Saturday, April 23, 2011
Easter isn't Easter without crafts. I'd like to share the project I did this year: Ukrainian eggs, also known as Pysanky. I've been meaning to try out this technique for a few years now so I was very excited to finally get a chance. A local art store had all the supplies I needed: a kistka (a small brass funnel on a handle), and a little square of beeswax. Add a little dye for the eggs and that's it!
The first step was to blow out the eggs. I did this the old fashioned way - with one hole on the top and bottom of each egg and lung power. After that, I heated the kistka over a candle flame, scooped up a tiny bit of the beeswax, and started drawing directly on the egg shell. With this technique, everything you draw will eventually be white (or whatever your base color is), so it's a reverse design.
I filled in this egg with retro-style designs. The egg is entirely covered and ready for the dye!
I couldn't resist doing a Mini Cooper and trailer design on one of the eggs. :) After the dye is completely dry, I held the egg over the side of the candle flame to melt the wax. Do this one small section at a time, and wipe the melted wax off with a paper towel as you go.
The white design is almost completely revealed. It was exciting to see the crisp white coming through from under the dark wax. Applying the wax can be time consuming, depending on the complexity of the design, but revealing the design at the end is very satisfying! Because of this, the whole process can be a little addicting. Traditional Ukrainian Pysanky use many layers of color and wax, eventually resulting in an elaborate design in a rainbow of colors. I just did one or two dye colors this time. Try dying a light colored base coat before applying the designs.
Here's my collection. These were so much fun to make and I'm sure they will be part of my Easter decor for many years. Happy Easter, everyone!