Handicraft skills for all
By Marina Bogomazova
An atmosphere of antiquity reigns at the Stary Mlyn House of Culture. Weaving looms and spindles stand in corners, alongside potter’s wheels. A clay penny whistle, freshly baked, trills in the background.
Both adults and children come here to handcraft items, each young master keen to learn as much as possible — from straw weaving and straw applique to the independent creation of clay dragons, symbolising the new Chinese year. They sew patchwork quilts and mould souvenirs from salt dough, while adults knit, weave carpets and shape larger ceramic works. Zhanna Globenko has been weaving a huge tapestry showing views of the town since last summer.
The classes are headed by experienced masters such as Geroima Tanana, who has been engaged in straw applique for many years. She designs her own pictures while young Olga Safonova teaches ceramics.
“Many of the souvenirs created by pupils from our House of Crafts are sold on festive occasions,” notes Ms. Tanana, while sharing her successes. “Moreover, anyone wishing to can join our House and buy any item — blankets, tableware, decorations or souvenirs.”