The main product of the Convent’s textile and felting workshop are original hand-made toys.
They are made entirely from natural materials.
Because our toys are not mass-produced, every item is different from the other. Great attention is paid to every detail and the overall image and character of the toy. We do not use glue to attach the eyes, but sew them on or draw them with a paintbrush.
The toys are stuffed with buckwheat pod, a material obtained from the dry external layer of buckwheat seeds. This makes the toys very nice to touch and suitable for stress relief and indoor play activities.
The pillows made with buckwheat pod have therapeutic properties by redistributing body weight away from the spine and providing point massage of the head and neck.
The social employment workshop “Dobrodel” [do-gooder] offers jobs for people with mental conditions who are able and willing to work, but cannot find employment in the market because of their disability.
Ever since its establishment in 1999, the workshop has specialized in painting icons and other works using crushed minerals and semi-precious stones instead of paint.
The tradition to put icons in Rizas, or covers, comes from Byzantine and the Kievan Rus. Their artisans designed the processes for producing icon covers from precious metals, reserved for the most revered icons.
Lay and monastic brothers and sisters, many of whom are professional painters and art experts, have worked on restored hundreds of icons of different types.
The Convent is a leading publisher of church literature in Belarus. Many of its publications have been awarded prizes at prestigious national and international book shows.
The artisans in the stained glass workshop have achieved high levels of mastery in working glass. If carefully handled, glass products are everlasting. Glass retains its brightness even after 100 years.
We invited Sister Yelena to talk about her service to God and others, her workshop and plans for spiritual and personal growth.