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Doll History Doll Magic Doll Creating Doll Opening

Creating a Matryoshka Doll
1. A doll is carved from the wood of a lime tree which has been prepared (dried) for at least 3 years.
2. The image is sketched in pencil on the blank doll.
3. Details are outlined with a small paintbrush.
4. The image is gradually filled in and fleshed out in a variety of vibrant colors
5. The finished doll receives 3 separate coats of lacquer to protect the artwork and make it shiny
6. Each coat is dried for a week… It takes up to one month to create a doll…
7. In order to dry the lacquer they place the doll on a needle























Every set is hand-carved and hand-painted. Lime trees, known for its flowers from which honey with healing properties is obtained, are used to make Matryoshkas.

The trees are cut in the early spring, stripped of their bark and dried in the open air for several years until the wood is ready. The logs are then cut and prepared for Matryoshkas. The whole set has to be made out of the same chunk of wood. That condition is a must and insures that every piece will react in the same fashion to changing temperature and climate conditions.

It is very important that the wood is just right. If the wood is too dry they are prone to break while being turned on the lath. If the wood is too green the finished pieces will warp and not fit together (or come apart). Only an experienced craftsmen can tell when the wood is ready. The logs are then cut into sections for the dolls. Because of the deferent sizes of the pieces, varying lengths and diameters of wood are used to make each doll.

Every piece passes through as many as 15 turning operations. The turning is all done by hand, and by eye. Turning operations rely on intuition and great skill rather than exact measurements. In fact, no measurements are involved. All of these operations require great skill and patience. The wooden parts are hand turned in the same way they have been for generations. You will be amazed at the delicate strength of the pieces, and how well they fit together.

The first doll to be made is the smallest, which can't be taken apart. The bottom of the second doll is made first. After it has reached the necessary height the top end is removed. The ring is made on which the top of the doll sits. The same is done for the upper portion of the doll. After the upper and lower pieces are finished, enough wood is removed to fit the two sections together. The two pieces are stuck together and allowed to dry. This tightens the ring so that it fits securely in place.

There is an easy way to open up the dolls.

After the hand-turning work is done, the dolls are cleaned, primed with starchy glue, polished and painted to depict an image or story and set out to dry. After a few days, the dolls are given several coats of lacquer (they let each coat dry for a week, too) to give the dolls their brilliant shine.

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