Yes, I think Easter is coming. I recently got the urge to make some Pysanky, or ukranian easter eggs. It’s quite an involved process, and I’m not very good at it, but I like to try! Here is what I do.
First, I find some nice, smooth white eggs. I wipe them down with vinegar to remove any oils that might keep the dye from working well. Then I draw out a design with pencil. It helps to make a band of paper you can wrap around your egg with markings on it for 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc. to keep your divisions even.
Next, I draw on all the areas I want to be white, with a kistka. This is an instrument used to draw lines of melted wax. It’s basically a cone on a stick that you heat over a candle flame and then draw the melted wax on your egg. It’s just like a tjanting used in batik. The one I’m using is electric- they aren’t too expensive. I’m tempted to try it on my pottery but haven’t yet. I got all my supplies at www.ukraniangiftshop.com .
Remember, I’m allowed to have ugly, nasty hands. I’m a potter.
Next, I put the egg in yellow pysanky dye for anywhere from 10-40 minutes, depending on how dark I want it. Yellow doesn’t take too long.
I get my dyes from Ukranian gift shop, too. They are about 75 cents each and I’ve had them for a couple of years. Here are my dye jars:
So, after the egg is yellow enough, I pat it dry and go to town with the kistka on all the parts I want yellow. Sometimes you get a big blob, but luckily this one was on a part that I wanted yellow so I didn’t throw the egg across the room.
After that, the egg goes in the green:
pat dry, draw wax on all the green areas, then proceed to the orange:
then blue, red, etc etc etc until you have all the colors you want. I finish usually with a deep red or black.
Then, you blow out the egg. I didn’t take a picture of this part, because frankly, we have all had colds here for the past month or so and it just reminds me too much of….well, let’s just leave that alone.
After you blow out your egg, you start heating the wax on a candle flame and wiping it off with a paper towel.
This is a long, slow process. You have to make sure you get ALL of the wax off. Look at the tips of my fingers. Yup, I’ve been dying eggs for a couple of days!
Once all the wax is removed, I coat the egg with a couple of coats of semigloss polyurethane and stick a little hangy thingie at the top with some hot glue. You can get the hangy thingies from Ukranian Gift Shop too, but I think they call them something like findings. I think hangy thingies are much more descriptive.
And here are some of the better ones I did this year! TA DAAA!
Not perfect by any stretch, but they sure were fun to make!