Jenny Santa Maria
Courtesy photo
Jenny Santa Maria

BMAC hosts Ukrainian egg-decorating workshop

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) hosts artist and instructor Jenny Santa Maria on Saturday, March 23, for two workshops in Pysanky, the traditional Ukrainian folk art of egg decoration.

The workshops will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The techniques used in Pysanky are similar to batik. Patterns are drawn on an egg with hot beeswax, and the egg is then dipped in colored dye. The wax protects covered areas from subsequent applications of dyes, and when the wax is removed, a colored pattern is revealed.

Traditional Pysanky eggs are detailed with designs and symbols. Creating them is a meditative and methodical process. Whether the maker is experienced or trying the practice for the first time, "the finished eggs are always a reward for the patience and concentration that are required to do the work," say organizers.

Santa Maria's workshop will include information about the history and traditions surrounding Pysanky, instructions on how to make the eggs, and independent work time. She will provide a variety of eggs, tools, and hard-to-find traditionally and non-traditionally colored dyes. Participants will leave with a completed colored egg.

Santa Maria's work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She teaches Pysanky techniques throughout the Northeast in early spring, calling her work "batik eggs," because she adopts a contemporary aesthetic. She stretches the boundaries of traditional Pysanky, emphasizing the soulful process and the meditative and communal experience. Santa Maria says, for many participants, this annual workshop has become a family tradition that marks the beginning of spring.

Admission is $55 ($45 for BMAC members), and includes all materials. No experience is necessary, but participants must be 16 or older. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. Register at or call 802-257-0124, ext. 101.

This Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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