Sergey Zharov, музей с железными скульптурами/Museum with iron sculptures

the entrance of the museum
picture from the website of
The Russian town of Tarusa, a community of about 9700 inhabitants, around 140 kms south of Moscow, known for some popular museums such as the Tarusa Regional Museum of Local Lore and the Tsvetayevs Family Museum, since 2012 has a new museum with the special feature that it is a private enterprise managed by self-taught outsider artist Sergey Zharov.

this picture and the next six: 
screen prints from the video in the documentation

Life and works

Zharov, probably born in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s, like his mother and grandmother has lived his whole life in Tarusa. After his primary education he went to a carpenter’s workshop where he was trained as a carpenter. 

In the 1990’s he began his own carpentry company, with a focus on the manufacture of furniture, doors and windows. 

It became his hobby to collect objects that in earlier time were used in daily life and in housekeeping, such as sewing machines, gramophones, classic tv sets, meat grinders, irons, and so on. He would regularly visit the Izmailovo flea market in Moscow.

At some moment, maybe in the early years of 21st century. he also became interested in processing iron in a creative way, using a welding machine. His first creation became a skeleton of a fish, as in above picture.

It turned out to be a successful undertaking and Zharov decided to continue on the chosen path. In the course of the following years he made a large collection of sculptures all made entirely from iron. 
The collection has a variety of personalities in various poses and also a number of animals.
The sculptures are made from parts of surplus devices. Zharov gathers all kinds of iron material such as cylinders, gears and bicycle chains, mostly from companies that demolish cars and other obsolete apparatus.
Once ready, the sculptures would be finished with a special lacquer to protect them from the influence of the weather.

In the terminology of this weblog Zharev can be considered an outsider artist, but he doesn’t see himself as an artist, saying that he would like to agree with a friend who characterized him as a seller of good mood.

At a certain moment the collection of both the stuff from the past and that of the iron sculptures had grown to such an extent that – initially jokingly – the idea arose that it deserved a museum.

But Zharov thought: why not. And the museum was established indeed, based in the courtyard and an upper floor of Zharov’s property. As said, it opened in 2012.

For Zharov this museum is, in his own words, “a way to introduce guests to the world of small fairy tale fantasies that can come from everyday things”.

above two pictures courtesy of website

The museum, which currently attracts some thousand visitors a year, is a welcome addition to the tourist potential of Tarusa.

All-Russian Festival of Metal Sculptures

In the summer of 2016, for the fist time the All-Russian Festival of Metal Sculptures was organized, a project presented on a forum of young people that had won a prize. The festival was held near Zharov’s museum and for the occasion the name of the street on which the museum is located was changed to Iron Mile.


* Website of the Museum

* Article (undated) on website, with a series of pictures
* Interview with Sergey Zharov (may 2015) in Kaluga Monthly
* Website Tripadvisor with a large number of pictures
* Video by Anatoly (5’37”, You Tube, uploaded march 2016)

Sergey Zharov
Museum with iron sculptures
Schmidt street 11A
Tarusa, Kaluga region, Russia
open for visits, see website

Anatoly Lobanov, Украшенный Дом и сад/Decorated house and garden

 pictures courtesy of Sergey Bezgodov

Above art environment, a decorated house and garden, is located in the small community of Leskhovo, some 43 km west of Moscow in Russia.

Life and works

The site was created by Anatoly Mikhailovich Lobanov, about whom little biographical information is available.

He probably was born in the 1940’s or 1950’s and he had a job as mechanic at a plastic factory, maybe the one in Golygino, north of Moscow.

decorated entrance
In the production of plastic items residual material is left and Lobanov got the idea to use this colorful scrap to embellish his house. He thus began in the early 1970’s, a project he continued in the following decades.
Currently the house, the outbuildings, the garden and the fence are almost completely decorated with symmetrically arranged geometrical cut colorful pieces of plastic, such as circles, polygons, stars…..  
Although in the field of european art environments some sites partially include plastic items, to my knowledge there are no sites which are exclusively decorated with this material. This makes Lobanov’s creation rather unique. 

Trees in the garden are adorned with circular ornaments and decorated birdhouses. Comparable arrangements are on top of poles.

Although most decorative items have a geometric pattern, some of the decorations show depictions of animals, such as a rooster on a roof, two storks on their nest or an eagle (?) as in below picture.

A pinnacle on one of the rooftops has two symmetricaly placed side views of black horse heads around stylized flowers.

Less stylized is a stork in free flight, delivering a newborn (the stork attached to a line running from a roof to a tree).

this picture is a screenprint from a video by Sergey Bezgodov’

This art environment, which occasionally is visited by tourists on guided tours, can be seen from the road.

Entry and series of pictures (2015) on Yandex
* Entry (2014) by Lisa Patrikevna, with a series of pictures on Live Journal

Anatoly Lobanov
Decorated house and garden
Leshkovo, Istra district, Russian Federation
can be seen from the street

Home Interior Decoration

Home interior decorations is one all about making your house into a home. With colors, style, theme, furnishings and different decor elements a house gets its character. Starting with the living room right to the bathroom, home interior decorations looks into all the aspects of the house. The main goal for interior decoration of any room of the house is to give it an individual personality. Interior decor generally concentrates on finishes like wallpapers, wall paint, window coverings and furnishings. Along with it comes the balance of the various decoration items like wall hangings, showpieces etc. So let’s take a quick look for home interior decoration ideas for different rooms in a house.
Big Spacious Rooms
There are many ways to make a room look spacious and large. The first most important element is the room lighting. Go for soft and even lighting so that shadows don’t divide your room into smaller sections. Avoid putting ceiling lights as they make the ceiling look lower. By having a diffused and ambient lighting the room will look large. The next thing to keep in mind is the texture used in the room. Smooth surfaces tend to reflect more light as compared to heavy textured flooring. For interior decoration one can also use mirror and chrome as the reflection and shine give depth to a room. The wall colors of a room are also important in giving a spacious look to the room. Go for cream, beige, gray or cool pastels for walls. Also while selecting colors keep in mind that the ceiling should be in the lightest color in the room. The next thing comes the furniture. Place the furniture in a manner that it leaves adequate space to move around. Push the largest piece of furniture against the wall. Let the furniture color be similar to the wall and floor color of the room.

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Cozy Rooms
Just like spacious rooms, cozy room interior decoration is also very much possible. Get the comfortable and settled in feeling as interior decoration creates an intimate space for you. Once more lighting will play an important role. There are many modern lighting trends that will help your room to look cozy and comfy. Avoid ceiling lights, instead lamps with down shades will help the room look compact. For room colors, go for strong wall and floor colors. This will create a feeling of closeness in your room interiors. Heavy soft textures are great for cozy room interiors. Try rough textures for the hard elements in the room. If you are trying to attract attention towards any particular piece of furniture then dark finishes and fabrics will surely tempt you to sink into that favorite sofa set. Use tall pieces for the room decor, as it creates a cozy world of intimacy.
Theme Room
A theme room is working on a particular idea and developing the home interior decoration accordingly. One can have the entire house decorated in one theme like contemporary home decor or Asian home decor or go room by room. Like the master bedroom can have a different theme, the teen room a trendy interior decor and so on. Once you have decided on the theme of the entire house or a particular room, select the decoration pieces for it.
Colors and Fabrics
In interior home decorations color and fabric are very important. When we say color, then it is not just wall colors. Select colors for fabrics, linen, pillows, curtains etc. complement it with the wall colors and give your room a vibrant look. The same concept applies to fabrics as well. Today there are so many different kinds of fabrics available. Select fabric that goes well with your room decor.

Alexander Dvoretsky, сбор объектов в память о СССР/collection of objects in memory of the USSR

this picture and the next four (2009)
screenprints from a video by Tatiana Vasilievna
Above picture shows a site, kind of a museum, which could be visited around 2009 in the Russian city of Izhevsk. Meanwhile this café-museum has disappeared. The museum’s collection as such still exists, but is ambulatory and the owner is looking for a permanent place.
Life and works

The collection is the life’s work of Alexander Dvoretsky, who was born in 1956 in Krasnoyarsk, a large city in Siberia. After his primary education he went to work in a factory that produced worsted yarn. About his other employments nothing is known, as it is also unknown when he went to live in Izhevsk.

Anyhow, in the 1980’s something happened that would give an important turn to Dvoretsky’s further life. In one way or another he became in possession of an old debt letter, dating from the early years of the Soviet Union, which triggered him in such a way that he began collecting objects that carried the memory of the years of the USSR.

His collection grew and grew, up to currently some 30.000 items. many of small size, but also several of a rather large size, especially a collection of Russian cars from earlier years

Although Dvoretsky was often approached to sell some items, in particular certain cars, he refused to do so, because he wanted to keep the collection together. His dearest wish was to exhibit it in a fixed location.
In may 2009 Dvorestky could realise his dream. Together with his son he began a café, located in a small park in the city and open during the summer months. In the green area around the café he installed his collection. 
The pictures above give some idea of the smaller items in the collection such as clocks, accordions, tape-recorders, decorative items, tv sets, radios, a variety of insignia and pins, football pennants, busts of Lenin, old money, bottles, samovars, plates, cassettes, bags, chairs, suitcases and of course these old cars and motorcycles from earlier years.

Unfortunately, the café-museum soon came to an end. After the first rental period the contract was not renewed and Dvoretsky had to start looking for another location.

 this picture and the next two (2014) from the website drive2 

However, a new permanent location didn’t come available and Dvoretsky and his collection had to move from one place to another. The picture above and the two below were made in 2014, when the site was located on a spot near a cooperative garage along the Volkinskoye Highway in Izhevsk.

The images of the car make it clear that Dvoretsky has a way of presentation which is not focused upon presenting the specific character of each individual item. He rather presents a total image in which the various objects form part of a larger colorful whole, are provided with decorative inscriptions or serve as support for other elements in the presentation.

Below are some more pictures of the decorated car above. They were taken in 2012 during open air festivities on the occasion of the day of the city of Izhevsk.
 this picture and the next two by Maratochka (Livejournal june 2012)


the installation seen from the side
The pictures show that the red car is part of an installation which apart from other items also includes another car and a motorcycle standing on a roof that in turn is backed up by ten uprights. A car showroom wouldn’t present the models in such a way. 
Dvoretsky creative way of dealing with the objects he has collected, combining these in a non-obvious way, adding text signs, transforming some items into an installation, implies that the entire display of the objects can be seen as an art environment.
The search for a permanent place continues
Dvoretsky continues his efforts to get a permanent place for his collection, although the local authorities show little inclination to cooperate. In 2016 he wrote a letter to Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, to get his cooperation.
To my knowledge currently Dvoretsky’s collection is housed on a small parcel near a forest at the outside of Izhevsk.
It was reported  that Zoya Lebedeva, a well known artist in Russia, is interested in Dvoretsky and his collection. In consultation with her a plan would be considered to situate the collection on a rented plot in the community of Buranovo, some 30 km away from Izhevsk (Buranovo is the hometown of the Buranovskiye Babushki, a folk group that represented Russia in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest). 
Other reports (end 2016) say that Dvoretsky is disappointed about the lack of cooperation of the local authorities and considers to sell the collection. To my knowledge in 2017 and 2018 the internet had no reports about further developments.
* Article (january 2010) on Live Internet by Izhevchanka about the Cafe-Museum
* Article (june 2016) in local newspaper Susanin,news with a large series of pictures (This article reports about Dvoretsky’s letter to president Putin)
* Article (november 2016) on the website saying that Dvoretsky, disappointed about the lack of cooperation, is considering to sell his collection
* Video of the Café-Museum by Tatiana Vasilievna (7’15”, You Tube, sept 2009)
* Video by UDMTV (1’63”, You Tube, January 2016)
* Video by UDMTV (1”56″. You Tube, april 2016)

Alexander Dvoretsky
Collection of objects that memorize the USSR 
Izhevsk, Udmurt Republic, Russia
visitors welcome

European Interior Design

The 17th century is one of the most influential eras in history. This so-called Early Modern century was signified by the emergence of modern science and philosophy. Well-known inventions and discoveries made in the 1600s were born from the hands of Galileo, Newton, Descartes, Pascal, Kepler, and Napier, among others. Besides being scientists, often these inventors also acted as philosophers.
17th century philosophy affected almost every aspect of human life. In Italy alone, the Renaissance era from previous century was left behind and replaced by the Baroque movement. This movement was then spreading largely to most European countries through religion, art, and literature. The Baroque movement also had a profound influence on architecture. Interior design from Italy was en masse adapted into households and buildings in many European countries. However, it is worth noting that although being part of Europe, the Kingdom of England independently did not adapt the Baroque style. This is largely because England estranged themselves from Italy and its Catholic power during the previous century.

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The interior design of the Baroque period was adapted and developed from the Renaissance era, often with more luxurious, yet romantic patterns. Some would simply say that the main characteristic of the Baroque style is theatrical. The main colors often used in homes of the 17th century are gold and other tones between the yellow and brown spectrum. These colors were meant to symbolize the wealth of the home owner, and applied not only on the walls but also other parts of the house such as the floor, furniture, and accessories like draperies and lighting.
The floors of Baroque homes were usually made with at least two different materials. At the ground level, flagstones and bricks were often combined to create deep geometrical patterns. More wealthy home owners would use marble as an alternative for bricks and flagstones. Meanwhile, at subsequent levels of the home, woods such as fir, pine or oak were used for the flooring. Similar to stone flooring, different types of wood were combined to create geometrical patterns.
Most of all, the Baroque style emphasized the use of opulent furniture. Cabinets, buffets, bookcases, beds, and other furniture pieces were mostly made from heavy wood and carved with intricate ornaments. Often these furnishings were adorned with expensive materials such as mother-of-pearls, silver, and ivory. For added luxury, exotic woods such as ebony were often used as the main or secondary materials of the furniture.

Huub Maas, Wonderen in specie/Miracles in mortar

picture by Anton Nuijten 
as published on the website of the Donderberg groep

As often happens, this art environment in the south of the Netherlands was demolished after its author died and his house was sold.

Life and works

Huub Maas (1934-2000) was a contractor and a mason living in Lierop, a village of some 2200 inhabitants in the province of Noord Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. 
His house, located in a wooded outer area of the village named Oeijenbraak, had a rather large garden which he in 1983 began to transform into an art environment.

picture by Hetty Wilming
as published on the website of the Donderberg groep

As a building contractor he mainly had to do unimaginative straight masonry, but now he could create fanciful shaped masonry. which is not so much reflected in the little church he builded, but especially in the miniature mountain range with cascades, a Lourdes grotto and holy figures.

picture from the website
The site also had various structures decorated with mosaic, a large sculpture of a gilded lion on top of a boulder and trees with dozens of wooden clogs hang therein.
Maas has been active in decorating his garden for some sixteen years, untill he died in 2000.

After his death the house was sold. The new owners wanted a garden to their own taste, so in the summer of 2001 the site was cleaned up.

Some smaller builded structures were saved by family members and people living around were allowed to take away small sculptures and other easy to transport items.

The large structures however were demolished. except what once was the Lourdes grotto, which was kept as kind of a covered terrace.

* Entry of july 28, 2001 on website slaponline
* Entry (undated) on website Tallsay

Huub Maas
Wonderen in specie (Miracles in mortar)
Lierop, Noord Brabant, Netherlands

Gilles Rantière, Village miniature/Miniature village

a town hall
pictures courtesy of Annie Fortin
This miniature village is located outside St Michel-Mont-Mercure, a community of some 1700 inhabitants in the Vendée area in France. Its name refers to a 288 m high hill on the spot, the highest of the region.
Life and work
The mini village, a project begun 2006 and still under construction, is a creation of Gilles Rantière, born in 1948 and a mason probably during all of his life.

a school

The mini village, still modest in size, currently includes a town hall, a school. a church, a mill, a wash-house (a lavoir in french), a barn and a little bridge. To construct these small structures Rantière would mainly use granite stones from nearby Haute Bocage, a hilly area with deep valleys interspersed with rocky ground and granite hills.

the church with the priest in front

The small constructions are finished in detail. For example, the inside of the church pictured above is equipped with benches and a priest at the altar. The school (second picture from above) has tables and a teachers desk.
And in the town hall (first picture from above) the mayor is present, as well as a bride and a groom, both dressed festively for their wedding day.

Rantière would place these characters before installing the roofs of the buildings.

the stable

Those who are familiar with the field of French art environments might think that the characters in the above photos in some way feel familiar. 
And right they are. These small scale sculptures have been created by Vivi Fortin, who is already in this weblog.
a miller in front of a flour mill
Above picture shows this clearly. The miller carrying a bag of flour (= former french president Nicolas Sarkozy) is typically in Fortin’s style. 
Rantiére and Fortin live close together in neighboring villages. Their continuous collaboration not only adds an extra charm to this art environment, but is also quite unique in the field of art environments, which in general mostly knows isolated working self-taught artists.

 Rantière in front of the flour mill (february 2018)

Incidentally, the flour mill is also a recent creation, completed early 2018.


* Entry with pictures in Vivi Fortin’s weblog Sculpture du pas
* Article (june 2014) in regional newspaper Ouest-France
Gilles Rantière
Village miniature
Lieu dit la Girauderie
St Michel-Mont-Mercure, Vendée, Pays de la Loire, France
visitors welcome in summer months

Eclecticism: the Influence of the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts.

Eclecticism: the Influence of the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts.

“The Paris Ecole, really the first truly professional school of architecture” (Pile, 301). In Paris, the Ecole school developed a new style of teaching that focused on the history of Architecture, especially focusing on the architecture of classical antiquity. “Fashions drew from (historicism) and travel,..” (Raizman, 31); historical backgrounds were the concept of the School, as seen in the Paris Opera HouseThe Influence from all ways of the past, from Classic Greece to the palace’s of France. The school took ideas from the past and melded them together into a new style; Eclecticism.

Jean-Louis Charles Garnier designed the Paris Opera House, making a major statement of the influence of the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts in Paris espically.

The influence of the Paris Ecole spread to the United States; “Richard Morris Hunt was at the vanguard of the Beaux Arts of America” (Pile, 303). Hunt’s influence was greatly shown in buildings commissioned by William K. Vanderbilt who commissioned Hunt to do several works, including the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Corinthian columns show a clear reference to the classical architecture style, keeping in the style of Beaux Arts from the Paris Ecole.

Eventually, the failure of the application of historic elements to the high rise buildings lead to the downfall of the Eclecticism movement. But what did the Paris Ecole school do for the world of design? Can we argue that the grandiose buildings were a symbol of the accomplishments of the predecessors of architecture up to this point? Or should we say that at this point in time the Architects ran out of original ideas?

Favorite Bloggers Friday | A Giveaway Preview

Happy Friday, friends and welcome to round #2 of Favorite Bloggers Friday! I am SO excited to introduce to you more of some of my favorite bloggers out there in blogland and give you a head’s up on a giveaway for next week that you DO NOT want to miss!
First, some of my favorite bloggers…
SHAUNNA | Perfectly Imperfect
First up is Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect! Let me just begin by saying that you just may see a little bit of a trend here this week…most if not all of the bloggers featured this week are SOUTHERN. I just MAY be a little biased but I invite you to check out each of their blogs and judge for yourselves.
Back to Shaunna. She is amazing. Not only does she author an amazing blog but she also owns a shop in Alabama that is just perfection! If you are in the state you should definitely take time to stop by to say hello to her and purchase something amazing from her brick and mortar!
I seriously admire this lady! Beautiful inside and out!
 CHRISTI | Burlap and Basil
I’ve followed Christi for a while and was so thrilled when I found her on Instagram. She cooks up one of a kind recipes and meals that just about anyone could duplicate at home and even features recipes for those with special diet needs like gluten free and dairy free! So good! Hop on over and check her out and be sure to follow along with her on her foodie journey!
Next is Rhoda from Southern Hospitality! I have literally followed Rhoda since the beginning and it has been such a blessing to watch her grow, enrich and inspire the lives of SO many bloggers! She is truly amazingly talented, generous, creative…the list goes on and on.
Head on over to her place to meet her and see more of what she offers!
Last but not least, Brandi from Don’t Disturb this Groove. I can’t help but think of the late 80’s tune each and every time I visit her  blog! OMG, thanks Brandi! As a matter of fact, if I am honest…as I was typing this I had to Google the song just so I could hear it. You know, for old time’s sake!  I am really just getting to know her but love all that I see from her and enjoy our brief online convos. Looking forward to meeting and getting to know her better!  
I hope you’ll visit these ladies and join them on their adventures! You will not regret it!
And what else was I going to talk to you about??? Oh yeah…that’s right…the GIVEAWAY!!
SO…are you following me on Instagram?
If not, you missed this…
I posted this pic a couple of days back. My new friend Jennifer from Décor Createur makes these lovely signs and so much more and has offered to give a set away to one lucky follower. You’ll want to follow RHI on Instagram if you don’t already. More details about this giveaway on Monday so come on back!
And here’s a little tune to jumpstart your weekend…I just couldn’t help myself!
Get your groove on,

Office Interior Decoration

Like our home, our office or workplace is an important part of our life. There can be little denial of the fact that we spend a major portion of our lifetime in the office.
Based on this observation, you will be able to contemplate how to improve the facilities and design of the office. The concept of the home office is gaining popularity, with more and more people choosing to work from home.
If your office is a home-based one, then you need to select the suitable area and plan the interior decorating accordingly. The main criterion for selecting a suitable place for your office is silence. The area should not be disturbed by any other event in the house. Next, choose the suitable interior-decorating scheme.
Whatever interior decorating scheme you choose, you need to allocate enough room for movement and accommodation of all the necessary equipment and furniture. For example, your workstation should not be too crowded or muddled up. You can use smaller objects instead of large ones. For example, you can use old trays as stacks for piling stationery and other rough documents. The chairs and computer tables should be soft but sturdy, with as many compartments as possible. This will save you the much-needed space.

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You need to have separate plugs and boards so that the wires and other cords are not messed up. After all, you cannot afford to waste your precious time, struggling with those jumbled knots everyday! You have got other jobs to do.
Talking of a general or commercial office, some guiding factors for interior decorating are freedom of movement, appearance, maximum space utilization, and so on.
There should be a separate workstation for each employee, where he or she can work with ease and comfort. Also, the lighting and air-conditioning facilities should be correctly fitted to cover all sides evenly. There should be enough air circulation through windows, which of course, should be beautifully draped with curtains or blinds. Only if the surroundings are comfortable will a person’s mind think freely and creatively.
For an office, starting from the entry point to the cafeteria lounge, interior-decorating ideas must be chosen carefully. Safety is also important in big offices, since a large number of employees work there. So, measures like emergency exits, automatic water sprays in case of fire accidents; fire extinguishers and alarms should be adopted in the designing stage of the building itself.
You can decorate the reception or guest room with beautiful bouquets, which will be refreshing to look at, and spread their freshness all around.
In big factories, interior-decorating ideas can be followed to reduce manual labor. You can opt for low-cost furnishings and furniture.