|Select magazine number|
Exclusive beads of Albina Polyanska
Beadwork is an art that requires special talent, artistic taste and imagination. There is a wonderful craftswoman in Kharkiv who makes beautiful decorative jewelry and souvenirs out of beads, including Easter eggs.
Albina Polyanska has been working with beads since 1992, creating works that are unique, like the best jewelry. These include costume necklaces, chokers, lanyards, neckpieces, handbags and useful pretty knickknacks.
Referring to her craftwork, the artist invites everyone to “listen to the enchanting music of beads, the magical melodies of silk threads and sparkling glass beads, woven into exquisite adornments, fine souvenirs and delightful flowers.”
The world of beads is much wider and more interesting than it might seem at first glance. Two years ago, Albina came upon a new theme — creating beadwork Easter eggs.
According to Albina, this practice has its origin in the 18–19th centuries, when beadwork became popular and turned into a separate form of applied art. Today, the tradition of creating beadwork Easter eggs is returning. These eggs make very beautiful gifts, retaining the warmth of the artist’s hands and part of her soul, and can be given to a loved one on this bright spring holiday.
The souvenirs are created according to a number of techniques, including hand weaving, canvas embroidery, lace braiding, lace net application and embroidery, mosaic lanyards, and freeform using Czech and Japanese beads, salt and freshwater pearls, pearl-like beads, fabric flowers, fixtures, cat-eye beads and corals.
“I really like to plait such Easter souvenirs. I use the spring motif with great pleasure: flowers, twigs with sprouting buds, delicate petals opening into flowers. I also try to revive the ornamentation and drawings of the old masters,” Albina says.
The name of each work is different, just as each work differs in character and attitude. There are the Sun, Embroidered, Lace, Pysanka (traditional painted Ukrainian Easter egg), Joy, and Wedding Bouquet Easter eggs.
There are also The White Church, The Wooden Church, The Church of Pokrova na Nerli. Sunrise, and The Church of Paraskeva Pyatnytsya na Torhu. These souvenirs stand out in their complexity and attention to detail, requiring the tiniest beads to depict the full image of a church against the small surface of an egg.
The artist continues: “My further plans include creating a whole collection of eggs with images of the churches of old Rus — the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv, the Churches of the Savior on the Nerli, the Uspensky Cathedral in Chernihiv, and so on. An unbelievably tiny Japanese bead in a wide color range will allow me to fill eggs that I have in stock, which are no more than 7 cm. in height, with realistic full-color images that will resemble paintings. Only through close inspection will it be possible to tell that the church’s image is actually composed of tiny droplets of colored glass.”
According to Albina, no Easter egg is repeated and is a unique handmade work and souvenir.
Before work on any egg begins, a plan is first drafted, with the egg’s subsequent ornamentation and further braiding taking a long time to complete. This necessarily limits the number of such works, which represent true creations of bead art.
When asked to name her favorite works, Albina answered:
“Generally speaking, there are no works that I don’t like. If I don’t like something, then I shake everything off and do it over until the work meets the tough requirements of my creative inspiration down to the very last bead.”
If you are interested in this craftswoman’s work, please visit the website www.beads.com.ua/beadworks/beads_eggs.htm
Photos are from Albina Polyanska’s archives
Lace Easter egg.
Necklace Autumn Swelter from the latest collection
In Dreams and Reality.
The Church of Pokrova na Nerli. Sunrise Easter egg.
The Church of Paraskeva Pyatnytsya na
Torhu Easter egg.