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30 September, 2021
Dulevo porcelain

Dulyovo porcelain works is one of the most famous Russian and former Soviet porcelain manufacturers. Its products are better known as Dulevo porcelain. The works were founded in the Dulyovo wasteland (now Likino-Dulyovo) in 1832 by merchant Terenti Kuznetsov from Gzhel. Notable elegant modern designs were created by the Hungarian-born Eva Zeisel, before she fell foul of Stalin. Mikhail Mikhailovich Adamovich also designed for the factory (1927–33).

Dulevo porcelain factory produced many beautiful sets and sculptures during the Soviet period. The leading masters of that time were Peter Vasilyevich Leonov (his famous tea set "Beuty" received a large gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937), Alexey Georgievich Sotnikov, Vladimir Klimentyevich Yasnetsov, Asta Davydovna Brzhezitskaya, Olga Mikhailovna Bogdanova, Evgeniya Ilyinichna Gatilova, Nina Aleksandrovna Malysheva and many others.

Dulyovo porcelain has gained gold awards at the world's fairs in Paris (1937) and Brussels (1958, for article "The Falcon"). In 1976 the factory was awarded the Order of Lenin. The articles are now exported abroad, to the United States, Canada, Norway and some other countries.

28 September, 2021
Flatware Cutlery from Pavlovsky Plant named after Kirov

In 1887, Alexander Genrikhovich Stange appeared in the village of Pavlovo - the son of a Russified German, a graduate and gold medalist of the University of Derpa.

Infatuating Pavlovsk residents with his enthusiasm, the innovator created the Pavlovsk artisanal artel in 1890, which became the prototype of modern joint-stock companies, since the initial capital consisted of the funds of shareholders - members of the artel.

The first great success came already in 1900, when the artel received a gold medal following the results of the Russian-French exhibition in Paris.

As the years passed, the artel increased its production of traditional goods for these places: tableware and kitchen utensils, locks, crockery and household items.

Manufacturing products of consistently high quality at various Russian and international industrial exhibitions held before the First World War, the artel was awarded 9 gold and 13 silver medals.

Despite the difficult times in the history of our state, the leadership of the artel managed to find ways for the normal work of the artel, both in peacetime and in war years.

In Soviet times, an enterprise with a full production cycle from development to production of finished products grew out of a handicraft artel. And in 1944, the artel named after. Shtange was renamed Artel named after Kirov, in 1956 in the plant them. Kirov.

As time went on, the enterprise became the largest manufacturer of cutlery and kitchen utensils in the Soviet Union. For high production achievements in 1971, the plant. Kirov was awarded a high state award - the Order of the Badge of Honor, which was at that time a great rarity among enterprises belonging to the Ministry of Local Industry.

In 1992 the enterprise was transformed into an open joint stock company, and in 1994 an addition appeared in the name of the plant. On the basis of the decision of the regional art-expert council, the enterprise was assigned to the category of folk art crafts and since that time it has been renamed OJSC “Pavlovsk Order of the Badge of Honor, the plant of art metal products named after Kirov ".

Taking into account the uniqueness of the enterprise, which is expressed in the continuation of the traditions of the traditional metalworking industry, in 2002, by the decree of the Government of the Nizhny Novgorod region, the plant was assigned the status of "an enterprise of folk arts and crafts, which is of significant cultural and historical value."

Over the past decade, the company has been actively undergoing structural transformations. Technological processes are being modernized, modern equipment is being purchased. This allows us to constantly expand the range of products. Every year, new lines of cutlery appear, the design of which is developed on the basis of Russian traditional ornament. The production of tableware made of 925 sterling silver was resumed, as well as the traditional type of decorative coating - blackening.

We would especially like to note the fact that for the second time in its history the company was entrusted with the right to produce cutlery with Olympic symbols. For the first time in the distant 80th year for the Summer Olympics in Moscow, and now, for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Another sporting event did not take place without the participation of the enterprise - the release of licensed products for the youth games "Universiade in Kazan 2013".

Currently, the company is the largest manufacturer of cutlery in Russia and the CIS. He is a regular participant in major specialized exhibitions.

Today the enterprise produces more than 350 items of products in various configurations, which is about 30% of the total market of domestic manufacturers of similar products.

Thanks to modern technologies and a traditional approach, the products of the plant named after. Kirov are beautiful and practical, and compliance with GOST, the presence of a sanitary and hygienic certificate, as well as the environmental friendliness of materials makes our products safe for long-term daily use.

In the vast expanses of the ex-Soviet Union you can hardly find  family who doesn’t have cutlery from Pavlovo-on-Oka in the kitchen.

23 September, 2021
Vostok Commander Watches

Vostok Watch Factory is a Russian watchmaker based in Chistopol, Tatarstan, Russia. The company produces mainly rugged military and amfibia mechanical watches. It also makes clocks and watch movements for other watch brands.

The Vostok Watch Makers company was founded in 1942 when one of the Moscow watch-making plants of the First Moscow Watch Factory was evacuated to Chistopol, a small town located on the Kama River in Tatarstan. Only defence equipment was produced during the war years, but as soon as the war was over the company started making mechanical wrist watches. However, the company did not begin using the "Vostok" brand name until the 1960s. Presumably, the "Vostok" brand was named after the Vostok space programme, as were some other soviet watch brands, namely Poljot and Raketa.

The company was appointed an official supplier of watches for the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union in 1965. This year also marks the creation of the well known Komandirskie ("Commander's") watch. The experience gained through development of the army watch led to the Amphibia, a stainless-steel diving watch able to withstand a 200-metre depth (20atm). By 1980, Vostok Watch Makers was producing 4.5 million timepieces per year.

Watches sold to the military were marked "ЗАКАЗ МО СССР", meaning "Ordered by the Ministry of Defence of the USSR". These models were sold exclusively through Voentorg stores, which catered to military personnel with identification only. Today, these models have become sought-after collectibles.

At turn of the 21st century, Vostok launched a line of 1940s-style replicas called the Kirovskie K-43 collection. Vostok also began producing a "luxury" line of watches called Kremlevskie. Both lines are made of stainless steel, produced in limited quantities, and aimed toward a more affluent consumer.

In 2004, Vostok Watch Makers began supplying movements to the Koliz Company of Lithuania, makers of the Vostok Europe brand of timepieces.

In 2006, Vostok Watch Makers began marketing another line of watches branded "Amphibia". This brand, like most other Vostok products, features the familiar 31-jewel automatic (No. 2416B) movement. These watches feature "diver" styling with polyurethane or stainless steel bands. An updated version of the Komandirskie debuted in summer 2007, and a special anniversary edition of the Amphibia (called the "1967") appeared in early 2008.

Despite the introduction of the new lines of Komandirskie and Amphibia, the "classic" models (mostly designed in 1960s and 1970s) of these lines were still in production (as of 2014).

21 June, 2018
Russian Telnyashka

The Russian telnyashka is an undershirt horizontally striped in white and various colors and which may be sleeveless. It is an iconic uniform garment worn by the Russian Navy, the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV) and the Russian marines. Dating back to the 19th century Imperial Navy, it was subsequently worn by the Soviet successors of these troops.

The official uniforms of Naval, Airborne and Naval Infantry personnel do not include conventional shirts. Open fronted jackets of various designs make the distinctively striped telnyashka a conspicuous part of the clothing of these different branches of the Russian armed forces.

Telnyashkas are also available to civilian customers and may come in a variety of knittings. Single-stranded knitting is the standard military-issue variant, but double- and quadruple-stranded knitting for increased warmth can be produced. A quadruple-stranded telnyashka is thick enough to keep the wearer warm with nothing else on, even at 5 °C (41 °F), as it was originally developed to be worn by military divers under a dry suit.

Soviet special forces wear telnyashkas with Afghanka battle dress during the War in Afghanistan.

he Russian telnyashka originated in the distinctive striped marinière blouse worn by merchant sailors and fishermen of Brittany, who adopted this style to distinguish them from other sea-going nationalities. The fashion was later adopted and popularized by the French Navy and other navies of the pre-dreadnought era. Sailors of the modern French Navy still wear these garments in certain orders of dress.

The Imperial Russian Navy adopted the blue and white striped telnyashka blouse during the 19th century. The tradition of Russian or Soviet ground troops wearing a naval uniform comes from Soviet Navy sailors who fought as shore units during World War II. It is exemplified by the famed Soviet sniper Vassili Zaitsev, a petty officer in the Soviet Pacific Fleet who volunteered for army duty, but refused to give up his telnyashka because of the pride it engendered.

Vasily Margelov, who was later to modernize the Soviet Airborne Forces (VDV), had previously served with a Naval Infantry unit in World War II, and procured telnyashkas for the VDV as a mark of their elite status.

Telnyashkas with stripes of certain colors traditionally designate particular troops, for example:

             Black – Naval Infantry

             Dark blue – Navy

             Light blue – VDV paratroopers, GRU Spetsnaz (posing as VDV)

             Light green – Border Troops

             Maroon – OMON

             Red – National Guard Forces Command, National Guard of Russia (formerly Internal Troops of the MVD)

             Orange – EMERCOM

21 June, 2018
Pavlovo Woolen Shawls

Handkerchiefs and shawls from the ancient town of Pavlovsky Posad occupy a special place among the world-famous unique products making up Russia’s pride and glory. Every year, Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory manufactures about 800 kinds of shawls, wraps, scarves, mufflers, stoles, tablecloths from natural fibers: wool, cotton, silk, linen. The fact that the enterprise has been given the status of a national art craft of Russia means recognition of the high artistic and cultural value of our products.

Unique Pavlovsky Posad school of foulard print has developed on the handcrafted manufactory for more than two hundred years, preserving traditions and honing the skills of artists. The work on each new product begins from the pattern (krok), and its future destiny depends on the correctness of the composition solution and color gamut chosen. All kroks prepared are reviewed and approved by the Arts Council, to which merited artists of the factory, representatives of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and of the Art and Expert Council of the Moscow Region on folk arts and crafts are invited.

A characteristic feature of our craft is the entire collective’s desire to realize the original intent of the artist. Once the pattern is approved, colorists start working on it. Their task is to select recipes for printing inks, achieving the most accurate reproduction of the author’s pattern made with gouache, using textile dyes. The main difficulty of this work is that the true color will be visible only after the fabric processing with steam (this operation is necessary for the dye’s strong fixation on a wool fiber) and washing. Thus, the colorist has to make a lot of trial prints before the final recipe is achieved.

Every pattern is printed in several color variants (color schemes). Depending on the pattern’s difficulty, various ways for applying the pattern on a fabric are used. Printing is carried out on printed tables with automatic printing trolleys and multicolour printing machines. The most important operations are performed manually. Much needs to be done to create a Pavlovsky Posad shawl, unique in its qualities! With a unique design, environmentally friendly and comfortable to wear!

The manufacturing technology combines a solicitous attitude to traditions with the use of the latest achievements of scientific and technical thought. Block models are prepared with the help of a unique direct engraving unit, which, controlled by a computer, puts droplets of melted wax onto the surface of the grid covered with a photoemulsion.

21 June, 2018
Ushanka Winter Hat

An ushanka, also called an ushanka-hat, is a Russian fur cap with ear covering flaps that can be tied up to the crown of the cap, or fastened at the chin to protect the ears, jaw, and lower chin from the cold. An alternative is to bend the flaps back and tie them behind the head, which is called "ski-style" — this offers less protection from the elements, but much better visibility, essential for high-speed skiing. The dense fur also offers some protection against blunt impacts to the head.

Ushankas are often made from inexpensive sheepskin, rabbit or muskrat fur. Artificial fur hats are also manufactured and are referred to as "fish fur" since the material is not from any real animal.  The simplest "fish fur" of ushankas was made of wool pile with cloth substrate and cloth top, with the exception of the flaps, which had the pile exposed. Mink fur ushankas are widely used in the Arctic regions of Russia, protecting the ears and chin of the wearer even from "deep frost", which is around −70 to −40 °C (−94 to −40 °F).

21 June, 2018
Matryoshka Nesting Doll

Matryoshka is a painted wooden detachable doll with smaller dolls inside. This toy is rightfully considered the most famous and popular Russian souvenir. The history of the creation of the matryoshka is very interesting and still raises questions. There is a version according to which the Russian master created a figurine of a matryoshka after seeing a similar figurine brought from Japan. The Japanese doll, in which several more dolls were put, symbolized the local gods of happiness.

Detachable pupae have also existed in other cultures, such as India and China. The true origin of the matryoshka is still a mystery. However, most likely, the Russian master created the famous toy, inspired by Slavic images. Vasily Zvezdochkin, a craftsman from Podolsk near Moscow, invented the matryoshka shape in the 1890s, claiming that he had never seen Japanese wooden toys before. The origin of the famous toy requires further study.