Two-Day Spring Talisman Workshop

A traditional Ukrainian craft in a four part workshop; making natural dyes, pysanky eggs, travlenky eggs and pavuky mobiles

Saturday March 18 (3:00pm - 5:00pm) & Sunday March 19 (10:00am - 4:00pm)

Instructor: Božena Hrycyna


Božena will guide participants in making natural dyes for their Ukrainian pysanky eggs, from organic ingredients. Before aniline dyes became widely available, dyes were mostly made from natural materials close at hand. Sourcing and making natural dyes, and co-creating with nature is part of the ritual. While sharing bits of her journey re-discovering this integral part of pysankarstvo, she will offer insights and encouragement for participants to begin their own journey of making pysanky dyes collaboratively with their natural surroundings.

She will then get started, teaching the process of inscribing the egg with designs to experience the miraculous birth of a pysanka. Pysanky (plural) are talismans imbued with symbols of protection and goodwill, and making them is a ritual act, a meditation.

Participants will continue to practice their pysanky techniques, using the wax-resist “batik” method, in which designs are drawn or written onto the egg with beeswax, and then submerged in a series of dye baths.

Božena will also introduce the “travlenky” etched Ukrainian egg. The name travlenka comes from the Ukrainian word for “etching”: travlenya. Travlenky are created by applying wax designs on eggs and then etching away the unwaxed areas using an acid solution, most commonly vinegar. This practice produces beautiful delicate and subtle tones and has gained popularity in recent years. Participants will learn how, with very simple tools, you can create both simple and intricate designs, all with stunning effect.

The final step in the talisman is the pavuky-himmeli mobile. Learn to make a simple straw prism “pavuk”, used to trap the bad energy and release good energy into the home. This craft harkens from Northern and Eastern Europe and can be found in most places where grain growing (and straw) is a key component of people’s lives. In Poland, they are known as pajaki, and himmeli in Finnish. “Pavuk” means spider in Ukrainian, and is considered a benevolent presence. Thus, these web-like mobiles bring good fortune and blessings to the home.  Božena will teach the basic principles of this craft and participants will create their own delicate mobile to hang in their home. Experience the golden light and sacred geometry as you work with the simple gifts of wheat and rye straw, linen thread, and beeswax. 

All materials will be provided. No chemical dyes will be used, and only naturally coloured heritage breed chicken eggs, beeswax, and vinegar. 

$170.00 + HST (10% of registration fees will be donated to an organization committed to humanitarian aid in Ukraine)

A fresh, homemade lunch will be provided on the Sunday and snacks & coffee/tea throughout the weekend. All dietary needs accommodated.

CALL TO REGISTER  (613) 464-2105