Sometimes now you might hear the word “artisan” which often said to make things look skillfully made and good. However hundred something years ago all over the world things mainly were “artisan” – made by local craftsman. If we know some traditional craftsmen of the West and their craft survived till our days (this is what they sell as “artisan” now) the old Russian crafts on contrary is very much lost, mostly due to the Soviet intent for collectivization and industrialization. However there are still some old photos depicting old Russian artisans – mainly peasants at their craft with captions what exactly they do. For example the man on the photo on top is a master barrel maker at work.
Let’s see a few more of the skilled men of past inside, some of these jobs you can’t meet nowadays at all:
A Shoemaker 1903-1905.
A man weaving “lapti” – old Russian bast shoes made from the bark of birch or linden tree. Imagine your woven basket but in the form of a shoe. This is “lapti”. “They were easy to manufacture, but not very durable.“. By the way the man on the top of this post, the one who makes a barrel is wearing “lapti” which are pretty much in bad condition already.
Now weaving the baskets. 1900s.
A joinery in the village. 1900s
A pottery and a potter working with clay.
Those people are making traditional Russian wooden spoons. Maybe you’ve seen those in souvenir shops.
Another spoon manufacturing group. Look how people were looking like – dressed, haircuts, etc – just hundred and some years ago and total difference from now!
And some more spoon makers grouped with basket weavers sitting next to traditional “izba” or wooden house – there is also a well on the left.
And here is a whole spoon market! Do you see those large woven baskets on the cart? They are loaded with spoons over the top!
Here, you can see them closely. Wooden spoons were in high demand!
Another spoon market.
And those are the toy makers. Whole family is helping the business. Probably the small toy production somewhere in Asia is still looks like this however instead of the wooden parts they assemble it from ready moulded plastic parts.
And those people are making the toys from the clay. Probably painting the ready made ones. In the dark of the room – no light at time. You saw the previous spoon makers – they were all outside because there is more light outside.
A fabric dyer. He dyes the fabrics inside a huge wooden barrel.
A “valenki” making workshop. You know what are the valenki right? The Russian felt boots.
Weavers at work. Kids help too.
Peasant girls picking linens.
And now this linen is being put in water for further processing.
After staying in water it comes here.
And those are the embroiders.
Some more embroidery. Look how young those girls are. School? What school? And this is 1914. Exactly 100 years ago. Then Bolsheviks took over and by force made everyone going to school. Lenin said: “We need to fight religious prejudices not by abolishing but by education”.
However before Lenin a lot of kids won’t seeing any education.
A distaff – “pryalka” or spinning wheel – used to make threads out of the wool.
Another fabric dying facility.
Girl making a lace.
Another lace maker. Young again. No school, only lace.
Young again making laces for the rich. Very young!
A fabric printing workshop. They take the regular one toned fabric and the impress the ornaments on it.
Traditional way to weave a.. belt.
And of course fishing or maybe also a goose catching!
Hope you liked these selection!