Clay toy

Clay toy

Pottery has long been widely developed on the banks of the Klyazma River, rich in deposits of unique natural material – red and blue clay. Archaeological research in 1925 in the Kovrov district (on the site of the ancient Russian town of Starodub-on-Klyazma, where the village of Klyazminsky Gorodok is now located) testifies to the development of pottery here in the 12th-14th centuries. Along with pottery, local craftsmen also traditionally made toys: whistles of various shapes, figurines depicting people, animals and birds. Quite cheap, unpretentious, but diverse in form and subject, clay toy has long been an integral part of the peasant and urban philistine way of life. It was played not only by children, but also by adults, for example, during the days of fairs and folk festivals. Pottery was preserved and was developed in the territory of the Kovrov district for centuries, until the beginning of the 20th century.  

In the 1990s the manufacture of clay toys has become one of the most sought after crafts on the Kovrov land. It is carried out on the basis of the study of local history and expeditionary materials. Today the work on the revival of the old fishery is carried out by the factory "Kovrov clay toy", which was established in 1993. Founder and permanent head of the factory, N.P. Baranova did a lot to create a modern style of toys based on traditional approaches. Kovrov clay toy has a special charm and is always recognizable. Its stylistic features are the bright colors inherent in the Vladimir School of Painting, the variety of everyday subjects, careful elaboration of details, and good humor.

Today, the old craft is developed by talented master painters of the Kovrov clay toy factory. Their author's works embody in clay scenes of Russian life, fairytale and historical subjects. A feature of the Kovrov toy is that individual genre compositions can be combined and completed, reflecting the infinity of the real world. As befits folklore, artists share their souls, life experiences, creating beautiful clay compositions. Author's products of the Kovrov masters adorn the exposition of the museums of Kovrov, Vladimir, Moscow and other cities of Russia.

At the factory "Kovrov clay toy" there are always new items associated with certain holidays and events. For example, by the New Year and Christmas, the collection is filled with funny figures of Santa Claus, Snow Maiden, snowmen, snow-covered houses, Christmas trees, winter genre scenes. Original souvenir products are created at the factory, which reflects the orientation of production for the development of tourism in the region.

The factory "Kovrov clay toy" was awarded with diplomas of prestigious exhibitions of regional, Russian and international level, entered in 2002 in the encyclopedia "National art of Russia". In 2006, this enterprise together with the Kovrov Historical and Memorial Museum was awarded the Grant of the President of the Russian Federation for the presented project of the interactive museum exposition "The world of the clay toy" (now it operates on the basis of the Museum of Nature and Ethnography).

In the vocational guidance centers (on the basis of the factory, in the Interschool Educational Complex, in the "Degtyarevets" Palace of Culture), the masters train young people in the pottery and train personnel for the factory. In the interactive museum exposition "The world of the clay toy" there is a workshop where visitors under the guidance of masters can try themselves in molding and art painting.

Kovrov clay toy by right has won recognition and love not only of children, but of adults around the world. It became one of the brands of the modern city of Kovrov and a wonderful souvenir of the Vladimir region.

Address: Vladimir region, Kovrov, Zhukovsky street, 3.
Phone: +7 (910) 182-85-08; +7 (916) 367-95-95.
Phone / fax: +7 (49232) 3-76-28

Author: V. Korolkova