Secrets of Clay: Pot Pavlovitch

November 2014

Vladimir Kholchev, a potter from Glushkovo district, Kursk region, makes a significant contribution to the preservation of the Russian ancient craft. The craftsman who shared his skills with numerous students, celebrated his 60th birthday.


photo by Anna Kolganova

The pottery wares of Russia's honoured craftsman are known across the country. He has made many unique pots. For example, Vladimir Pavlovitch invented a new pot shape. The pot received the name "Pot Pavlovitch". Milk jars, tea pots, cups, jugs and stew pots are distinguished by clarity, vividness, simplicity, harmony of shapes and a glaze coating made according to a special ancient know-how. The use of various innovative technologies makes Kholchev's pottery wares especially strong – they can be used in a Russian stove, a modern stove or a microwave.

Ceramic has been Vladimir's passion since childhood. "We lived in front of a pottery shop and I used to go there all the time," he remembers. "I used to contemplate how the regular clay turned into surprising shapes in the hands of the craftsman." Kholchev learnt pottery secrets from Nikolay Tishchenko, an artisan from the city of Rylsk. So, he had no doubts about what to do with his life.

Before perestroika, Vladimir Kholchev taught art, technical drawing and industrial arts in a rural school. He also worked as a decorator in an artist's studio. In 1993, he managed to found the Arts and Crafts Centre in Glushkovo. The facility gave a re-birth to practically forgotten craft traditions in the district. Now all enthusiasts may learn the basics of working at the potter's wheel.