Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pysanky

Yesterday I had the pleasure and privilege of learning the ancient art of decorating pysanka (singular), pysanky (plural). This is the Ukrainian way of decorating eggs. This art form was passed down from mother to daughter and had many symbols and superstitions attached to them. One superstition that is particularly humorous says that single girls would never give their boyfriends pysanky that had no designs on the top and bottom because that would mean that the boy would lose his hair.
Once Christianity came to the area, the egg became a strong symbol of life at Easter signifying our rebirth through Jesus' death and third day resurrection. Everyone in the household received a pysanka for Easter. Some of the other uses that I found interesting were:
*One or two were given to the priest.
*One or two were placed on the graves of family members.
*Several were saved to be placed in the coffin of loved ones who might die during the year.

 Here are some of the steps:

 You use a stylus, a cake of beeswax (the black rectangle), and a candle.

You heat the stylus over the candle and push the small tip into the beeswax which gets drawn up into the reservoir. Then you heat again and "write" with the tip of the stylus onto the egg.

Once you have your design ready you place the egg into the lightest color of dye. You continue this process of "writing" and dying until your last color.

 I wish I had a picture of the egg after the last step before the wax came off, because it looked UGLY! You're thinking there is no possible way this has been successful, but you persevere. You heat the egg and start wiping the wax off and the above is what you get!

I am hooked!! I plan on buying a kit and continuing this art form in my home!

It's fun to be creative, and Alison at Stuff and Nonsense features a lot of really talented people on Fridays Unfolded.


4 comments:

  1. I got all my supplies out of storage and will reward myself with this wonderful fun once I finish the yuckie job of the taxes! You did a fantastic job! I can't wait!!!!

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  2. So fun! I actually bought my kit today from www.psyankycrazy.com. I can hardly wait for it to come in.

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  3. what a sweet tradition...i love how yours turned out and appreciate you sharing the stories with us...balding husbands...oh no! and thanks for linking up to fridays unfolded.

    blessings,

    alison
    stuff and nonsense

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  4. Beautiful! You must have a steady hand! I hope you share the other eggs you make.

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