One of the perks of traveling the back roads of Ukraine looking for new and interesting hand crafted one of a kind items is getting to meet many outstanding artisans.
Every summer my wife and I visited one of our favorite spots in the magnificent Carpathian Mountains where the Hutsul Highlanders have lived for many generations in the many secluded mountain valleys and forest.
These artisans are wood carvers, who use a variety of local woods like sycamore, maple, pear, apple, alder, yew, cedar, walnut and oak.
Because every piece of wood has its own distinctive grain patterns warmth and colors these creative masters use many geometric ornaments like crusts, triangles, squares, rhombs, rose-window, jags, circles or conventionalized plants motives.
Each décor element is made with special technical carving method to reach very special artistic effect because of their deep-rooted bond with mother nature.
Seven years have passed since I first visited Pyrogovo. So much has changed in my life and at Pyrogovo. The lady I came to Kyiv to meet in 2003, we have been walking hand in hand as man and wife, living in Kyiv and enjoying our life’s second adventure for the past 6 years.
Over the Victory Day Weekend 2010 we visited Pyrogovo twice. To me the museum felt like it had lost its majestic spirit that left me spellbound and in awe of what a treasure Ukrainians possessed in Pyrogovo. I am enthralled every time I see a windmill. They too seemed lost. Perhaps it was the robbery and fire back in 2006 that caused the place to seem melancholy and all the historic buildings I first stop to admire were all closed.
Just to enter and leave the museum was quite chaotic because of the volume of cars and parking problems that weren’t there in 2003. Nonetheless, thousands of people came to attend the traditional Folk Artisans Spring Fair and many came to enjoy picnicking with family and friends.
On this particular weekend we came seeking new Ukrainian artisans’ products to buy and promote their talents on our E-Commerce website and discover unique items to sell during Christmas Markets in Denver and Philadelphia in America. We left with some wonderful treasures and possibilities to explore for the future.
Tapestry artisan Yevgen Pilyugin was one of our new acquaintances. He produces unique rugs inspired by Ukrainian landscapes, from his own imagination, or his customers’ designs. He told us he had created a rug for an Arabian sheikh who ordered it for his birthday and received excellent feedback. His rugs also decorate the Residences of Ukrainian Presidents, and one hangs in the Pope’s residence in the Vatican.
I was so impression with him and his work that I asked this uncommon man if I could have the honor to shake his hand.