Symbols of hope | News, Sports, Jobs – Warren Tribune Chronicle

Symbols of hope | News, Sports, Jobs – Warren Tribune Chronicle

Apr 17, 2022
Honing her craft for 60 years, Carol Novosel of Masury has been painting Ukrainian eggs since she was 6. Here, she is writing on a fresh egg using a kistka to create her design. Pysanka is the term used for an egg that has writing on it.
MASURY — For 60 years, starting when she was a child, Masury resident Carol Novosel has decorated eggs — in particular Ukrainian eggs — that she has been able to showcase at events around the Easter holiday.
To date, she has done 30,000 eggs, she said.
“This is a folk art over 2,000 years old. It’s a batik art of wax and dye. It is something you can learn at the kitchen table at home, like a heritage art,” Novosel said.
Decorating eggs with intricate designs and shapes is a form of folk art called Pysanky, and the people of Ukraine have been making these pieces for thousands of years.
Novosel said she designs eggs as a symbol of hope for Ukraine, which is under attack from Russian troops. She said the country will survive the war.
She said she has enjoyed the hobby because she likes to be creative.
“Working in detail and three dimensions is what I enjoy. If you really love art, then you challenge yourself and this is an art to be challenged by,” Novosel said.
She has been able to master the skill to complete a chicken-sized egg in one evening — something that may take someone new to the activity half a week.
Novosel recently showcased her eggs at the St. John Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sharon, Pa., where she hosts an annual egg show on Palm Sunday — this being her 35th year. In addition to the display and sale of eggs, there also were fundraising and humanitarian efforts for people in Ukraine with the sale of food and baked goods at the church.
“This was an event for people to put a face on Ukrainian people and provide humanitarian aid. I am most proud of the fact that I can convey to people that something made by hand and craftsmanship counts,” Novosel said.
Much of the money raised will go to Ukraine. So far, the church has raised more than $30,000.
Novosel said she has cousins in Ukraine with whom she stays in contact.
“They are in western Ukraine. It has been hard for them. They tell me they are often in the basement crying,” Novosel said.OLD WORLD SKILL
Using mostly chicken eggs, Novosel said she starts with a fresh, raw white egg, soaking it in a vinegar-water bath and cleaning the shell. She uses calcium for the bright colors, and she draws with hot wax on the shell using a stylus.
Lori Seinar-Roknick of Sharpsville, Pa., said she has known Novosel for years and purchased a decorated large ostrich egg from her.
“The artistry of what she does is Old World. They are passed down from generation to generation. She is truly gifted in what she does,” Seinar-Roknick said.
Novosel also has used goose, duck and small quail eggs. She said the ostrich egg is dimpled with a surface like a football, requiring a little extra work. Novosel said she paints with traditional colors of white, red and black.
“I have learned to be a master with the color,” she said.
Novosel said colors have different meanings such as orange is wisdom, yellow is happiness and black means protection. Blue and green together mean health.
She said when she packages her eggs, she writes all of the meanings down with them. A lot of people buy them for the meaning as much as for the design, she noted.
She said she has heard that people have even included the Ukrainian eggs she has done in their wills for family members.
“I heard about that and can’t even imagine it. People want to inherit them, which is so hard to believe,” Novosel said.
Jill Fulmer of Hermitage, Pa., Novosel’s niece, said she likes the colors that Novosel uses for the eggs.
“Her eggs are always amazing, and the show always has many people. This year more people came here to give a little more and help with the situation in Ukraine,” Fulmer said.
She said people look for a particular symbolism when selecting an egg.
“Every egg has a symbol on it, Every symbol has a meaning. Certain colors used on an egg match the decor of a home. I think many people like the intricacy of the design of what she does. That’s what they love,” Fulmer said.
She said people ask about the process of designing the eggs.
“She tells them how this was passed down from her grandmother, to her mom and then to her. It has kept being passed down from generation to generation,” Fulmer said.
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