Monday, 16 April 2012

'Pysanky' - Ukrainian hand painted eggs

Something different to share today. Quite a long post with lots of photos!
A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method. The designs are not painted on, but are written with beeswax and then dyes are applied in layers, from light to dark.
This year I have done a few and so have my children. Each egg can take several hours to complete, so they have kept me busy. I also held a workshop recently, where all who came enjoyed the afternoon and went home with a beautifully decorated 'pysanka'.

These are the tools that we use, along with white eggs.  On my egg, I have drawn the design out in pencil and then applied the wax.

Some photos of my daughter (she is nearly 6) applying wax to her egg.  


Next, the egg is placed in a dye.  The first colour is yellow, as we work from light to dark.  We continue this process until all the chosen colours have been applied.  At the end, the wax is melted to reveal the colours.

The above, are two of the finished eggs before they have been varnished.
The photos below are when they have been varnished, they look so much shinier and prettier now.(Mine and the children's)


 (Pysanky are one Ukrainian tradition that we enjoy to do at Easter).
 At this time of year, we prepare a basket of food for the Easter Basket Blessing, which takes place at the church on Holy Saturday.  The blessed food is then eaten on Ukrainian Easter Sunday morning for breakfast.  Home baked paska (sweet bread), cooked hams, eggs, horseradish, butter and then the pysanky are added for decoration.  This is our basket below which we all enjoyed for breakfast yesterday morning. (Ukrainian Easter Sunday)

  I have still a few eggs to varnish and will show them on here when they are finished.


Sasha said...

Oksana, your eggs are beautiful! I love to see crafts from other countries. You have decorated your eggs beautifully...well worth the hours of work x

Carole Z said...

Wow Oksana, these eggs are beautiful...thank you for sharing the technique and the story behind them, which is very interesting to learn X