As part of its Spring 2024 classes, the Bristol Art Museum will offer a two-session workshop on the history and how to create Ukrainian Easter Eggs, commonly known as pysanky (pee-san-key). Pysanky are decorated eggs created by using a wax resist (similar to batik) method with traditional folk motifs and designs. The workshops are scheduled for Mon., Mar, 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. For class registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Hanka Robertson, who learned how to create pysanky from her mother when she was a child in Slovenia, will serve as the instructor for the class.
Pysanky are decorated eggs created by using a wax resist method with traditional folk motifs and designs. The eggs represent life and are symbolic of the resurrection. In this workshop, participants will learn how to draw on a white chicken egg with a special pen, kistka, and melted wax, then color the egg with special dyes. The drawing and dyeing are repeated several times as each layer of the design is applied until the egg is finished at which time the egg is blown out, the wax removed, and a ribbon is threaded through.
“While not a traditional art form, in recent years, I have enjoyed an increased interest in this unique and history-rich form of art,” said Robertson. “Many who enroll in these classes have some connection to the tradition of pysanky are artists or craftspeople exploring a new art form. Undoubtedly, the current hostilities in Ukraine have also heightened interest in pysanky.”
The class is $20 for Museum members and $30 for non-members. All supplies are provided for the workshop including an egg and kistka. Participants will also receive a short history of Pysanky, instructions with an explanation of the process, motifs and pictures for design inspiration, an explanation of the caring for the completed egg, and a keepsake container in which to take the pysanky home.
“Pysanky remain an important tradition to the Ukrainian and Slavic people,” added Robertson. “It is a unique tradition that helps those of Ukrainian and Slavic descent feel connected to their past – especially given the current troubles in the region. It is also an important element of the Easter traditions in both the Christian and Orthodox faiths. The symbolism linked to the Resurrection is very strong as is an egg’s way to commemorate significant life events."
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