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Creating Art in Support and Solidarity for Ukraine

Tea 2
Tea 2

“I was 15 and I’m 71 and I’ve been collecting blocks my entire life.”

To Joann Condino — of
These are more than just blocks…

“The week after the Russian invasion, I decided that I had to do something and I was gonna use these because that’s what I do,” says Condino.

She’s decided to support .

“Chef Jose Andres, after every world disaster, whether it’s weather or war, he’s there. And I like his action.”

By making printed tea towels– and donating any of the proceeds to help those impacted by the war in Ukraine.

She says, “On our website, we have a map and every time we sell somewhere, we stick it up on the map.”

The map– shows just how busy Joann has been– selling over 300 tea towels– across the country– and beyond…

She says, “We have every state except probably three in the south. We’re in Puerto Rico, Guam, and in Canada.”

As orders continue to come– Joann estimates she will have 2,694 towels to still make– by hand.

“I have a seamstress who volunteered from Texas, who’s making towels, I have probably six local seamstresses cutting raw linen and sewing them. And I have two little girls who do all the dots.
Kathy’s husband, volunteered to make woodblocks for me that say peace and peace in Ukrainian, and it’s on each of the towels.”

She’s also selling Kim Cerrudo’s hand beaded, Ukrainian fairies.

With passion in her voice, she says, “There’s something really passive about seeing the flags and sunflowers on social media. It may have given us comfort, it maybe have been a sign of solidarity, but it wasn’t feeding people, it wasn’t helping anyone, really.”

This need to help, this activism
Comes from her own past…

“I was born during the Korean war. I grew up with stories of world war two. So I grew up with the feeling, the angst, the hunger of war very close in stories. Italians love stories and it’s how we carry on a tradition…In elementary school, we used to hide under our desks for drills because of the threat of nuclear war. So those are memories that stay close,” she says, reminiscing about old times.

These printed tea towels and little fairies represent solidarity.

“I’ve been trying to think of how I can make something like the poppy of world war two that individuals can wear, or have and I guess this is my poppy…I’m not gonna stop until there is peace.
If that means I woodblock til I’m 80, guess I’m gonna woodblock til I’m 80.”

Visit the Three Pines Studio and Gallery website .