Making Motanka-Ukrainian Guardian Dolls

RECENT EVENT: Design Lab 1
December 8, 4-6 p.m.
Instructor: Barbara Melnik Carson

You are invited to learn the ancient art of making Ukrainian Motanka Dolls.

Motanka-making is an ancient practice. Motanka knotted dolls are thought to carry the power of ancestors as guardians. They protect your home, and support health, well-being, harmony, success and happiness. Come with your hopes and intentions for the future.

The first dolls appeared many centuries ago and represented the unity of the family and a deep connection to multiple generations. The name “Motanka” comes from the Ukrainian verb “motaty” (to spin), which relates to the process of making these dolls by upcycling old family clothes without using needles or scissors. Today, motanka dolls make an eco-friendly cultural gift for a housewarming, Christmas, or other celebration!

All materials will be included with the workshop. However, you’re welcome to bring your own supplies to make your motanka more personal, including fabric, embroidery thread, wool, dried herbs and wheat, ribbons, and other decorations. At the end of the 2-hour workshop you will go home with a 9-inch motanka and instructions to make future dolls. To secure a place, please register in advance here: motanka doll making workshop.

This workshop is part of the LSA theme semester on “Arts and Resistance” and offered in conjunction with the exhibition “Guardian Passage: The Power of Ukrainian Cultural Memory in the Face of War” on view in the Duderstadt Center Gallery December 6-22, 2023. Hours: Tues-Fr and Sun 12-6 p.m. Artist’s Reception: December 10, 2-4 p.m.