Barb is back from a wonderful two-week trip to Poland with her daughter Sarah and with our mother, who emigrated from there to America in the 1950s. In Warsaw, amidst the old buildings that have been beautifully and artfully restored after the bombings of World War II, there now stand modern, architecturally lovely buildings that are a stunning contrast to the old style of architecture. The country has a long history and culture rich in folk art.
There were thousands of flowers gracing every building, sidewalk, street, balcony, median strip and residence. The variety of flowers and colors were stunning, and perhaps just might be a way in which Poles are keeping the tradition of the rich colors of their folk art alive. The examples pictured above are typical of the richness of color that is so prevalent in Eastern Europe.
Colorful folk paper cuttings, in the center of the photo, and on the trivet in the lower left corner, were fashionable in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century. They became famous in Poland as part of a folklore art. Initially, they adorned peasants’ chambers … only to become with time, a folklore handcraft, intended for sale. The most prominent features of the paper cuttings are the contrast of colors and the intricacy of its workmanship. The original patterns were cut out with sheep shears!
Embroidery on garments, tablecloths and napkins, weaving, intricate paper cutting, dyeing, felting, unique pottery, painting, carved woodwork, lacemaking, quilting and jewelry are all examples of the kinds of handcrafts that our ancestors made. At the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival,
we strive to carry on the richness of art forms that were practiced a century ago … and some newer art forms that we hope will be passed on to the next generation. With classes like Adornments
on Friday evening with Toni Ritchey
, you’ll learn the art of wet felting, giving you the knowledge and skills to create accessories and functional wearables. Bead Embroidery
with Adina DeRoy Stouffer
, Creative Trims
with Doug Kreinik
, Wire Weaving
with Helene Jacobs
with Jennifer Vancalcar
, and Paper Folding
with Cass Barth
are examples of handcrafts that have been practiced for centuries and are being offered at the Creative Arts Festival next month.
With all that in mind, we have a giveaway for one winner: The colorful paper cutout featured in the center of the photo, brought back from Poland, will be given away to one lucky winner, randomly selected from the next 30 people who register for any class.
We’ll keep you updated with announcements regarding gifts from our sponsors and additional giveaways. Stay tuned!
Barb Grossman and Ann Szilagyi, Co-Founders