GzhelGzhel is a style of Russian ceramics which originates from the village of Gzhel not far from Moscow. This area has long been famous for its clays. Since the XIV century, the Gzhel and some 30 villages in the neighborhood have become the center of Russian ceramic production.
In the distant past Gzhel drawings were colored. Local masters painted clay household items: plates, dinner sets, mugs, jugs, toys, etc. Today the pottery features distinctive blue designs on white background. This style of paintings was borrowed from the Dutch. White-and-blue paintings appear in an unusual way: At first, the object is painted with cobalt oxide which is black. Then it covered with white glaze and placed in the oven. After heating the glaze becomes transparent and cobalt acquires sky-blue color.
Gzhel ceramics are always hand-made! Artists paint every plate or vase with a brush, making each object an individual piece of art. Many Russian people today collect Gzhel, decorating their houses with cups and plates, pitchers and samovars, clocks, teapots, and funny figurines. During your Moscow tours you'll be able to see beautiful examples of Gzhel ceramic production.
The town of Gzhel is 70 km to the east of Moscow. You may think of a day trip to Gzhel factory if you have at least three days in Moscow.