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Faberge Eggs
The most important feast of the Russian Orthodox Church calendar is Easter.  It is celebrated with the exchange of eggs and three kisses.  In 1884, a Russian Emperor wanted to give his wife a present for Easter.  He asked a jeweler named Carl Faberge to make him something special.  The result was a beautiful egg of gold and jewels.  All together in the years to follow, 50 Imperial eggs were made.  Each one was less than 6 inches tall and was covered in precious jewels.  The designs for the eggs were famous pieces of art, travels, or pieces of Russian history.  Each one also opened and contained a "surprise."  Some of these surprises included a miniature coronation coach, a miniature eagle, and a model of the Trans-Siberian Railroad.  Many of them are now on display in the Armory of the Kremlin.  Today, many artists make less expensive painted eggs which are called Faberge eggs.  Lots of people collect them.

Golden Klakhoma
Khakloma is the name of a big village on the left bank of the Volga River.  Craftsmen from neighboring villages brought their handicrafts there to sell. One specific type of art was born in the village.  It is called the Golden Klakhoma.  Artists first carve and then paint wood, crafting boxes, vases, candlesticks, and other items for a table.  The painting has delicate grass patterns and festive coloring of scarlet, green, and gold against a black lacquer background.

Matryoshka or Nesting Dolls
Probably the most easily identified form of Russian crafts are the nesting dolls.  They are usually brightly painted and blend the traditions and cultures of the Russian people.  They have many themes—fairy, folk, rustic, or Imperial tales.  Sets can have up to twelve dolls.

1. Peter lives in the United States, but his mother was born in Russia.  For years, Peter's mother had admired Faberge eggs.  She often told him she would like to collect them.  When Peter got a job, he made a promise to buy his mother a Faberge egg every year at Easter for the next ten years. The first one he bought cost $150.  Every year, the price went up 5%. List the cost for the egg each year.  What was Peter's total cost for the eggs?

2. Uri works in a studio which makes Golden Klakhoma.  His job is to paint boxes with the black enamel.  Each box must have three coats of paint.  It takes him 45 minutes to apply one coat.  He must allow 30 minutes between coats to dry.  He starts at 8:00AM and finishes at 5:00PM with a half hour off for lunch.  Set up a schedule for painting and drying 4 boxes.  Call the boxes A-B-C-D.

3. Each doll in a set of 8 nesting dolls is 1.5 cm smaller than the one before it.  If the tallest doll is 14 cm, how tall is the smallest?

4. How many dolls would be in a set if the smallest is 3/4 inch and the largest is 7 1/2 inch?  Each doll is 3/4 inch larger than the doll before it.

Russian Craft Solutions

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