A Promising Year for LTFAI

  • On April 17 we had a brief but useful meeting with new members participating. Long-time member and past president Birute Batraks gave a short historical overview of the organization for new members. Diana Wiese spoke about full transition to the internet and the importance of LTFAI’s online presence, with a Facebook page launched in November 2020. Ramune Jonaitis spoke briefly about changes in membership, with attrition of the first generation of artisans and the current need to reach a younger demographic via technology and the use of English. Sebastian Grinham outlined the progress of the website and trends in traffic, as updated attendees on the National Costume Archive. Danguole Breen confirmed that the LTFAI archive is being stored at the LMAC, (Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada) and a number of films, VHS tapes and books have been digitized. There are also books published by LTI in greater numbers than the LMAC is willing to keep, and they will have to be moved to other premises. Diana Wiese presented the financial report, noting that generating new revenue will be one of the Board’s goals.
  • Diana Wiese reminded participants that the goal of the LTFAI is to provide inspiration and to showcase practicing artisans, and to do this, it is important to continue to grow the website and enhance our online presence via Facebook. Hosting more workshops is also planned, and we will have the Sashes workshop in June. Christine Pavilanis Gaputis outlined plans for this three-session workshop. Diana Wiese also revealed that there would be a knitting (with traditional motifs) workshop in October and Joana Adamonis would conduct straw ornament (šiaudinukai) workshops again in December.
  • Danguole Breen and Ramune Jonaitis having withdrawn their names, the following members were elected to the Board: Diana Wiese, Sebastian Grinham, Birute Batraks, Christine Pavilanis Gaputis, Donna Druchunas.
  • Questions and discussions showed a renewed interest in weaving, with suggestions for a possible sub-group for weavers. Sale of LTI publications is being organized with multiple promotional approaches. It was suggested that we compile a list of various artisans, what they make and their contact info, ensure contact with other organizations (such as KLJS). A motion was presented to raise the membership fee, which was raised to $20 per year.

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Past LTFAI.org Talks
Here’s what you have missed. Get updates of upcoming events. Sign up for our email newsletter.

Traditional Crosses in Lithuania:
Lithuania is sometimes called the land of crosses. Crosses and unique pillar shrines with various sculptures have been an integral part of the Lithuanian landscape for several hundred years.  They represent not only religious symbolism but national identity especially in times of repression.  We will look at and discuss the amazing wooden carving and iron work of this important folk art and touch on the well known Kryziu Kalnas (Hill of Crosses) site in Lithuania.

Wool (Vilna):
Wool Crafts in Lithuania: Although linen features prominently in Lithuanian folktales and folk songs, we rarely hear about wool. However in the cold climate working with wool was an integral part of daily life forrural villagers in Lithuania. Small farms were self-sufficient; little or no money was needed to supplement the household’s home production. All the women and girls in a family spun, wove, knitted, and felted wool to create all of the households woolens.

Easter Palms (Verbos)
History and Significance of Verbos in Lithuanian Life: Palm Sunday is an important part of the Easter tradition. Learn about the history of decorated palms and get to know the customs and decorative techniques specific to Lithuania. (Please note, this is not a hands-on workshop.)

Black Ceramics (Juoda Keramica)
History and use of black ceramics in Lithuania: The tradition of black ceramics has been documented in Lithuania for centuries. Although eventually falling out of favour due to other pottery techniques, Lithuania is one of the few places that still make this beautiful pottery. Learn about the history, techniques and artistry of black ceramics.

Amber (Gintaras)
Gintaras – Our Golden Heritage: Gintaras, or Amber, has been important to Lithuanians and Baltic people for millennia. Important in terms of culture, art and symbolism. Learn about various aspects of Amber to bring you to a new and better understanding and appreciation of this beautiful “golden stone”.

Easter Eggs (Marguciai)
History and Significance of Easter Eggs in Lithuanian Life: The egg has long been seen as a symbol of fertility and life. Learn about the role of decorated eggs in ancient and modern times. Get to know the customs and decorative techniques specific to Lithuania.

What is an LTFAI talk?

We are excited to launch our online LTFAI Talks. We hope to have a series of talks on topics that are relevant to Lithuanian folk art. These are lectures, not workshops, that will provide interesting information for anyone interested in folk art.

They will be from a half hour to a full hour in length with time for discussion at the end.

Each LTFAI Talk is free but you have to register to get an invitation to the session.

Giles Bugailiskis Bio

Raised in the Lithuanian community in Hamilton, Ontario. He moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to attend university and was a long-time board member of the Lithuanian Canadian Community there and now serves as the resource person for inquiries about the Lithuanians in Manitoba. Giles has over 30 years of experience in municipal heritage conservation planning and public outreach, having retired as the City of Winnipeg’s Senior Planner for Heritage. He is also a current member of the LTFAI Board.

Ramune Jonaitis Bio

Ramune is a translator and editor, who worked with the Canadian Lithuanian Weekly Tėviškės žiburiai as managing editor for over 20 years.

She is also an artisan who makes mosaics and jewellery using Lithuanian motifs and amber. She is a long time member of LTFAI and has recently served on our board. She learned tapestry-weaving from Aldona Vaitonienė, a master weaver in Toronto, Canada.

Testimonials: My first ever tapestry. I am an artist so I did a little extra with the beads and wire cord to hang. It reminds me of a dress so I had fun with that thought. 😉

I think you did an excellent job with the workshop, especially for those of us with no experience weaving. I have already ordered yarn. The colors in this piece was whatever my friend gave me as I was not able to go out shopping.

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