Spring News

June 2018

A note of sincere thanks to Petras Kaufmanas for his donation of $500 dollars (US) in memory of Audronė Tamulienė. We appreciate that he has chosen us to commemorate all her work in the Lithuanian Community and with our organization.



May 2018

Annual Meetings

The Annual meeting of the Board and the Annual General Meeting of members of the LTFAI were held at the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada (2185 Stavebank Rd., Mississauga, Ontario) on April 28, 2018.

The Board has monthly telephone meetings with members in New York, Montreal, and Toronto, and took the opportunity of the AGM to meet in person to discuss various matters. All Board members were present on April 28, at 10:30 a.m. to review finances and work done to date, especially with regard to the online National Costume Archive project.

Archives, outreach and membership fees were discussed. General and specific plans were made for the upcoming year, including preservation of the LTFAI archive and connecting with various folk dance groups regarding the care of national costumes.

The goals of the organization were discussed in terms of a two-pronged approach – inspiration at drawn from the past and the promotion of current artisanship. In addition to the original intention of the LTFAI – to collect and preserve Lithuanian Folk Art – it is important to locate and showcase today‘s artisans.

Eighteen LTFAI members attended the Annual General Meeting at 1:30 p.m. to hear the President Diana Wiese‘s and Treasurer Algimantas Nakrosius‘ reports. Sebastian Grinham demonstrated the beta version of the National Costume Archive and its capabilities. Navigation is still being perfected, but great progress has been made by Sebastian in Canada, project manager Aldona Rygelis and Algis Norvila of New York. A launch of at least part of the archive is expected within a matter of months. Participants brought several new thoughts to the meeting, including the possible sale or donation of inherited national costumes (complete or as separate garments) to folk dance groups and museums.

The official portion of the meeting was adjourned at 3 p.m., and after a short break a presentation about amber was given by Diana Wiese and Ramune Jonaitis. A small display of amber jewellery and other amber artifacts had been arranged to accompany the presentation. Coffee and cookies were provided.


Upcycle your Amber!

The Toronto branch of the LTFAI held a workshop on April 14, 2018 in the Resurrection Parish Board Room (1 Resurrection Rd., Etobicoke). This unique event, „Upcycle your Amber“ attracted nearly 10  participants in each of two sessions, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The sessions began with a photo presentation with commentary by Diana Wiese about the history and properties of amber. Ramune Jonaitis showed a book published in Lithuania called „Amber“. Toronto chair Birute Batraks taught everyone how to create a necklace using drilled amber beads and leather string. Several shorter leather threads, each with amber beads knotted on them, were then knotted onto the main necklace. (See photo below.)

The workshop was received with great enthusiasm, and several participants reconvened privately at a later date to discuss amber jewellery repair and other possiblities for remodelling amber jewellery using beads and pendants. Further workshops may be held in late September or October.





April 2018

An amber jewellery workshop is being  held on Saturday, April 14, at 10 a.m. at the Resurrection Parish Board Room (1 Resurrection Rd., Etobicoke). An afternoon session is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., if the morning session is full. Space is available for a maximum of 10 participants. Ramune Jonaitis will speak (in English) about what you didn’t know about amber, and branch chair Birute Batraks will show participants how to use amber beads to make a new and fun necklace. We will be able to test individual amber beads and pieces that are not mounted in metal. Teens are welcome! This will be a basic demonstration, and other workshops may follow if participants are interested.

Please bring an amber necklace or bracelet that you would like to take apart or just beads (hopefully with min. 0.5 mm holes to fit the string. We are working on a method to enlarge holes smaller than 0.5 mm). The workshop fee is $20 for non-members, $15 for members, plus a $10 materials fee. Please bring small scissors, and small pliers if you have them. To register, email Ramune at or Birute at .



March 2018

◊  The LTFAI annual general meeting will be held at the Lithuanian Canadian Museum-Archives, 2185 Stavebank Rd., Mississauga (Anapilis) on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. Please come early to pay your $10 membership fee so you are up to date and can vote at this meeting. After the business meeting we will have a speaker. An invitation with agenda and proxy form will be sent out shortly.

◊  We are pleased to announce that we have two new members of the Toronto chapter of the LTFAI: Nijole Klemaitiene and Loretta Leblanc. We met them at the 100th Anniversary of Lithuanian Independence Concert at Anapilis, Mississauga, on March 3, 2018. Welcome!

◊  Board member Kristina Pavilanis is researching and compiling weaving patterns and designs (raštai ir žičkai). Anyone who has knowledge of patterns other than what we have seen in Lithuanian National Costume or Lithuanian Sashes is invited to call her at 450-458-3381 or email .

◊  The Toronto branch of the LTFAI is holding an Easter egg decorating – (margučiai) workshop at Resurrection Parish, 1 Resurrection Rd., Etobicoke, ON, on Palm Sunday, April 25 after Mass. If you would like to attend or can help, please contact Birute Batraks, by phone (905-271-1640) or by email: .

◊  Calling expert folk artists! We received a request from Camp Neringa organizers. They are planning a Folk Art Weekend (in English) for adults this year, September 14-16, 2018, at Camp Neringa (Brattleboro, Vermont) and are looking for folk art experts to define and discuss Lithuanian folk art, including Lithuanian national costumes. If anyone is interested in coming to speak at the camp, please contact Dana Vainauskiene, Assistant Executive Director of Camp Neringa, Inc. by email: .

◊  Calling for new members! If you are interested in some form of folk art, or would like to learn one, please write to us – become a member – browse through our website. We have just begun an exciting new era of nurturing and promoting folk art, old and new. Join us today!

© 2024 The Lithuanian Folk Art Institute. All Rights Reserved. 

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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