St. Barbara Orthodox Church, 5201 Alta Mesa Blvd. (Fort Worth 76133) is pleased to announce its annual Pysanky (Ukranian Easter Egg) Festival which will be held on Friday, March 31st from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
This will be the 34th year for this colorful fund-raiser which features a wide variety 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”. The designs are “written” on to the surface of the eggshell 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 her senior citizens. Each person brings his or her unique skills, experience, and artistry to each egg. 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 these beautiful eggs and experienced crafts people who will be demonstrating this wonderful folk art throughout the two-day event. There will be all types 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 all over the Metroplex and North Texas to attend this event. Many come to admire the eggs and see how this wonderful and unique folk art is done. People also enjoy purchasing the 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 Thursday, April 20th and Thursday, April 27th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The cost is $65 per person and seating is limited. You must pre-register to attend these classes. More information may be obtained by calling 817-294-0325. All proceeds from the Pysanky Festival and Ukrainian Egg Classes the benefit of the charitable works and building fund of the church. St. Barbara Orthodox Church is located at 5201 Alta Mesa Blvd. in southwest Fort Worth.