Pysanky

Ukrainian Easter Eggs

April 12th, 2009, 8:56 pm
Tags: Easter pysanky

Derek, Jaime, Chris, and I decorated eggs using a traditional Ukrainian technique called "pysanky", which uses a wax-relief method and a series of dyes to make patterns. Successively dyeing from lighter to darker colours, you can draw with a "kistka" (beeswax writing tool) onto the egg to preserve the current colour. Once you are finished, you hold the egg up to the candle to melt off the wax and reveal your design.

If you are interested in learning how to decorate Ukrainian Easter Eggs, I suggest you check out http://www.learnpysanky.com.

For my egg, I decided to use gold, magenta, and brown designs on a black background. Here's my egg after dyeing in gold then drawing the parts I want to keep gold:




After dying in magenta and then drawing the parts I want to keep magenta:




Unfortunately the brown wasn't as dark as I'd hoped, and didn't really show as much different from the magenta:




Chris looking on while Derek plans his next move:




Jaime reheats the wax in her kistka:




Derek gets distracted from his work...




Jaime heating her kistka while Derek dries the yellow dye off his egg in the background:




Jaime applying wax over a glorious turquoise:




Derek taking the wax off his egg at the end:




Jaime revealing the pattern on her egg:




Derek "cheats" by filling in some areas with a Jiffy marker:




Jaime admires Derek's finished egg:




Jaime's finished egg:




My egg (left) and Derek's (right):





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