As the Hutsuls have a soul, so do their ceramics

As the Hutsuls have a soul, so do their ceramics

Two hundred years ago, Hutsul craftsmen began to draw patterns on ceramics and fill them with colours. From a few lines, waves and dots, an ornament was born, which later became inherent in pottery on the outskirts of Kosiv. They improved it, invented new elements, made it more detailed, transferred their life, vegetation and a special Hutsul wisdom to it - to make everything beautiful. Especially the things we use every day.

The process of creating Kosiv ceramics is very long and requires many skills. First, the potter puts the finished clay, as we say "vyroblenia", on the potter's wheel and shapes it into the desired shape. Then the product is cut with a wire, put to dry, and then the master pours whitewash, a mixture of white clay and sand.

The pottery dries for several hours, and then the most interesting part begins: the craftsman " draws" the ornamental pattern with a pysak, a special non-sharp nail. It turns out that the pysak cuts through the whitewash to the clay background, and this makes the pattern embossed, and you can feel it by touch. The elements of the ornament are transferred from the artist's imagination and arranged with the perfection gained through experience. This process is called rutting.

After that, the corresponding places are filled with red agnobus, which will eventually be a reddish-brown colour on the product. After that, the products are fired in a kiln for 10 hours at a temperature of 950°.

When the product comes out of the oven, coloured glazes - yellow and green - are applied with a brush. After all, brown, yellow and green (and occasionally blue) are the colours inherent in Kosiv ceramics and are considered its colour code.

The craftsman combines these colours as his imagination dictates, and finally pours a transparent glaze over the product to make it durable and shiny.

Then comes the time for the second and most important firing. The only thing left to do is to arrange the items well in the kiln and pray that nothing gets damaged (which often happens).

It usually takes several months to create one piece, and even the craftsman himself never knows whether a particular product will turn out as planned. The craftsmen mix the colours themselves, make their own glazes, have their own signature shades, favourite colours that prevail on the product and a special handwriting that distinguishes them from others. The ornamentation of Kosiv ceramics looks different in the hands of each individual master. This is what makes it live and unique.

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