The most famous Ukrainian craftsmen

The Ukrainian people is rich in talented craftmen. Many national masters are members of the former USSR Union of Artists. Their works are displayed at exhibitions together with the works of professionals both in this country and abroad. For instance, artist Maria Prymachenko had one-man snows in Austria, Italy and Prance. Stefaniya Kulchytska from Lviv had a one-man show «National Motifs in Modern Ukrainian Fashions and Needlework» in many cities of Canada.

Kosmach — a large Carpathian village — is nationally famous for it’s masters who create beautiful Easter eggs. Olexiy Solomchenko from Kosmach, an instructor at Kosiv Folk Art School, has a unique 5.000-piece collection of Easter eggs. The Kosmach articles have bright colours and unique patterns. Hanna Chontulyak is one of the creators of these pieces of art. Souvenir eggs painted by this highly-skilled craftswoman art in great demand with tourists from Canada, USA, Belgium and Argentina. H. Chontulyak has created a few thousand master eggs and she uses only natural paints.

Pottery is one of the oldest crafts practised in Ukraine. Today the town of Kosiv is one of Ukrainian leading folk pottery centres. Among notable Kosiv potters of the 19-th century one could mention Oleksa Bakhmatiuk, Petro Baraniuk, Dmitro Zinchuk. Pavlina Tsvilyk, Nadiya Verbivska, Orysia Kozak and Koshchibiuks, Mikhailo and Anna developed their traditions. In turn they pass on skills and know-how to the younger generations.

Pavlina Tsvilyk was born into the family of the folk potter Iosip Sovizdranyuk. In 1910, when she was only 19 her works were displayed at an exhibition in Vienna and won wide recognition of experts. Carefully preserving traditional forms and ornaments she created ceramic objects of great beauty, genuine works of art. She decorated her plates, vases, dishes with the representations of horses, hunting scenes, pictures of Hutsul wedding parties. In 1958 she became a member of the USSR Union of Artists. Her works were exhibited at the World Fair in Brussels, in Sofia, in New York. In 1962 Tsvilyk was swarded the Silver Medal at the World Ceramics Show in Prague.

The Shkriblyaks from the village of Yavoriv, Kosiv District, Ivano-Frankivsk Region are a family famous for many generations as talented craftsmen in wood—carving, weaving, embroidery and Easter egg painting. They combined the best traditions of the past with new elements. Their works are exhibited in many museums throughout the Soviet Union, reproduced in magazines and studied by art historians and critics.

The Ukrainian folk art of embroidery has old and rich traditions. Though needlework has always been considered as women’s work, men are not forbidden to take it up either. The embroideres of Mikhailo Pokidanets who was born in the village of Hai-Roztotski in Ternopil Region are as beautiful as those made by craftswomen. He was educated at Lviv University and choreography school at the Opera and Ballet Theatre in Lviv. He works at school now and is loved and respected by the children. His classes in geography are always interesting and besides, he teaches children to dance and to embroider. He travelled all over Ukraine a lot, gathering patterns from individuals and museums. He has about three thousand designs.

Many churches in Transcarpathia and Precarpathia are decorated with colourful embroidered towels made by the women of the Boiko family from the village of Ternivka. Each of these beautiful towels are several meters long and has black and white geometrical ornaments with inclusions of green and yellow. These craftswomen embroider table-linen, clothes, curtains, sheets and so on.

The traditional folk art is not dying away. Folk artistic creativity is the basis for the development of all types of professional art.

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