Photos: Folk art flowers at the car boot

I have a childlike love for Russian folk art. My eyes are always drawn to the brightly coloured flowers and illustrative flair, which is why I have had this sweet Matryoshka doll sitting on my desk for the last ten years (accompanied by a Bahamian papier-mache fish and a Mexican ceramic bird whistle – those folk artists certainly like colour).


A traditional hand painted Matryoshka doll picked up in a tourist shop in central Prague.

Admittedly, I picked her up in Prague but this style of folk art can be seen right across eastern and northern Europe, all the way up to Norway. And now, apparently, it has reached the shores of Ireland.

I headed to the Ballysimon car boot this morning with the little man in tow and was faced with a medley of folk inspired brick-a-brac. I fell in love with the old singer sewing machine (check out that hammered metal plate at the front!) but these pieces are pretty defunct bar for the odd die-hard machinist, although the charity Tools for Self Reliance in Wales are reconditioning vintage sewing machines and sending them to Tanzania to help grass roots communities. What a shame we don’t have an equivalent here.
The cast iron and solid wood base could be converted into a pretty amazing occasional table, but I think the real beauty in this is the artwork – someone surely took such pride in this once, which, for me, is the beauty of thrifting.


Hand painted wood boards in the Russian style of ‘Gorodets’. Seen at the Ballysimon Car Boot Sale, Limerick.


A vintage metal weighing scale, possibly hand painted by the owner. Seen at the Ballysimon Car Boot Sale, Limerick


Old watering can, possibly painted by the owner. As seen at the Ballysimon Car Boot Sale, Limerick.


Vintage Singer sewing machine on its original cast iron and solid wood base, featuring a Norwegian-style folk design. Seen at the Ballysimon Car Boot Sale, Limerick.

Of course I have to reference one of my favourite fashionistas, Miroslava Duma, who is Russian, and absolutely acing modern folk style at New York Fashion Week.


Miroslava Duma wearing a coat and scarf inspired by her Russian heritage at New York Fashion Week. Photo credit:

One last shout out has to go graphic designer Sasha Vinogradova who managed to do all the research work for me by putting the various styles of Russian folk art into these rather cool visuals.


Digital artwork created by Sasha Vinogradova illustrating the various styles of Russian folk art. Photo credit: Sasha Vinogradova

All photos by Alexia McInerney unless otherwise stated.



  1. I am Russian, and your post immediately caught my eye in the reader today! Love all the florals!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alexia

      I love them too! I’ll be doing some more image research on modern design influenced by Russian folk art so if you have any suggestions let me know!


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