Friday, March 26, 2010

Pysanky - Easter eye candy

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!

15 comments:

Rayanne said...

The eggs are so pretty! Thank you for sharing. I love the rich colors, something you don't get with food coloring.
I named your blog as "Oh So Lovely" on my blog. I started listing three lovely blogs every friday.
I really enjoy your blog.
God Bless!

Jodi said...

Rayanne, wow! Thank you so much! Your blog is quite lovely as well. Thank you again.

Val said...

that looks great fun Jodi...what a nice person to know!
There is a video available at libraries of a PBS Reading Rainbow show that features Rechenka's Eggs from author Patricia Polacco it includes a short interview with the author and she shows how to decorate the eggs..
just a thought if you don't have a clever friend..

see
http://www.answers.com/topic/reading-rainbow-rechenka-s-eggs-tv-episode

Stephanie Ann said...

These are so beautiful. What a good experience. Your eggs still look great, even if they are broken. Thanks for sharing, they are really neat.

Jodi said...

Val, thank you. I have a vague memory of that episode from when my kids were little. I will definitely look for it. I love stuff like that. Have you ever heard of the book Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco? My daughter Joy loved that book when she was little and to this day, she still bakes thunder cakes. :)

Jodi said...

Steph, it was a great experience. I was a little sad when the egg broke but I'll be able to make more.

Anonymous said...

They are so gorgeous. I've always loved Pysanky eggs and am very envious that you got a chance to try it out.

Simmy

Niamh said...

Dude remember when we made those for my birthday that one time! That was so neat! Laurie's are beautiful! I love how special these eggs look - like if the House of Faberge did folk art. Oh this makes me miss my goose...I need another one, and some dye.

Jodi said...

Niamh, dude! Come back and we'll make some more. :)

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

These are so much fun to make, and I haven't done any for years. I might try some very simple ones for this year........

Jodi said...

Kristi - go for it!

JoAnn said...

you are beyond cool.

Jodi said...

JoAnn, word...

Simmy, wish we could make them together. Did you move yet?

Anonymous said...

OOOOO! Beautiful! We did this at our house, but I did not try yet. I am planning to try this wonderful experiment! Is it hard? Well if it is, I am definitly going to try it! I think it is very cool how you use the beeswax. Very well planed!
Love,
Audrey :)

Jodi said...

Miss Audrey, I can't wait to see the egg you make. Love, Lenz

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