Nataliya Chabanyuk was born in Lviv, Ukraine, to military psychologist and a pediatrician nurse parents. Having travelled the world as child, she got used to changing homes a lot. While studying in Lviv, Paris, and Ottawa she developed a taste for handmade objects, traditions and children's folklore.
Following the birth of her children, Nataliya learned about the Waldorf educational system and was absolutely struck by the similarities and connections to Ukrainian culture. Waldorf teachers offer magical worlds to children and support their belief in magic. In Waldorf classrooms, dolls are faceless (reminiscent of Motanky dolls) so that a child imagine the emotions of the doll`s face instead of being given those emotions on the doll`s face. Waldorf teachers use natural materials for nature inspired crafts, they use wool and wood to fabricate toys, reminiscent of all those wooden folk toys in Ukrainian villages, looms and wool spinners. These interesting parallels led her to further study Waldorf and Ukrainian traditional arts and crafts along with her children immersing into the magic of handcrafted toys.
Nataliya has been teaching in Ukrainian Saturday school and trying to integrate the Waldorf methods of creating a magical world around children, by teaching songs, reading and storytelling in Ukrainian. Traditional culture, especially the one around childrearing and upbringing is especially dear her heart; She is engaged in trying to include the elements of magic and storytelling in in her different craft workshops held in Ottawa.
Nataliya: "I am excited to participate in this year's Folk Camp and help develop a program where everyone can join to create community and experience magic. We will make dolls from different materials, nature inspired craft, wet and needle felting, will play with twine and ribbons and learn songs and movement. See you in August!"