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Pysanka Workshop 2013

On Sunday, April 12th, the downstairs hall of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yonkers, NY was filled with the pleasant scent of burning candles and heated beeswax, as over 30 workshop participants diligently practiced their Lemko “pysanka” (Easter egg) decorating skills.

The sold-out class was organized for the first time by Branch #2 of The Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna (OOL) and was taught by new member Basia Barna Andrusko. Basia now resides in Yardley, PA but grew up in Yonkers, where she mastered and earned herself a local reputation in the art of pysanka “writing.”

In this class, she demonstrated the distinctive Lemko “drop pull” technique, whereby a pin-head is used to place a drop of wax on the egg and quickly pull the wax to the side, creating a tail shape. The numerous dots with tails are then arranged into various designs. The workshop participants came from as far away as Passaic, NJ and Monroe, CT and were a diverse group – young/old, Ukrainian/non, male/female, pysanka veterans/novices. And, in just a few short hours, everyone had gotten the hang of the technique and was creating wonderful Easter eggs. In fact, most participants left the workshop with “pysanka-making kits,” including beeswax, a wax warmer, and a pin-head stylus, so that they could make more pysanky at home!

Special acknowledgement is due to Father Kiril Angelov, who made the church hall available; volunteers Lesia Kozicky and Marika Shmatalocha, who assisted Basia: Andryj Khomyk, who designed the informational flyer; and OOL officers Mark Howansky, Steven Kapitula, and Teresa Kapitula, who helped organize the event and donated the coffee and pastries.

To see more pictures from this event – go to ​our Photo-Album

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