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The Matryoshka doll (some tourists call them nesting dolls or even "babushka dolls") is the most popular, most typical souvenir from Russia. Almost each tourist takes back home at least one of them, but very few people know the story which is behind the matryoshka.
Usually our guests presume that matryoska is an ancient Russian toy – it's not true! The Matroyshka appeared in Russia at the very end of the 19th century and has Japanese origin. The prototype of the matryoska was the figure of a Japanese monk which had several smaller monks inside it. Russian artists from Mamontov's workshop made a similar toy in the Russian style, where representations of girls followed figures of boys. Later on they started to make girls only. The name matroyshka comes from a Russian village-style female name Matryona which was very popular at that time.
During the master class you will get a set of blank matryoshka dolls consisting of three or five pieces and the craftsmen will explain how to paint them and will help you to start. Usually by the end of the master class participants have one piece finished and they can take the rest with them and practice doing it at home. But as always everything depends on you – some of our guests managed to finish all three or even five dolls*.
This master class is always great fun for everyone. Of course we especially recommend it when you travel with children, but we can assure you that the adults enjoy it as much as the little ones. So we recommend this master class for adult groups too, for it gives you a chance not only to study a Russian national craft, but also to feel being a child for a moment and enjoy life as much as children do.
The master class usually takes about an hour.
NB! We can also design an absolutely unique souvenir for you – a set of matroyshkas with the faces of the members of your family. It could be a great surprise for your relatives! We will need one or several photos of each person you want to be on the set. The process of manufacture will take 1-1.5 months.
* The painting gets dry in 10-15 minutes so you will have no problems to take the dolls with you.
From our clients' reviews:
Private Matryoshka master class in Saint Petersburg
...When our 8-year-old daughter begged for a day without churches or museums, we decided to try out the Matryoshka master class, which turned out to be a highlight of the trip for the whole family. The tutor was nice and patient enough. Incredible experience. To me, It is even better than visiting those cathedrals/museums. Matryoshka dolls are better those commercial. It is worth going, i swear. (Eva Sliedrer, Gouda, The Netherlands)
Private Babushka doll master class in St. Petersburg
...My son and I are not artists at all, but the tutor was great, very friendly and very patient. She guided us through choosing colours, painting our dolls and helped with touching up our mistakes! We had a lovely afternoon and I would highly recommend this if you're visiting St Petersburg. (Suna, Bangkok, Thailand)
Private Matryoshka Doll Painting Class in Saint Petersburg, Russia
...A very nice master class to paint and decorate a traditional Russian matryoshka-doll, interesting and fulfilling experience for youngsters and adults alike, cool thing to do with your friends. My daughter and I spent almost three hours working on our matryoshkas and left absolutely happy and with a set of nice dolls for ourselves. (Helena, Zagreb, Croatia)