Campbell River, British Columbia
Museum at Campbell River


For immediate release:

The "Matryoshka" (Russian Nesting Dolls) is one of the most famous hand crafted souvenirs in all of Russia. These dolls, crafted in several sizes to fit one inside of the other, were originally patterned after the name Matriyosha, a very popular female name. It was derived from the Latin root "mater" which means, "mother", hence the reasoning behind the hidden dolls "inside" the larger "mother-like" figure.

The technique to create these dolls remains unchanged. As a strict guideline, matryoshka's are made from lime, birch, alder and aspen. The trees used to make the wood are cut down in Spring when they are full of sap. The logs, once stripped to avoid cracking, are kept in the open air for two years! Only a true master can tell when the wood is ready. The doll is made on a turning lathe, and requires various knives and chisels of different size and length. The smaller figurine, which will not be taken apart, is made first. Before the doll is to be painted it is covered with starchy glue to make the surface ideally smooth and to prevent the paint from making smudges.

On Saturday April 12 and Sunday April 13, 12 - 5 pm, the Campbell River Museum is offering a two-day workshop in painting this amazing folk art. The workshop is for beginners and advanced painters alike and will be taught by artist Anita Mooney. The cost of $70 includes all the supplies needed to make your own Matryoshka.

Visit us online at or pre-register by Wednesday, April 9th by calling the museum at (250) 287-3103.

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