Khokhloma tableware, The Golden Khokhloma Museum, Semyonov
Khokhloma collection from the Golden Khokhloma Museum, Semyonov, Russia
The predominant colours used for painting are red, gold and black, colours typically used for decorating monastic vessels, the red representing beauty, the gold symbolizing spiritual light and the black relating to the struggle to purge the human soul of wrong doing. The patterns are inspired by many sources including manuscripts, icons, brocade fabrics and of course nature.
Decorative clock from the Golden Khokhloma Museum in Semyonov
There are two main types of Khokhloma painting: red and black ornaments against the golden background; and golden ornaments against the black or red background. The second type is more complicated since more expensive.
Not only kitchen wares are painted in the Khokhloma style nowadays but pieces of furniture like chairs and tables, clocks, icons, jewelry boxes, and jewelry itself.
Wooden bangle hand painted in the Khokhloma style, by Elizaveta Mazikova
Khokhloma items - light, strong, boldly coloured, patterned and gilded - are part of Russia's rich folk handicraft heritage and would make wonderful and meaningful souvenirs to bring home from Russia.