Nowadays, artists turn to natural materials more and more often. For example, the member of AA Uz A.Solihov and member of “Hunarmand” Association A.S. Yuldashev have developed new technology of artistic straw working. Their technology much differs from the famous schools which work in a technique of appliques and incrustations from straw.

А. Yuldashev. Composition

Nowadays, artists turn to natural materials more and more often.

For example, the member of AA Uz A.Solihov and member of “Hunarmand” Association A.S. Yuldashev have developed new technology of artistic straw working. Their technology much differs from the famous schools which work in a technique of appliques and incrustations from straw.

For many thousands many peoples have been producing products decorated with straw. This craft goes from archaic rituals connected with a cult of white straw crops. Our ancestors believed the divine force of grain. The vital force of stalks and ears influenced positively everyone who contacted them. They appreciated not only a grain ear, but also its stalk — perfect material for baskets, caskets, chests, utensils, toys and other subjects.

А. Yuldashev. Composition

The art of straw works successfully developed in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia. The most famous is the Belarus school.

Methods of straw incrustation go from intarsia (incrustation on wood) and mosaics. Intarsia was applied to expensive furniture and other subjects from valuable wood. Bone, nacre and metal were used for mosaics. National masters replaced expensive decorative materials by equally beautiful, but cheap and accessible straw. It was enough to glue it thoroughly onto the surface.

Appliques are used to create different patterns on fabric or paper. From ancient times national masters created wonderful wall panels decorating interior. In the mid-20th century such products still were in villages of Belarus, Russia and Poland. Big decorative panels continued traditions of wall carpets decorated with straw appliques.

А. Yuldashev. Composition

Straw incrustation has the same technology — thin details are glued onto surface. It is seemed that straw plates are cut into the surface. Technique of patterns of straw on subjects from wood or another firm material is called incrustation, and on fabric or paper — applique.

Material and size of decorated surfaces (techniques) predetermined development of two different directions of this art.

As for incrustation, patterns are done on small products from wood or another firm material. Compositions are based on geometrical elements as properties of material do not allow any other forms and sizes. Big wall panels are made in the technique of curvilinear applique. It gives fine compositions of magnificent flowers, animals and birds.

Details of straw stalks are glued side by side onto paper to create curvilinear patterns (flower petals and leaves). Then they cut out necessary elements from ready sheets. Straw is often painted in bright colors.

А. Yuldashev. Composition

Ornamental compositions are formed of stylized natural motifs — trees, flowers, animals, birds and others. Squares, triangles, rhombuses, rectangles and lines are major components of a pattern. A master combines them creating various compositions. Alternation of these elements determines a rhythmic character of the ornament. All compositions are based on repeat, symmetric or centric structure. Rare is a free location of a pattern in asymmetric compositions. Such compositions demand laborious work. At the same time, they do not require any special art education except for thoroughness and accuracy. The main thing is experience.

Fundamental law of traditional schools and their adherents prescribes that elements must not imitate natural forms as excessive naturalism diminishes decorative qualities of material and leads to simple imitation. Decorative art should bear and cause figurative associations.

A. Yuldashev and A. Solihov have developed a new direction of straw working having original style and exclusive technology. The author’s name of this style and technique is “Uzbek straw work”. It bases on absolutely new methods of straw working which have never applied in decorative and applied art.

Its major principle is full artistic certainty. All elements of painting and graphics are present on products. They can be compared with easel painting due to pokerwork composing separate elements of the pattern. Pokerwork instrument plays a role analogous with a pencil or pen of graphic artist and brush in painting. Innovative is multilayer composition where separate elements are located one above another. It gives sculptural dimensions. That is absolutely new in straw working and has never applied in any straw working school.

Straw plays a leading role, instead of to be submitted to material and form of a subject how it was in traditional schools. In this case a form and material of a subject are to emphasize straw work and add artistic expressiveness to it.

А. Yuldashev. Composition

New technology gives a key role to an artist. Now he can create products of any complexity and size. At the same time, originality of a material is kept, and finished products get expressiveness of painting, economy of graphics and dimensions of sculpture. The advantages of the new style open boundless opportunities for creativity and development of decorative solutions.

The area of new straw work technologies is wide enough.

Aesthetic art. These are exclusive author’s products exposed at the art exhibitions or museums as well as included in the private collections. They promote popularization of Uzbek artistic straw work.

Souvenirs. Highly artistic, hand-worked products of small forms. They are made limited in number. The subjects reflect national history and cultural traditions. The plots from folklore, fairy tales, myths and pictures of ancient architecture are represented on them. It is possible to create compositions containing logotype or brand mark of a customer. Tourists and big companies gladly buy such souvenirs.

Heraldry. Emblems, logotypes and brand marks are made in this technique. Keeping inherent pithiness they obtain originality due to beauty of the material and technology of its working. Popular are national emblems, emblems of cities and family arms. Big companies order folders with their logotypes.

Calligraphy. Decoration or writing down texts, sayings and hadiths in Uzbek straw work. It can be applied to design of expositions, museums and stands at offices. Popular are hadiths and suras from Koran in beautiful frames.

Applied Arts. Uzbek straw work is applied to decoration of furniture, caskets, cases, frames and other products from firm materials. New technique much extends expressive opportunities of artist in comparison with traditional.

That looks promising in interior design of buildings, in manufacturing of female ornaments and accessories.

The authors pay attention to introduction of this program in public education. Pupils will have opportunities to develop skills in straw working. Talented young people can continue education at colleges. This activity aims to formation and development of national school of Uzbek straw working.

Process of straw working includes some consecutive operations — from the simple which are accessible to beginners up to the difficult, demanding art skills. Minimum of cheap instruments (scissors, brush and burner) and accessible materials (straw bands from stalks, paper, fabric, tracing paper, carbon paper and glue) as well as rather simple technology enable to organize collective work and art studio easily in any place.