Saturday, July 21, 2012
Travel Finds... Wooden Box from Belarus
I always loved the wheat for its beautiful golden color and the way wheat kernels finish the stem in the braid pattern. It reminds me of golden blond hair made into the braid. Wheat also reminds me of my homeland, Belarus, with its infinite gold wheat fields.
Since Belarus always had abundance of the wheat, Belarus artisans used wheat not only for making bread but also used wheat straw to embellish their traditional wooden boxes.
This wooden box I brought from my travel to Belarus. If you never seeing these boxes and do not know anything about it, you might think that geometric design is painted on the surface, but it is not. In fact, this design is all made with inlay technique. That is right, tiny pieces of the straw are cut and positioned on the surface, glued, and than covered with clear varnish to make the design last. It is like mosaic, but instead of glass pieces, Belarus artisans use wheat straw to embellish these traditional wooden boxes. Details of the pattern are so intricate and precise that I cannot stop wondering HOW DO THEY DO IT?
Can you see from this picture how the design is raided over the surface of the top lid? It is hard to believe that it is not paint, isn't it?