Ukrain Folk Art


Ukrainian folk art traditions are rooted in the art and culture of ancient Kievan Rus. In 1908, a potter's workshop was excavated by Vikenty Khvoiko in Kiev. This remarkable find includes the kiln for firing ceramic tiles, as well as stoves for fusing differently colored enamels and tile fragments, the glaze of which was still in perfect condition. Apart from tiles, the Kievan potters produced other glazed and enamelled earthenware. In the centuries that followed, Ukrainian pottery became prominent in other towns, such as Oposhnia and Mirgorod near Poltava; Glukhov and Baturin near Cherni-gov; Bubnovka, Gaisin, and Tulchin in Podolia; Kosov, Kolomyia, and Pistyn near Stanislav; and Vasilkovo, Dybintsy, and Mezhgorye in the vicinity of Kiev.

Ukrainian pottery is remarkable for its clear-cut shapes and attractive decoration. Wheel-thrown pots are often embellished with simple stamped designs of bands or wavy lines. Earthenware dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries still shows Byzantine influence, but later each area's wares began to take on a distinctive local character. The Kievan potters, for example, emphasized the plastic expressiveness of their work, while ornamental rosettes borrowed from wood carving and die-stamped on wet clay before firing were favored by the Kharkov potters. Vessels from Oposhnia were remarkable for their high quality and attractive painted designs decorating the entire surface. White and green color schemes, unique ornaments, and a special painting technique are all characteristic of pottery made by the Huzuls in the western Ukraine.

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