My Pysanky Classes at WheatonArts
Stephanie Hryckowian, Class Instructor
I’ve been teaching Pysanky several times a year since I was a teenager in Scouts. Recently I began teaching at Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center and it has been a most rewarding experience. I had students of all ages and all walks of life. It was interesting to observe how very often family members come together and how my class was considered a gift given from daughter to mother or from husband to wife.
The most satisfaction I ever got was when a husband and wife took my class a few classes ago. The wife really wanted to come to this class and it happened to be right on their wedding anniversary. So, to make her happy the husband bought her this class. He also took it himself so they can be together all day. Well this alone was a really beautiful story in itself, but there was more!! You could tell he really didn’t want to be there, and he let the whole class know it. After all he was there only there because it was their Anniversary. Well, after all the instructions and how to’s, I always show some of my eggs, and the kind of designs people can do, as well as what they mean in the context of my culture. The husband studied all the designs, picked some, and patiently did his egg. Surprisingly his egg was one of the better ones created during this class. He made a design with the motif of the Deer, which I so love.
After class, as everyone was packing up and saying their goodbyes, he walked up to me with his egg and said that he really had a GREAT TIME and than thanked me for all my help. I thought he’s just saying that to make his wife happy. He then went to explain that he’s an avid hunter, and that’s why he made all these deer on his egg, and that he really really enjoyed. He said he was really happy that he could be with his wife doing something she wanted on the day of their wedding anniversary, only to discover he could make something he loved to do as is in recreating Deer hunting. he also enjoyed learning about all the symbols on the eggs and how they represent people lives, beliefs and hopes. towards the end of our conversation he said that this was the best Anniversary Day they ever had!! Now that was satisfying, indeed!!!
I am sharing this story in the hope that next time I will have more teachers attending. There is a lot to learn and a lot to bring back to your schools and to your students.