Ann Reddy Damon is to give a unique painting class 6-8:30 p.m. March 20 at the Tiffin Art Guild. Participants can learn a wax-relief technique to create Pysanky eggs, just in time for Easter. Having learned the skill in the mid-1980s, the artist estimates she has created "many hundreds" of decorated eggs since.
"I learned from a teacher friend in Virginia who was from Ukrainian descent," Damon said. "A group of us would get together once a week in the summer to do projects. We called it our 'Summer Monday Series.'"
Decorating Pysanky eggs is an art form from the Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. There is evidence of Pysanky dating back to the earth-centered Trypillian Culture (5400-2400 BC). The symbols on the eggs may have been used as talismans for good harvests and prosperity. Christianity adopted the practice, but blended Christian images and symbols with the original designs. Traditionally, Ukrainian women gathered during Lent to make the Pysanky in a holy ritual to reflect on their beliefs.
PHOTO SUBMITTED Pysanky eggs are an ancient Easter tradition from Eastern Europe. The Tiffin Art Guild and the International Cultural Center in Tiffin are co-sponsoring an egg decorating class March 20.
Damon is the library media specialist for Tiffin Middle School and Tiffin Columbian High School and the 6th Grade Thinking Through Media teacher. She has taught the Pysanky painting classes at Findlay Art League.
"I taught a group of teachers in New Riegel back in 1995 or 1996. I taught my high school students in North Baltimore. Most recently, I have also gone to my children's elementary classes and taught first and second graders when they were doing a Patricia Pollacco unit," Damon said.
In the TAG workshop, participants are to decorate a blown egg by progressively covering areas with wax and dipping in dyes. The tool for applying wax, a kitska, and pure beeswax are to be provided along with the blown egg. The cost is $20 for TAG members and $25 for non-members. The International Cultural Center is co-sponsoring this event with the Tiffin Art Guild. To register, stop at 178 S. Washington St., Tiffin, visit www.tiffinartguild.org or call (419) 443-0478.