Monday, February 10, 2014

Matryoshka Madness.

Nesting Dolls are the "it" doll of the moment.  The first Matryoshka dolls were carved in 1890 in Russia.  The outer layer is traditionally a motherly figure and the inner layers stack inside, progressively getting smaller.

I snagged my own matryoshka for my art shelf from Ikea a few years back...

I love how Matryoshkas are reminiscent of Mother Ginger from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.  That was always my favorite part in The Nutcracker Ballet!

I even picked up this luggage tag in Target's dollar spot a few months back.  Love that dolla' dolla' spot, ya'll!

And, no blog post is complete without an Anthro peek...I've tried on these sweet loungers at Anthro, but couldn't quite stomach the 50 buckaroo price tag, so off they go to the Pinterest land of lust.

Loving this Etsy poster too.  How cute would this be in the Art Room?!

Russian Nesting Doll Poster on Etsy

Alright, onto what I hope you're here for: The Artsy Smartsy stuff!  I picked up this beautiful story at Half Price Books a few months back and boy, what a find.

The Magic Nesting Doll (2000) by Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illustrations by Laurel Long. Katya is gifted a magical nesting doll by her dying grandmother.  She is told that she can only use its magic three times.  Katya is immersed into a magical kingdom and it's up to her to save the prince.  Laurel Long's gorgeous paintings and Ogburn's magical tale were inspired by Russian folk art and tales.

I read this story aloud to my Fourth Grade students to kick off this project and they loved the beautiful illustrations.  We also talked a bit about the history behind nesting dolls and looked at many examples of traditional dolls versus more modern and "themey" dolls.

My students created their own little matryoshka dolls from 2 pinch pots, taking great care to add in hand-drawn tiny details.

Merry Matryoshka-making to you!