Amur craftswoman makes realistic dolls and dreams of a theater

Learned everything by myself

There is no theater yet, so the “actors” of Elena Vladimirovna filled almost all of her small apartment. But they don’t rehearse, they just wait in the wings…

Our heroine is a school teacher: although she is retired, she has no end of work. For example, Grigory Melekhov (“Quiet Flows the Don” has everyone read?) Finally found his Aksinya. And recently, their son was born. True, he does not yet have a name and is temporarily called simply a Cossack.

Well, let’s not torment you anymore – we are talking about dolls! And this is only a part of what Elena Chernogolova devoted her whole life to: both human and professional.

For the first time, I met a doll as such when I was almost three years old, – the Amur woman recalls. One day I came to visit my girlfriend. And her grandmother took out a doll from a chiffonier – I don’t remember for what reason, but those feelings of mine sunk into me for the rest of my life.

Then, in the 1960s, toys were generally a rarity. And you can understand what a shock the doll was for little Lena. Looking ahead, the first, namely her own doll (ordinary, plastic), the girl appeared at the age of ten. Came from school – lies on her bed. There was so much joy!

Elena’s family lived in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Parents are always at work. The child wants to play, but there is nothing. Well, it doesn’t matter – you can do it yourself.

Craftsmanship was a game for me, – Elena Vladimirovna notes. – I remember going out into the courtyard of our two-story house, sitting at a street table and digging all day long, making something. She mastered everything herself: to thread a needle, and to draw – no one taught, no one helped. I made in solitude and still love that no one bothers me while I work.


The fire of children’s eyes

Elena Vladimirovna devoted her entire working life to her children. What abilities God bestowed, she always shared. At first I worked in a kindergarten and for all kinds of holidays, matinees, I constantly made some kind of decoration, decorations, all sorts of paraphernalia.

Then she moved to work at a school as a teacher of fine arts and technology. “I bring the best subject! Because the child does not go to him, but runs with pleasure, ”the woman noted. Although, of course, the point is not only in the subject itself, but also in the teacher. Elena Vladimirovna herself perfectly understands that children always feel the return. The craftswoman has not been working at school for a long time, but every time she appears there, children surround her and ask her to return in unison. It costs a lot!

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What we only with the guys did not make! – our heroine smiles. – The most important thing is to catch the right interest. Not everyone likes to embroider – well, let’s, for example, make cardboard figures. We begin to model, say, military equipment from the Second World War. And how to make a picture three-dimensional? Can the wheels spin? Of course, it all depends on you! And they made cardboard pistols that could shoot with pencils, and knitted toys, and made puppets. The most beautiful toy bought is one thing, but when you made it yourself! So much joy, admiration, love for this, albeit ingenuous craft! It must be seen – burning childish eyes. They certainly want to learn how to do something with their own hands, and it is enough for them to show how. It is very valuable that parents respect the work of children. What is taken home is carefully placed in a locker, and not just played to the point of a rag and thrown away.

And it’s not just sculpted or knitted. We watched on the Internet how the same Soviet military weapons actually looked, how they differed from the enemy. And so, Elena Vladimirovna notes, they unobtrusively studied their history, imbued with patriotism.


Called to the theater “Amurchonok”

The daughter of Elena Chernogolova, Olga (also Vladimirovna) also chose the pedagogical path. And earlier, she graduated from the Blagoveshchensk cultural enlightenment and led her puppet theater with her mother. How interesting it was! So many people crowded into the hall – even from the city came to watch. The dolls are big, and they don’t just flap their eyes and mouth – they move like they’re alive. And they did not just show fairy tales – they staged real shows. Twice the team went to the regional center to the festival of theatrical art and both times became a laureate.

They performed at the regional puppet theater “Amurchonok”. Olya is behind the screen, and I am watching everyone in the hall. I remember we showed Little Red Riding Hood in a new way – with an ecological bias. In addition, we also had special effects of light – the hall sat as if magnetized, – our heroine recalls.

The craftswoman’s dolls were so good that “Amurchonok” even took a dozen for herself when the Prigorodny Theater, unfortunately, ceased to exist.

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Olga is so busy at school – what kind of theater is there! But she would go to our club, the overhaul is just finishing in it, – Elena Vladimirovna dreams. – I would help her in everything, and the children would be busy. But this is not yet possible – the club has a different leadership. But it was a pity for the dolls that they were hanging idle – so I gave something to Amurchonok. I just didn’t give the dog away – in principle, although they asked for it! Painfully, she is good – as if she were alive. And I don’t know the further fate of my actors in Blagoveshchensk, but I would like to know! I was even invited to work there. And I would, of course, with pleasure – this is my element. But I’m waiting for the theater in Prigorodny.

By the way, earlier the craftswoman lived with her family in the Caucasus. She and her comrades had their own puppet theater there, and it was also successful – spectators came from all over the city. They also toured wherever they could.


“Girls, flowers, my sweethearts!”

Elena Vladimirovna can make a doll out of anything: they say, the need for inventions is cunning. For example, she has a figurine of a woman on a motorcycle: she just took paper, crumpled it up, wrapped it with masking tape – it’s done! The main thing is the idea, and then what will be at hand.

Here is a sunk somehow to make the main character of Sholokhov’s “Quiet Flows the Don” – Grigory Melekhov! And there his love, Aksinya, arrived in time. And by chance – from the figure of some clown who is 100 years old at lunchtime. And he had a defect: papier-mâché, when dried, pulled his eyes, and such a squinting face came out – well, what, there are such people. It even gives a lot of charm. There, Grigory has a defect with his ear, for example – it was squeezed a little in the process. Well, let’s say, the consequence of a bullet wound. The main thing is that they survived, and now the baby even mastered them! Someone accidentally gave some kind of puppet head, put a cap on it: oh, yes, this is a Melekhovsky cub! True, he does not yet have a name – just a Cossack.

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Elena Vladimirovna laughs: I, they say, generally believe that I have rewritten the history of the Quiet Flows the Don. Let everything be fine – Grigory and Aksinya stayed together with the child. A love like theirs can’t go to waste!

It took a month and a half for the Melekhov couple. In general, a craftswoman always has several things at work at once. He does one thing and thinks about another. There was, for example, such a mystical series about the werewolf beast “On the other side of the wolves” – in the main role of a policeman Vladislav Galkin – in general, Elena Vladimirovna likes him very much as an actor. And now this character wants to make – he selects material, clothes for him.

How to make a doll alive? We must love this business, these characters, – the Amur woman believes. – So far Melekhova was doing the same, she kept talking to him: “Grigory Panteleevich, dear, here she made Aksinya for you. Here your cub is ready with her already. Well, to the rest: “Girls, flowers, my sweethearts!” I guess I’m still a child inside.

The whole little apartment is in dolls! Oh, that’s all for competitions, for exhibitions! But where with full suitcases? And nothing will come here. But the craftswoman does not leave hope for the revival of the theater, and there we will go on tour again. I have already spoken with the head of the district on this matter, and it seems that some preliminary agreements have even been reached.

You know, I’m retired for a long time, but I still have so much to do! And for the village, and for the children, and for my Olga, – Elena Vladimirovna shares. – It’s wonderful when a person does not just live on earth! And when the children stick around like that and ask if I will still go to work soon, you understand that life has not been lived in vain. Here is her result.

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