Ursula has created thousands of uniquely designed Lithuanian Christmas tree ornaments
Lithuanian Christmas tree ornaments have been made from natural wheat or rye straw for centuries. Ursula learned to construct the traditional designs of braids and mobiles with strings running through them from her mother. However, in the early 1950s, Ursula created new art forms of intricate snowflake or geometric design by pressing the straw on to a masking tape backing and gluing these veneers together. In 1955, she received her first award from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
See Ursula’s Lithuanian Christmas tree ornaments at Meijer Gardens
Throughout the years, Ursula and her family have taught how to make these ornaments locally in Michigan, as well as locations diverse as Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and California. Their workshop venues have included Lithuanian summer camps, universities, the California Academy of Science and the Library of Congress. Since 1996, she began displaying Christmas ornaments at Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, which appear annually from late November through early January in the Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. Now, her son, Don and family maintain the ornaments and add to the collection.
- Tree toppers
- Mobiles (sodai)
- Braided balls
View Ursula’s online Lithuanian Christmas tree ornament gallery
See examples of Ursula’s Lithuanian Christmas tree ornaments below.
Learn how to make your Lithuanian Christmas tree ornaments
If you or your organization are interested in this centuries-old tradition, contact us today for more information about learning from the Astras family how to make your own Christmas ornaments from wheat or rye straw. Read more at Folk Art Workshops. Connect with your global culture.