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Pottery is considered to be one of the oldest crafts on earth. Clay was an accessible material that was easy to process. The appearance of the pottery wheel and the discovery of firing technology contributed to distribution of pottery in everyday life.

In Vladimir land there have long been many pottery workshops whose products varied in shape, size, and firing technology. In the 19th century, the famous center of pottery was the village of Korovino, in Melenki district. Local craftsmen gained fame in the middle of the 19th century, after showing their works at handicraft exhibitions. Local fire-resistant clay of different colors (white, red, black) which was distinguished by high plastic properties was used for the production of pottery. The local pot makerd traditionally made molded dishes and also used manual potter's wheel.

Korovino black-glossy tableware was well-known for its firing strength, variety of shapes (while maintaining the traditional conical and globe-shaped configurations, as well as their combinations), laconic ornamentation and, above all, functionality. Food pots of various capacities, milk jars, pots for porridge ("kashniki"), bowls, dishes, plates, mugs, barrows for kvass, water and milk, barrels for pickles and food supplies, jugs and many other  products of Korovino potters were in demand. This inexpensive and practical pottery sold well at fairs and bazaars throughout the Vladimir province and even beyond.

Since the end of the 19th century, a foot potter’s wheel has been used, which led to the transition to a new technique for making pottery. In the 20th century, the production of white clay crockery coated with contrasting colored glaze was initiated, which made Korovino household ceramics more elegant and hygienic. It gradually replaced the black-glossy dishes.

Up to the beginning of the 20th century the manufacture of stucco toys had been preserved in Korovino pottery, the origins of which went back to ancient times. It was handled in the village by women and adolescents who manually sculpted figures of birds, horses, bears, and rams. Then the toys were painted with oil paints of red, yellow, green and brown colors in the form of randomly scattered decorative spots.

In Soviet times, Korovino craftsmen united in a rural artel. Since 1932, a ceramic factory has been working in the village of Korovino. Since the 1960s, a separate workshop of the Melenki industrial plant, where hereditary craftsmen worked, has been engaged in pottery production. Some Korovino home-working potters handed over their products to this workshop. However, by the beginning of the 21st century this production unit was closed.

 Today, the traditions of pottery in the village of Korovino are preserved, developed and popularized by the Malakhov dynasty. They created a real home pottery workshop, passing the craft from hand to hand, from generation to generation. The Malakhov family became the Laureate of the Regional Prize in the field of culture, art and literature with the presentation of the corresponding diploma for their great contribution to the development of decorative and applied art. The head of the family Alexey Mikhaylovich Malakhov and his son Mikhail Alekseevich were awarded the title "Master of Decorative and Applied Arts, Folk Crafts and Trades of the Vladimir Region".

The workshop headed by A.M. Malakhov is well known in the Vladimir region and beyond. The potters use original Korovino clay pottery manufacturing technology: processing of the edges of vessels, placing of engraved and ornamental belts with a wavy line inside, coating with one colored glazes (green, yellow, brown), simple and complex firing. This technology is included in the Unified Register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Vladimir Region.

Potters are creative in their use of local traditions. They do not just recreate authentic Korovino earthenware, but constantly improve the shapes and decor of products, diversify the range.

The Malakhov family participates in regional, national and international exhibitions of folk crafts, wins creative contests. The sons of Alexey Mikhaylovich – Alexey Malakhov and Mikhail Malakhov  –  arrange master classes. Their work continues to arouse admiration of the public, before whose eyes clay products appear and history literally comes to life.

In 2016, the pottery of the village of Korovino, Melenki District, was noted at the Russian level. It was recognized as one of the best traditional crafts and was included in the all-Russian rural tourism guide, presented by the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation together with the Internet-portal

Author: V. Korolkova