The Russian Shop
1720 Ogden Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532
United States of America
The history of Tver folk art dates back to 1935 when the Art Products Artel (i.e., артель "Художественные изделия") gathered together many regional artisans. After a growth spurt in the 1950's-60's, it diversified into a sizable enterprise in 1975. Its new name became The Kalinin Association of Art Crafts and Toys (Калининское производственное объединение художественных изделий и игрушек). The turbulent 1990's saw the company privatized, which created new difficulties as well as neglect of its famus wood crafts. Today, the company is one of the founders of the association "Folk arts and crafts of the Tver region", and is also part of the "Folk arts and crafts of Russia."
The main production of the company has always been wood work crafts with decorative poker work, as well as interesting carving and painting with acrylic dyes. There is significant manual labor involved in producing its products, evident especially in the details, which, in turn, gives each item a uniqueness. To get to a finished product, a great many stages are needed. Wood is felled, then sawed into block and timber, trimmed, again sawed to size, profiled (carved), assembled and then burnt and painted. Most of the items here are vintage. (Note: some of the arts and crafts here are from other nearby arts and crafts centers.)
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