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A clay plate decorated by a grade 7 student with a Trypillian design


From Monday April 30 to Wednesday May 2, the students of IHMS participated in a Trypillian art activity facilitated by local artist Trisha Harvey.


Local artist Mrs. Harvey worked with every grade in the school to produce colourful and beautifully designed Trypillian inspired artwork on either a clay plate or a clay tile


The Trypillians

The Trypillians were a Neolithic civilization of farmers who first appeared in parts of eastern Europe over 7,000 years ago. They were the first recorded inhabitants of present-day Ukraine, living and thriving in this part of Europe for almost two millennia.
Although they lived before the invention of a written language, the Trypillians used symbols on their artwork to represent physical objects (such as a “tree” or “mountain”) or abstract ideas (such as “order” or “time”).
 Trypillian Symbols

Before the creation of a written language, the ancient Trypillians conveyed ideas through the use of symbols on their artwork. Click here to enlarge.


IHMS students were introduced to a brief history of Trypillian civilization a few weeks ago during the school’s annual Ukrainian Week celebrations. Mr. Trochanowski, the school’s vice-principal, used an innovative computer program called “kahoot” to create an interactive quiz game for the students. The game, which was embedded in Mr. Trochanowski’s lively presentation, was interesting, fast paced, competative, and the students loved it!


Examples of grade 7 clay plates with a Trypillian inspired design


How the Students Applied a Trypillian Design

Onto Their Clay Plate or Tile

 Before painting their clay plate or tile, the students first traced out a Trypillian pattern in pencil. This was done by shading in the back of a pre-made paper template with pencil lead so that it acted like “carbon paper”.

 The students then traced over the lines on the other side of the template to leave a faint pencil outline that could then be painted.


Mrs. Harvey expanded on Mr. Trochanowski’s historical sessions by introducing the students to Trypillian artwork. Students in higher grades were given an unglazed clay plate to decorate while younger students were given a clay tile to decorate. They used a paper template to copy a pre-made Trypillian design onto their plate or tile. Once the design was copied, students added symbols (if they wanted), and then painted and sealed their artwork.


Grade 7’s Painting a Clay Plate

 Grade 3’s Painting a Clay Tile


The completed artwork was displayed in the front foyer of the school from May 7-9


Trypillian Artwork on Display in the Front Foyer



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