This Samara resident SEWS models of temples

Georgy Subbotin/Rodina magazine
There are many temples in Samara: the Pokrovsky Cathedral, which looks like a fairy-tale ‘terem’ (country house), the old Sofia Church made of red bricks and the Russian-style chapel of St. Alexis. And, if you go for a walk on the old part of the city, you will definitely see the house of local artist Nikolai Samokhin.

It is easy to recognize: in front of it are light, almost airy models of temples, which Nikolai makes with his hands from cardboard and decorates with improvised materials.

Samokhin’s unusual hobby began over a decade ago. For many years, he worked as a driver’s assistant on a diesel locomotive, then became a boiler plant operator. In order not to get bored between equipment inspections, he decided to  do some simple needlework, which he remembered studying in school, and began to build - first a single-dome - and then more complex temples.

Thus, gradually, some truly amazing works began to appear, among which are modest chapels, as well as the majestic Savior-on-Blood in St. Petersburg, the Samara Temple of Sofia and a huge Preobrazhenskaya church with 22 domes in Kizhi. Work on a typical single dome temple takes about ten days, while on such a huge area as the church in Kizhi – several months.

The technique is quite simple, but labor-intensive: the basis is a dense cardboard, which is then covered with material from shiny bags; Samokhin, meanwhile, makes the crosses on the domes of his models with copper wire. He skillfully wields needle and thread, connecting different parts, building neat walls and golden domes, step by step.

Nikolai Samokhin willingly shows everyone who stops at his house his sewn temples and, sometimes, even gives away some of them.

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