Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Ukrainian Egg Decorating

Pysanky, as it is known, is the Ukrainian art of decorating eggs using wax and dye, and to me seems the perfect Easter craft. I stumbled upon a book about it in the library last year, and of course I couldn't resist having a go. Luckily, my local Ukraininan House had the necessary ingredients: dyes, beeswax, and the little styluses, called kistka. Basically, small beads of wax are heated in the kistka over a candle flame, and the liquid wax then runs out the nozzle, and can be applied to the egg in the desired design. The egg is dyed, then more wax is applied, and this is repeated with as many colours as required. Finally, the wax is removed, revealing the amazing multicoloured pattern!

These are some eggs I made last year, the black one was my first attempt. The design on the red one came from a piece of Hungarian embroidery. I was being a bit stingy with the amount of colours I used (wow, black, red and yellow!) because I couldn't find enought jars to store the dye in! I'm hoping to do some more this weekend using some blues or greens as well.

There is an amazingly comprehensive website on pysanky called LearnPysanky.com, which is well worth a visit for its detailed instructions and great resources.

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