Basketry
Bath Salts
Candles
Ceramics
Chainsaw Carvings
Edibles
Gourd Art
Hand-spun Yarns
Jewelry
Knitting
Lampwork Beads
Ornaments
Painting
Pencil Drawings
Photography
Pottery
Sculptures
Shell Art
Stained Glass
Tapestry Bags
Ukranian Egg Art
Weaving
Wood arts (furniture, boxes, pens, mosaics, plaques)

and more...

Meet Donna Richardson : Ukrainian Eggs, Faberge-style Eggs, Lampwork Glass Jewelry

Donna RichardsonDonna RichardsonDonna Richardson

Donna Richardson, originally from western New York, is a professor of English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is also a compulsive crafter who has tried out many arts and crafts, especially ones connected with folk traditions.

She began making Ukrainian eggs (pysanky, pronounced PYsankee—singular pysanka) many years ago, as a hobby which combined her professional interests with other forms of art and learning. She has been interested in slavic art, literature, and culture since a rather harrowing trip to Russia as a student many years ago, when it was still the Soviet Union.

After making the Ukrainian eggs for a number of years, she realized that their style and meanings were related to those painted on the black lacquer boxes made in four small Russian villages, the most famous of which is Palekh. After the 1917 revolution, unemployed icon painters adapted their style, as well as the spiritual essence of their art, to painting something acceptable to Soviet authorities—lacquer boxes for export which carried themes from the folk tales and historical sagas of ancient slavic culture. Their style—black backgrounds with bright orange and red sharply-outlined drawings—resembles that of the pysanky. More important, these tales are not children's stories—like the symbols on pysanky, they preserve ancient meanings and wisdom from a pre-Christian world and its matriarchal, nature-oriented religion. The meanings of both the stories and the pysanky are compatible with orthodox Christianity—indeed, they were adapted and reinterpreted as Christian—but can also be appreciated for the older world-views and meanings which originally produced them.

Donna’s eggs now include traditional pysanky, “story eggs” with Russian and other folktales on them, and Faberge-style eggs that have the stories on the outside but are cut to open and reveal a surprise inside—usually made of glass, cloisonne, or even another egg. She has sold these eggs for years at major juried art shows and national egg shows. These eggs as unparalleled personal gifts because each one bestows a specific meaning—either the symbols of pysanky or the meaning of the particular story—on its possessor.

In the past few years Donna has acquired another craft addiction: making lampwork beads. These individual pieces of glass art are made at a torch, then combined with other media into unique jewelry—earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

For information or artwork, you may contact Donna at riolama@netzero.com or call 301-862-3414. View samples of her eggs at www.geocities.com/cackleberry_0.