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HOME: Russian / Ukrainian Culture: Ukrainian Handicraft

Ukrainian Folk Art and Handicraft


Ukrainian folk art, to this day, is an important part of Ukrainian culture and national identity. Many of Ukraine's artisans still use traditional skills that have been passed down from generation to generation. Their handicrafts are widely recognized for intricate detail and design. Distinctive patterns consisting of of geometric forms and floral motifs are typical on Ukrainian arts and crafts such as ceramics, pysanka, embroidery and woodwork.


Those interested in Ukrainian Folk Art, may also want to check out Russian Handicraft.



Ukrainian Ceramics and Porcelain


Ukrainian ceramics consist of typical and decorative dishes, some painted with floral and animal designs, others with traditional red and white patterns. Ukrainian folk art is also known for exquisite porcelain figurines depicting people, animals and popular folklore.





Pysanka (Pisanka) - Ukrainian Easter Eggs


Originating as a pagan tradition, these ornamental Easter eggs have always been a symbol of Resurrection and the hope for renewal. In Pagan times they were painted to ensure the coming of spring. Under Christianity they symbolize hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


The name "Pysanka" is derived from the verb "to write". And while it first appears that the designs are "written" or painted on the eggs, the technique of painting a traditional Ukrainian Easter Egg is a little more complex. In reality a layer of hot beeswax is "written" on the egg to give design to the area of the egg that will not be colored when the egg is dipped into dye. The old wax layer is then removed, a new layer is applied, and the egg is dipped into a different color. This process is repeated for every color painted on the egg.







Ukrainian Embroidery


Connected to beliefs in protection and fertility, traditional Ukrainian stitch work is generally similar, but does take on distinct variations from region to region. While red and white are the most predominant colors, some regions will combine up to nine or more colors to create rich vivid patterns. Apart from colors, variations in color schemes, type of stitch and geometric motifs create a diverse, yet recognizable, national style.    





Ukrainian Woodwork


Wood carving has always been an essential part of Ukrainian life. Farm tools, household items and instruments were traditionally constructed from wood. To give these items more character, many were decorated with elaborate designs, mostly of geometric patterns.