Playful Wooden Matryoshka Sets Reimagine Traditional Designs By COMPANY

Song and Olin playfully reimagine the possibilities of matryoshka sets by portraying a diverse range of families, flora, and fauna, emphasizing the joy of discovery as each set is opened to reveal its inner dwellers.

The brainchild of Aamu Song and Johan Olin, COMPANY opened Salakauppa—sala means “secret” and kauppa means “shop” in Finnish—a little over 15 years ago to showcase a contemporary take on traditional matryoshkas. Using linden wood, which is soft and easily worked, each doll is designed by Song, then produced by expert craftspeople in Semenov, Russia.

“The Bears (polar bear, brown bear, panda, moon bear, and Misha)” (2014), linden, paint, and lacquer, 210 x 120 millimeters. All designs by Aamu Song / COMPANY, produced in Semenov, Russia.

“Green Vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, artichoke, asparagus, cucumber, and green peas)” (2023), linden, paint, and lacquer, 120 x 180 millimeters

The decorative toys date back to the late 19th century when the first set was conceived by folk artist Sergey Malyutin with the assistance of a wood carver named Vasily Zvyozdochkin.

“Sea Matryoshka (A whale eats a seal that eats a penguin that eats a fish that eats a calamari that eats a sea cucumber, and finally, there’s a plankton)” (2013), linden, paint, and lacquer, 250 x 120 millimeters

“Sauna Family (A peaceful löyly moment in the hot sauna)” (2022), linden, paint, and lacquer, 120 x 245 millimeters

Song and Olin playfully reimagine the possibilities of matryoshka sets by portraying a diverse range of families, flora, and fauna, emphasizing the joy of discovery as each set is opened to reveal its inner dwellers.

Oaknut Matryoshka

Apple Matryoshka

Onion Matryoshka

Images © Salakauppa, shared with permission

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