This is my friend Laurie. She makes exquisite Ukrainian eggs. Laurie's not Ukrainian, but she is talented and generous with her knowledge. She will teach anybody who wants to learn how to make them.
Laurie is also hospitable, and served us pysanky students a delicious lunch beforehand.
Everything Laurie makes is pretty
Can you believe we're going to learn how to make these?
The tools - egg, beeswax, and kistka (writing pen)
dyes especially made for pysanky
she demonstrated how to heat the kistka in the candle flame, dip the hot pen into the beeswax, and scoop it up to write on the egg, like a waxy ink.
Both the colors and the designs on a pysanky egg are symbolic. At one time the designs were a form of pagan folk art but later took on Christian meaning.
You dip the egg in dyes from the lightest to the darkest colors, covering with wax any parts that you want to preserve.
After the final dye bath, with black traditionally being the last color, it's time to melt away the wax.
Carefully holding the egg near the candle flame, you melt the wax and gently wipe it away with a cloth.
"Humpty Dumpty had a great fall..." Yes, my egg broke shortly after I finished it - one of the risks of pysanky which make it so exciting - sort of like an extreme sport...
More of Laurie's artistry
Gorgeous. Laurie has been making these eggs for her family for many years. What a gift!