But a new book published in May is a welcome contribution. The book called “Painted Ceramics of Kosiv and Pistyn” is an impressive 400-page tome of pictures of clay creations from a small area in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.
The tiny mountainous village of Kosiv lent its name to a particular brand of traditional clay ceramics with characteristic colors and designs.
The colors were yellow, green and brown – made with the dyes that naturally occur in the Carpathian Mountains. The goods themselves are molded, then etched, painted and double-glazed, which made them particularly labor intensive and precious. The process resulted in pictures in which the etched elements held the shape, while the colors ran and mixed a little, quite unpredictably.
Nevertheless, the goods were durable, practical, smart and distinctive. Household items were made in that technique, from oven tiles, to jugs, to candlesticks. They were decorated with images that surrounded the artists, from simple geometric patterns to animals, people and churches the artist felt like etching on today. Locally sourced clay was originally used to produce the goods.