Perhaps everyone at least once saw iron trays with bright paintings on a black background. And many have this at home. Bright, brilliant compositions, striking in their colors, are the hallmark of the masters of the village of Zhostovo. Despite the fact that this folk craft got its development only two centuries ago, it has an interesting history of its development.
It is believed that the craft of painting metal trays originated in the first quarter of the 19th century in several villages of the Trinity Volost (today Mytishchi, Moscow Region). The former serf brothers Vishnyakovs, who managed to redeem their freedom, settled in the village of Zhostovo and opened a workshop in which they painted papier-mâché products with varnish - boxes, cigarette cases, crackers. By 1830, they had abandoned papier-mâché in favor of metal trays.
The craft began to generate a good income, so craftsmen from nearby villages took up the same craft. The proximity to the capital made it possible to establish a sales market without intermediaries, and materials for work could be purchased at affordable prices.
After the revolution, the demand for Zhostovo products fell slightly, which is why artists from Troitsky, Novosiltsev, Zhostov united in the Metallopodnos artel. The war years were disastrous for artisans. To somehow survive, they began to produce children's painted toys, the demand for which was much higher than for trays.
Everything changed during the reign of Nikita Khrushchev. By order of the secretary general, in 1960, the Metallopodnos Artel underwent a reorganization and was renamed into the Zhostovo Factory of Decorative Painting. Otepel allowed craftsmen to send their products to international exhibitions, orders from abroad appeared, and the factory was gradually overcoming the crisis.
To date, the Zhostovo industry is flourishing. The demand for painted trays is not falling, the drawing of each product is unique, because the craftsmen paint them by hand.
Despite the fact that we live in a pragmatic 21st century, in Russia today you can find many ancient folk crafts that amaze with their beauty and authenticity today.