About Hutsul wood inlay

About Hutsul wood inlay

The mountain village of Richka in the Kosiv region is home to artists who master the unique art of wood inlay.

The surface of wooden plates, caskets, counters and other products is decorated with mother-of-pearl, metal, beads and various types of wood. This technique requires jeweller's precision and impeccable knowledge of geometry, as each piece is inserted into a hand-carved hole perfectly fitted to its size.

The product itself is made of pear, which is the best wood for the work, and inlaid with different types of wood, mainly walnut, sycamore, and linden.

The mould is carved out by a carpenter and then it falls into the hands of a craftsman, who first of all marks the product with a circular and a ruler. Then he hollows out the wood with a chisel to insert another one. To make ornaments that, after polishing and varnishing, will not even be perceptible to the touch.

The works of contemporary craftsmen from Richka have their own recognisable style, peculiar only to this creative centre. The ornaments here are traditional "riverine" ones, because the village was a well-known centre of woodcarving and inlay back in the nineteenth century.

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