Most importantly, you need organic chicken eggs.Store-bought eggshells are chemically cleaned and often don't take the dye well. Some people decorate them with the egg still in them, but we chose to use blown out eggs. Hands must be well-washed so that no oils are on them. Hands and eggshells are wiped down with vinegar. We smelled like pickles!
Rubberbands, also cleaned with vinegar, can be used to help divide the egg into quadrants which are marked with a pencil. It is important NOT to erase. Vinegar can be used to remove pencil marks. We used pattern books that belong to Gina. There are also patterns on the internet.
The holes that were made to blow out the egg need to be plugged with wax to prevent dye from getting inside the egg while it is soaking in the dye. The lines and spaces that are to remain white are covered with wax using a kistka. Gina is helping Pat make sure hers is well-sealed.
The egg is then dipped in the first color, usually yellow, or the lightest of the colors in the color scheme.
The dyes are not the food dyes used in Easter egg kits. They are much more vibrant permanent dyes. A vase is being used to keep the egg submerged.
The egg is removed from the dye and blotted with a paper towel. It is left to sit on a drying rack for a short time while the dye dries.
This time can be used to start a second egg.
The kistky come in fine, medium and large tip. Beeswax is used because it adheres best to the egg surface. The kistka is heated near a candle flame to melt the beeswax.
Gina also has an electric kistka.
This egg is ready to have the wax removed by holding it near the candle to soften the wax which is then wiped off with a paper towel.
This egg still need to have more wax applied before its dipping in the next color. The beeswax comes in natural and black which is why you see both colors. The natural beeswax often becomes darker with use because of the soot from the candle.
We started working on our first egg around nine in the morning.
We didn't finish until eleven that evening!
Marie is working on a goose egg which is larger than a chicken egg.
Removing the wax after the final dye color is so exciting. This is Gina removing wax from her first egg. I think she is removing the wax from her second egg here.
I am removing the wax from my second egg. Such a thrill after hours of work!
I am definitely hooked on Pysanky!
Pat decided to use just one color for her goose egg.
Some finished eggs!
Marie brought an ostrich egg, but she didn't decorate it. I thought it was interesting to compare the ostrich egg,and goose egg with the rest of the chicken eggs.
Marie is taking the wax off one of her chicken eggs.
All of the designs or symbols and colors have certain meanings. You can find them on the internet. A great website is the Ukranian Gift Shop We had a wonderful time. Gina, thank you so much for bringing your supplies, and teaching us the art of Pysanky!
Y'all come back,