Pottery from Gzhel (Russian Гжельская керамика ) or simply often Gzhel ( Гжель ) is a typical Russian ceramics, which derives its name from the area Gzhel, one of the traditional Russian centers of ceramic production. In Gzhel various ceramics were produced over the centuries. It started with stoneware, sat down on majolica pottery, stoneware and earthenware half away and then from 1802 with the manufacture of porcelain.

There were a variety of ceramic vessels and other ceramic objects made ​​with different function and size: flower vases, egg cups, thimbles, mantel clocks, decanters, salad bowls, salt shakers, jewelry boxes, soup bowls, plates, vodka jugs, sugar bowls and small human figures. But bricks, clay pipes, porcelain tiles ( ceramic tiles) and particularly ceramic toys in the form of birds and predators were made in Gzhel, as small porcelain sculpture - trinkets and statuettes - and decorative figures: horses, riders, birds, dolls, miniature vessels.

The dishes and the figures in the form of animals and figures from the Russian everyday blue and brown color with plant motifs (flowers, leaves and grasses ) were first in purple, yellow, painted in a characteristic, folk style.

Only later did the artistically designed objects from white glazed ceramic or porcelain white were painted with a typical cobalt blue paint on a white background. The white background is produced by a white glaze on tin oxide which is applied to the ceramic.

Place Gzhel

The word Gzhel has several meanings. Once there is the geographical name of a Moscow sixty kilometers distant area where three dozens of villages and an eponymous settlement in itself. Secondly, the word for art researchers with a whole direction in the history of Russian ceramics is connected. It is also linked with the term used from time immemorial in the pottery shetsch ( burn ), and it is quite possible that comes from this verb in a transformed form of the proper name, according to related Gzhel.

The area covered a large area, which consisted of 27 villages, the Association of Kust Gzhel (Russian Гжельский куст / Gschelski kust ) were combined, 50 to 60 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

The Gschelski Kust is now part of Rajon Ramenskoje (Russian Раменский район ) of the Moscow Oblast. Before the October Revolution ( 1917) Rajon Ramenskoje belonged to Ujesd Bogorodsk (Russian Богородский уезд, today Noginsk ).


The first mention of the place Gzhel found in Ivan I. in a will of 1328.

Early was Gzhel for its occurrence bright tone known, their degradation began in the mid-17th century a large scale. 1663 was Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich issued a ukase from Gzhel "for the production of pharmacist and alchemist dish to send appropriate tone " (pharmaceutical ceramics). At that time, 15 carts were delivered tone for the pharmacy supplies from the volost Gzhel (Russian Гжельская Волость / Gschelskaja volost ) to Moscow and arranged more regular deliveries. The sound was also supplied to the potter in the Jauskaja Sloboda (Russian Яузская Слобода ), established the ceramics for Moscow. The clay extraction from the deep pits, which were often inadequately protected, was the hardest part of the job. This work was done in the winter when the ground was frozen.

Mainly for the needs of the nearby Moscow were in Gzhel to the middle of the 18th century, mainly simple, for this time usual, earthenware, pottery, bricks, clay pipes, porcelain tiles ( ceramic tiles), stove tiles and even simple toy figures produced. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pieces of toys were produced of ceramic. During this time, the Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov expressed benevolent, " nowhere in the world " he had - " except maybe used for china " - seen purer and whiter tone than " our Gscheler ".

Afanasiew Grebenschtikow ( Афанасиев Гребенщиков ) had 1724 in Moscow, the first Russian manufacturer of majolica ceramics opened, their products were similar to delftware. Many people from Gzhel had worked there as a potter and met the technological secrets of the new ceramic production. Upon her return to Gzhel they sat there then continue their craft. You no longer used only the traditional red clay, as in Moscow, but also in white clay masses with admixtures of other keys and minerals. The craftsmen were farmers who were required to secure the craft an additional livelihood. From Gzhel from the ceramic production spread to other Ujesds the Moscow Oblast - eg Kolomna and Serpukhov.

1760 had Gzhel 72 yards. Around 1770 and 1780 Gzhel became the Russian production center for artistically designed MajolikaStücke ( tobacco pipes, tiles, tableware and small sculptures ) of colored enamelled clay. This is not like the typical Gzhel ceramic blue and white only, but is painted on a white background with blue, green, yellow and brown colors. 1787 had 25 villages in the vicinity of Gzhel pottery kilns. The polychrome majolica ceramics solves the hitherto dominant " black (simple) earthenware " and " glazed pottery " from.

At the beginning of the 19th century majolica was replaced by the Halbfayence. From about 1800 we went to the discovery of new, brighter suitable clay deposits in the villages Minino (Russian Минино ) and Wolodino for producing semi- stoneware, Halbfayencen ( Mezzomajolika ), faience and porcelain over. It began with the production of semi- stoneware, made ​​from the large amounts of vats for attachment of kvass.

In 1812 there were about two dozen in the surrounding villages, which were called " Gscheler bush " ( Gschelski Kust ) and were among the Ujesden Bogorodsk and Bronnitsy, 25 factories, including the best-known of Jermil Ivanov and the Laptews in Kusjajewo Kusjaewo (Russian Кузяево ) and the first porcelain factory of the brothers Kulikov. (Johann Böttger and Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus had already in 1707 been found in Saxony, the recipe for the production of European porcelain. ) Towards the end of the 19th century, however, lost the small-scale production of porcelain in Gzhel in the fight with the industrial production of porcelain and ceramic works in Gzhel had to close.

In 1800 the brothers Kulikowi ( Куликовы ), farmers from the village Wolodino ( Uesd Bronnizkowo ) had found a composition for white faience masses. There, the first operation for the production of porcelain was also founded in 1810. Its founder Pavel Kulikov ( Павел Куликов ), had learned the manufacture of porcelain at his work in the company Otto in the village Perovo. Kulikows operation was the origin of Prozellanproduktion in Gzhel. In order to keep his secret of porcelain production, Kulikov had everything themselves, and only taken an employee. However, the pottery GN Chrapunow and EC Gusjatnikow broke into his workshop one, stole a clay sample and recorded from building his kiln. Then they opened their own workshop.

Known champion for Gzhel ceramics were Nikofor Semjonowitsch Gusjatnikow ( Никифор Семёнович Гусятников ), Ivan Nikiforowitsch Sposlej ( Иван Никифорович Срослей ) and Ivan Ivanovich Kokun ( Иван Иванович Кокун ).

Their heyday was the porcelain art in Gzhel 1830 / 40th At this time predominated in the painting bright colors, floral ornaments were painted without colored background. Also a rich cobalt and gold paint was common.

From the second half of the 1820s, only dark blue color was used. In an effort to produce thin faience and thin porcelain, the clay which was constantly experimenting with their composition to improve. The second quarter of the 19th century marked the zenith of Gscheler ceramic art in all forms; in this period came about half of ceramic production in Russia from Gzhel. Then it came in the middle of the 19th century to a decline of the ceramic enterprises in Gzhel.

Towards the end of the century, the entire production was in the hands of the owner family Kuznetsov originally also came from Gzhel. 1810, Kuznetsov had founded in the Novo Charitonowo the first porcelain factory. Mikhail Pettrowitsch Kuznetsov ( Russian: Михаил Петрович Кузнецов ) In 1845, a small ceramic - operation with 8 employees, in 1856 there were 11 employees. The plant was closed in 1876.

End of the 19th century witnessed the ceramic arts and crafts in Gzhel its almost total decline, and after the October Revolution of 1917, the Kuznetsov factories were nationalized.

A revival of production on a large scale, however, resulted only from the middle of the 20th century. In the 1950s, the art of porcelain production was added in Gzhel initially resuscitated once. The initial intention of returning to the majolica was rejected for economic reasons, and so we finally decided with cobalt blue underglaze painting produce simple shapes made ​​of thick porcelain - now known as the " Gscheler ceramic " white-blue ceramic.

Middle of the 20th century began in Gzhel the reconstruction of the ceramic craft, which recently celebrated its 670 anniversary in Gschl. In the 1930s and 1940s in Gzhel almost half of Russian porcelain enterprises was concentrated. There electrical insulators were built for the electrification of the Soviet Union the same time.

From 1970, also Technical ceramics and everyday consumer goods from ceramics were produced in all Gscheler ceramic factories. The ceramic operating in Turigino (Russian Турыгино ) continued during the Soviet period, the tradition of ceramic Gscheler with rich blue color on a white background continued. Well-known artists of this plant were NI Bassarabowa ( Н. И. Бессарабова ) and LP Asarowa ( Л. П. Азарова ).

1989, the operation "scientific - production association Sin Rossii " (Russian " Научно - производственное объединение Синь России " ) was established to manually connect there porcelain products in the tradition of pottery from Gzhel in Gzhel.


The name Gzhel (Russian Гжель ) derives from " burn" ( ceramic burn ) from: " schgel " (Russian жгель ). Therefore, the pottery from the Gzhel porcelain temple " Gzhel " or " Schgel " bear as a trademark.

" Жгель " ( " schgel " ) is one of several created after 1991 with companies or private companies.

Brand among Gzhel (Russian Гжель )