheels on the subjects are most diverse in Lower Toym. In addition to the traditional scenes of riding in tarantas and sleighs, images of a fairy tree in the form of a branchy bush with leaf-curls and birds, there are scenes of peasant labor, the teachings of children in school, and on others – trips in carriages, mansions with baroque doors, even hunting for the camel.
In the placement of patterns and plot images, the stratum is strictly maintained. Painting is performed on the chalky ground, the paints purchased in Arkhangelsk, and covered with expensive varnish Amosov paints and varnishes bought only the English production
Background spinok white, less often yellowish. It brightly burns cinnabar branches, blue, lilac, yellow, green – in the image of floral motifs, feathers of birds, details of the costumes of people. From the end
XIX century widely began to apply a gold background from leaves of gold leaf. As elsewhere in the North, fishing for Severodvinsk murals fell into decay in the 1930s.
At the exhibition there is another center for the production of art spinning wheels, where the whole art of decoration was concentrated not on the blade, which did not exist (instead of it there was a wide maple crest), but on the aspen bottom. It was transformed by generations of masters into a kind of “picture”, which after work could be hung on the wall next to the splints.
This fishery existed since the end of the 18th century in the Nizhny Novgorod province near Gorodets in the villages of Khlebaikha, Repino, Kurtsevo, Koskovo along the right bank of the Uzola River, the Volga tributary. In other years more than sixty masters worked here, each of which painted up to forty daughters a week, and they dispersed along the province and lower along the Volga.
But the painting was established not immediately. Its predecessor was a unique in its technique carving, combined with inlaid pieces of stained oak, caught right there, in U sol. After lying in the water for a long time, its wood became darker color, and its pieces used to stand out prominently on the light aspen shoals, which, sadly, darkened from time to time.
The form of the Gorodets Don – a wide short board with an oval cut on the front end, where the ridge for the ridge is fastened.
The ledge has the shape of an elegantly curved heel or truncated pyramid. Until the 1870s the Don was decorated with either ornamental or plot compositions. Thus, for example, a carriage with a female figure inside and with a coachman, carving a horse under a huge arc, was carved along the entire Don; then they were horsemen or foot hunters on a bird sitting on top of an unprecedented tree, then the ranks of ladies and cavaliers walking under umbrellas marching military. The subjects were quite diverse.
The main details of the images were made with refined and dynamic technique of staple threads. The knife then leads the contour line, then, lying at an angle to the board, makes a deep cut and again the same cutout, but in the opposite direction. So, human figures, details of their costumes, flowers, leaves of voluminous form are formed, which, however, do not protrude above the surface of the board.
The plastic carving is complemented by the inserts of the stained oak. Often the carving on the embossed tint is painted with blue, orange-red, green paints. The very method of carving informed the images of the character of emphatically sharp expressiveness and generality.
Gorodets stitched carving with inlay, having existed for a little over half a century and having taken shape in a brilliant, unparalleled “expressiveness” style, was replaced by painting in the 1870s. The need for the Don was at this time so great that the carved could not keep up with the demand
At first, the painting with glue paints on the chalky ground with a coating of varnish did not differ in its multicolor: ocher, cinnabar, white and soot prevailed. In the stiffness and angularity of the figures of people and animals, the memory of the recent carvings came through.
But later, in the 1880s, the color scheme became more luminous, joyful, multicolored, the art of applying colors with a brush – free, virtuosic. The master seemed to play with a brush. Pink, soft lilac, cherry, blue, sonorous blue, splashes of white strokes and thin strokes, golden tones – that’s the color palette that recreates the festive world of urban plots.
In them two circles of themes and images stand out. The first, the so-called wedding cycle of subjects, is closely interrelated with local folklore. It is the image of a tree with a bird on top, hunters or riders on its sides (hunting for the bride), riding in a bride’s coach, visiting young parents.
The second circle of subjects is emphasized by the content of everyday life. It arose not without the influence of the proximity of Nizhny Novgorod and the fair with all the temptations of city life, with a photo that entered the life of the city and village. Here, among the flowers and decorative motifs like lambrequins and curtains, we see the girls and ladies of all ranks, their cavaliers, the military, the scene of banquets and traditional fine tea drinking, performances at the fair.
And then images of large roses, birds with fantastic fan-shaped tails, horses with bright eyes – that is, again folklore motifs. They soften the everyday life of certain subjects and, on the whole, translate the whole system of images into a plan of naive poetry. This festive, often mischievous art of the Volga masters survived until the 1930s. At that time, it began to lose the power of the canonical art to the subtleties of the mastered virtuosic art, and the features of the primitive people began to appear in it.
A collection of spinning wheels, stored in the Russian Museum, first appears at the exhibition in such a fullness.
Russian spinning wheels, perhaps the most wise, poetic, heartfelt works of folk peasant art, which we inherited as a memory of our ancestors. And we accept this gift with gratitude and pride for them. In museums, this beauty will not fade and will bring people joy.

Russian spinning wheels