Lipetskie uzory i.e. ‘Lipetsk designs’ is a folk handicraft of making wooden articles with artistic painting in the Lipetsk Region. It is also known as the name of a factory producing these articles.
The handicraft originated back in the 18th century in the outskirts of Lipetsk. Traditionally household articles (such as bowls, cups, ladles, scoops, etc.) were handmade of linden that was growing in plenty in the area. According to the traditional technology, making of any item, be it a small spoon or a big decorative set, takes exactly 72 days.
In the early 19th century production of wooden ware started to be ousted by cheaper and more practical items of porcelain, faience, and metal, but by the late 20th century the interest in Lipetsk handicraft was revived.
In 1971 a Painting Department was established on the basis of a coal-preforming factory in Syrski Settlement (now a district of Lipetsk), and later it developed into the enterprise Lipetskie Uzory (Lipetsk Painting Designs).
The shaping of Lipetsk painting style was in many ways influenced by the study of motifs of Eletsk lace. The artists working in the factory’s creative team spent a lot of time in Lipetsk Museum of Regional Studies, where they studied the history of icons, flora and fauna of their native land. This accounts for the fact that Lipetsk painting designs teem with images of butterflies, birds, fish, and stylized animals.
Rich picturesque nature of the Russian south lands has determined the “brocaded” character of ornamentation, and a ripe ear of wheat in Lipetsk motifs has become the symbol of well-being. In addition to painted wooden ware, Lipetsk artists working at the factory use the same decorative style in painting of metal items, in particular samovars.