March 20 3Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg) Festival

2015 Pysanky Poster

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St. Barbara Orthodox Church, 5201 Alta Mesa Blvd. in Southwest Ft. Worth, is pleased to announce its 32nd annual Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg) Festival, to be held on Friday, March 20th, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 21st, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This will be the 32nd year for the colorful fund-raiser featuring a wide assortment of chicken, goose, duck, and ostrich eggs, elaborately decorated with traditional Ukrainian motifs such as plants, animals, geometric shapes and specifically Christian symbols. These Easter Eggs are called “Pysanky” which comes from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty” meaning “to write”. Designs are “written” onto the surface of eggshells with pure beeswax and a writing instrument called a “kistka”. The egg is an age-old symbol of rebirth. Since the Christianization of the Ukraine in 988 A.D. Pysanky evolved over the centuries into an art form that became a religious symbol of the Resurrection of Christ, and the promise of life eternal. Messages of good health, wealth, new life and hope through the Resurrection, are expressed through the age-old motifs. Once the initial design is executed on the shell’s surface, the egg is dipped into a dye bath working from the lightest to the darkest colors. Beeswax is applied over that part of the egg where the color is to remain. This process continues until the egg is completed which takes anywhere from one to eight hours or more, depending on the size of the egg, the design being executed, and the skill of the Pysanky artist. The wax is removed by hand via applied heat and a chemical solution to reveal the beautiful artwork and vibrant colors. Several coats of varnish are applied to give the beautiful gloss finish to these miniature masterpieces. Members of St. Barbara Orthodox Church have worked all year to produce these beautiful eggs. The Pysanky artists range in age from the parish’s young teens to its senior citizens. Each person brings his or her unique skills, experience, and artistry to the eggs. Prices range from $10 to $75 for chicken eggs. Goose eggs begin at $75. Ostrich eggs range in price from $200 to $850. Prices are based on several factors including design intricacy, number of colors, and the skill of the artist. The Festival will feature beautiful eggs and experienced crafts people demonstrating this wonderful folk art throughout the two-day event. In addition, there will be an assortment of Pysanky supplies, instructional books, egg stands, glass, wooden and ceramic Ukrainian, Czech, Polish and Russian eggs, as well as other unique Pysanky gift items available for purchase. Last year many people came from across the Metroplex and North Texas to attend the event. Many come to admire the eggs and see how this wonderful and unique folk art is done. People also enjoy purchasing eggs to be given as unique Easter gifts. Everyone is welcome! In addition to this year’s sale, the Church will offer classes in the art of “How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs.” Two classes will be held on Thurs., April 16 and Thurs., April 23 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The cost for the two day session is $50 per person, plus a $15 supply fee. Seating is limited. You must pre-register to attend these classes. Children as young as 7 years of age, in addition to teens and adults have availed themselves of this learning opportunity over the years. (No child care available). More information may be obtained by calling 817-294-0325. All proceeds from the Pysanky Festival and Ukrainian Egg Classes are for the benefit of the charitable works and building fund of the church. Interested parties may also consult the church’s website: saintbarbarafw.org.

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