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pysanky 2When I was very young, mom took me to a class on how to make Pysanky eggs, and from then on it has been one of my life's little joys. We sat at a long table where the instructor showed us the sensual art of this traditional Ukranian practice -- an Easter celebration and symbolic cultural statement.

The basics are --

1. make small holes in both ends of a raw egg and blow the contents of the eggshell into a bowl;

2. fill a special tool that has a tiny funnel and stylus-like spout (this is called a kistka) with delicious-smelling beeswax, heat, and run the stylus against the surface of the empty eggshell in whatever design your heart desires (traditional or your own creation);

3. dip the egg into one of several prepared dye baths (start with your lightest shade); whatever you have covered with wax will remain white;

4. Once the egg is the desired shade, you remove it from the dye, dry it off completely, and then, again using the kistka and hot wax, you cover the areas of the egg that you want to keep as the original, first dye color that you used;

5. add more wax designs and dip again, into the next darkest color -- and the process is repeated until you reach your final, darkest dye bath...and so on and so on until you have finished your design in wax.

In the end you will have an egg that has a lot of wax on it! The last step is the most fun: you carefully melt away all the wax and the colorful design is revealed!

You do not need to use many colors, but traditionally the main colors used are: yellow, orange, red, brick, brown, and black.

pysanky earringsCheck out these great Pysanky earrings (made of quail eggs, maybe?) - by So Jeo LeBlond -- found at this web site:

http://tinyurl.com/nb2qpra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pysanky kitHere's the kind of kit I usually use -- it is inexpensive and you only need a few additional household items to get started (paper towels, jars for egg dipping, a candle and lighter, etc.) - (Kit from Amazon.com - http://tinyurl.com/opy9naw)

If you are a craft-y, creative and/or artistic person -- I think you will love it!  It is a wonderful Easter tradition in our home, and it's a special treat when mom and I can do this together. I have made her several eggs over the years as gifts and she tells me she treasures every one. They are very fragile -- so I'm not sure if it's safe to even sneeze if you're wearing them as earrings -- but if you are walking slowly and looking elegant, I'm sure they would be safe! And you won't find adornments any more original than this!

I hope everyone who celebrates Easter has a wonderful one -- and even if you don't, you can take my word for it that this is a delightful (and addictive) craft.

Until Next Time,

Shannon

p.s. If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy 'A Survey From Shannon'   (We'd love to hear from you -- so please take the survey if you have time -- simply click the add new comment link below) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments   

0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2014-04-15 00:40
You have no idea of how close to my heart this post is Shannon! My paternal grandparents emigrated from the Ukraine before the war and Easter was always the most important and special time for my family. Thank you for sharing this special tradition of Pysanky.

Христос воскресе!
Воістину Воскрес!

Ellen
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0 # Shan 2014-04-15 02:00
Wow! Cool! Hey, what does that mean? XpNCTOC BockPece, BOICT....etc. Do you have any Pysanky eggs? If so, please send photos! :-)
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0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2014-04-15 02:11
Hmmmm.....I don't see a way to post a photo here Shannon.....is there another way to send them? Those words are in Ukrainian...... .which translates to"

Christ is Risen!
Indeed he is Risen!

This is the greeting and answer we give one another on Easter.....in our church they still bless baskets of food...when I was little the priest, who was married with 13 children of his own!, would bless our Easter baskets...so you had to make sure to take out what you didn't want because nothing blessed was allowed to be thrown away!
Ellen
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0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2014-04-15 02:24
p.s. I posted the pix to your FB page in messages =)
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