Production of Matryoshka


The matryoshka manufacturing process begins with choosing the proper wood. Linden is the best because of its softness. Also birch or alder-tree are also good. The trees are to be cut in early spring. The bark is to be partly peeled – a thin layer helps to prevent cracks. After that the logs are left for 2-3 years in the fresh air to dry. The smallest matryoshka in the family is the first to be crafted – that one which is a solid piece.

When the smallest one is ready, the master starts the next figure which will be the shell for the first one. The blank is to be cut and machined first. Then the master cuts it in half and the bottom part is to be made first. He starts by hollowing the wood out so that the smaller doll is close fitting. Then the process is to be repeated for the rest of the Matryoshka`s parts.

Let's illustrate the process of making the blank:


Billet fixed in the cartridge of machine and grind to a cylinder


By cutter aligned end of blank


By cutter hollowing the wood out from future matryoshka


Trying on the inside matryoshka to the outside matryoshka


Excised protrusion for connecting the bottom with the upper part of matryoshka


By cutter cut off the bottom of matryoshka


By cutter hollowing the wood out from the upper part of matryoshka


Connect both parts and grind external shape of matryoshka


Grind matryoshka by sandpaper


By cutter cut off the upper part of matryoshka


After priming PVA glue, blank can be used for painting


Interesting facts 


  • Did you know Matryoshka is just 130 years old? The first doll was made and painted by the Moscow's toy factory "Detskoye vospitanie" at the end of 19th century.
  • Matryoshka are of Japanese origin. Malutin S. V. might have picked up an idea of the doll from a toy which was brought from the Honsu island by the wife of S. I. Mamontov. It was a figure of a wiseman, Fukurokudzu, inside which a few other figures were hidden.
  • Every matryoshka doll is hand crafted. It takes a master up to 15 steps working on a piece of wood before it became a matryoshka.
  • The biggest matryoshka is a 30 meter high building in the shape of a matryoshka situated in Manjuria (China). The largest non-opening ones are 13 meters high and were painted by an artist Boris Krasnov - they are installed in Moscow's exhibition hall. The biggest opening matryoshka is 1.5 meters high and was made in Semyonovo and was given as a present to Japan in 1970.
  • The most implementing is one done by Smyonovskiy workshop – its volume is 75 cm, and riches 1,5 m height.
  • There's a believe that if you put a note with a wish into a matryoshka – it'll come true. Use the most beautiful one. 

The Story Behind the Name

"Matryoshka" are Russian wooden dolls with smaller dolls stacked within the bigger ones. In provincial Russia before the revolution the name Matryona or Matriyosha was a very popular female name. It was derived from the Latin root 'mater' which means 'mother'. This name was associated with the image of a mother of a big family who was very healthy and had a portly figure. Subsequently, it became a symbolic name and was used specially to describe brightly painted wooden dolls made in such a way that they could be taken apart to reveal smaller dolls fitting inside one another. Even now nesting doll is considered to be a symbol of motherhood and fertility. A mother doll with numerous dolls-children perfectly expresses the oldest symbol of human culture. The first Russian nesting doll turned by

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