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September 25, 2005

Ukranian Easter Eggs

Today I went back to the bike depot to clean more and reorganize. It's looking much better but I kind of lost steam. Besides, I had a date with my daughter to make Pisanka, Ukranian Easter Eggs. I had to be home by four oclock in order to have enough time to do them. I got out all of the dyes, the kistka, the bee's wax, candles and some paper towels and together we began to draw on the eggs. It's interesting to note that my daughter veered away from the traditional Ukranian designs in order to do a couple of scenes with hand-drawn characters.
What are Ukranian Easter eggs? They are eggs; either chicken, duck, goose, ostrich, etc, brown or white. Brown eggs simply add a muted tone to all of the colors. The eggs are drawn on first, then using the kistka, beeswax is drawn on the egg in a pattern. The egg follows this process: Draw more lines on the egg with wax, dip the egg in the dye, wax over some more spots, then dye again. Repeat this process going from light colors to dark colors.
Traditionally the eggs mostly ended up with a black background, but I've seen hundreds of eggs that have some kind of veriation to that. At the end of the process the wax is melted off to reveal the colorful egg. The whole process takes about 4 hours. We each decorated two eggs. I did similar designs so that did cut my time down considerably.
We are setting up a display in the Ren Box for the Art Crawl in a few weeks so it's going to be a challenge getting enough of them done in such a short time. Guess what I'll be doing this week almost every evening? Yes. I need to do about 10 to 15 more eggs before October 15. It'll all work out ok. The main thing in my opinion is the chance to do some artwork with my daughter. I don't care what the end results are. The process has been great so far. The next few weeks will be very good I think.

Update:

Last night I finished two eggs completely. Tuesday night we are doing it again. I learned how to do these the traditional way using a handmade tool and candle from a very nice old Ukrainian woman who was teaching me Russian. Except I now blow the eggs out after they are decorated so they don't have a chance to explode, sending everyone running from the house. It can take years for an egg to dry out inside and many of my eggs were destroyed during the heat of the summer. Here is a photo of some of the first eggs I created years ago...

Pysanki-1.jpg

Posted by carl1236 at September 25, 2005 11:50 PM | Art | Life

Comments

Wow! Gorgeous. Another layer of John is revealed...

Posted by: nathan at September 26, 2005 3:33 PM