Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pysanky: Ukrainian Easter egg decorating workshop

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{above: beautiful pysanky eggs for sale at the workshop}

On Saturday, I attended a pskanka workshop. It was a fundraiser for the Dzherelo Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Lviv, Ukraine. 

I have long admired pysanky eggs and wanted to try the technique.  Pysanky is much like batik -  beeswax resist, dye,  and a steady hand.  {There is an excellent process tutorial here.}    Briefly, the beeswax is applied with a small tool called a “kistka”.  The kistka works like a pen. A funnel holds the wax and the melted wax moves through the point.  An open flame is used to heat up the kistka and melt the wax.  Both the wax and dye are applied in stages as the design evolves.  Dye is applied from the lightest colour to the darkest colour.  Once you are finished your egg, you have to remove all the wax by melting it off using heated oil and/or an open flame.

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It takes quite a bit of practice to master the kitska and controlling the flow of the melted wax - especially on the egg’s sphere. I had to change my design several times because I dropped several wax blobs on the egg. While it took me nearly 2.5 hours to complete a single egg which turned out very primitive (!), I learned a great deal about the technique.  I even plan to sign up for next year’s workshop.

“Being given a Pysanka is a gesture of friendship or could be a token of esteem. Just as the ancient people drew symbols of sheep they wished to hunt for their families, Ukrainian belief is that Pysanky in the home brings good fortune and health, as well as protection from harm.”  Annie’s Hallmark on the history of the Ukrainian Egg

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Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by,

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8 comments:

  1. how pretty those eggs are! sounds like a pretty involved process to making them! Ive never heard of thm, but I do have a couple polish decorated eggs that a friend gave me, that are sore of similar in design.
    Im so glad that we're into the easter and spring season! so done with winter!! lol!
    have a great day!
    xoxo
    vivian

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  2. Absolutely gorgeous. How wonderful that you could participate in this workshop. It looks very involved but the results are amazing. Despite Mother Nature's confusion, I'm indeed ready for spring.

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  3. I, too am a great admirer of pysanky eggs and get quite enchanted by their beauty! I wish I could attend a pysanky workshop in the future.
    Your egg looks fantastic!

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  4. What fun! Thank you for the link to the tutorial. Another project to try - yay!

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  5. What a wonderful class that must have been! I've long admired these eggs and the artists who make them.

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  6. I've always enjoyed admiring these eggs - they're so detailed and intricate. The workshop sounds like lots of fun - thanks for sharing! :)

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  7. Diane and I took one together several years ago. Still have the egg and it gets more beautiful every year!!! I have all the "stuff" to make more - come on over!!!

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  8. I've always admired them but the process has always intimidated me. Nice work!!

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Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear what you think!