Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Eggs!

Ukrainian style!

I wanted to share with you my two week long addiction adventure with this art form.  There is definitely a learning curve.  There is also the type of learning which teaches you how every single egg is going to be different, no matter how you try to match up designs or resulting shades of dye.  Really, it's a surprise when the wax comes off!  But that's half the fun!

This is my first egg before the wax was removed.

My very first egg in years.

 Here's a brief summary on how to do this ancient craft...

After lightly penciling in your guidelines and basic design, you begin by applying wax to preserve the color of the eggshell, ideally white.  But if you're like me, the only eggs I have are from my own chickens who only give me green and some bluish eggs.  But as I found, this is a worthwhile sacrifice, because the store-bought eggs I had in storage for years were terrible with accepting the dyes!

This first egg of mine was done on a store-bought egg, so it's white.  Now that the wax is on, this is where the white lines will be.  Now it's ready for the first dye bath, yellow.

As you can see, the dye is not received well by these molested eggs.  The wash they use on them must be very harsh.

After the yellow, orange is next, followed by green and purple.

My second egg...

You probably can't see it, but the dye is splotchy on this egg too.  Still, not a bad second egg!
My next one is going to be one of our own farm fresh eggs.

The dye is much more uniform!  As a beginner, my lines are wobbly.  This egg also represents my first attempt at changing the design from the pattern I used.  I didn't like it, but I liked the ram with the bird on it's tail.  And you almost can't tell the egg isn't a pure white!

My first three eggs...

This is a great egg-blower!

You can leave the egg in tact and hope that the insides dry up over a few year's time.  If you do, you run the risk of unstable temperatures causing it to explode!  You won't like the odor left behind either.  So I opt to blow them out and live with the little hole at the top.  I read somewhere that a little white glue on the hole will dry clear.  Might be worth a try.

This fourth egg I got creative.  It represents the way I remember the Easter eggs of my childhood.  The Russian Orthodox cross; the Pussy Willow represents the first signs of Spring and has significance in Eastern Orthodox Easter services; the XB are for "Christ is Risen" in Russian and Ukrainian; and the top is representative of a design used in a particular region in the Ukraine.

I'm so happy with the design, that I had to do about four of them, and each was different!  Duplication doesn't work on eggs very well!  But I love each one of them.

Then I saw an egg pictured on a website, and which didn't come with directions, and since I'm a sucker for challenges, I had to duplicate it as best as I could.  Despite the fact that I had to cover nearly the entire egg in wax to get the design right, I did it!  This is the result.  It wasn't perfect, but I finally figured out the pattern after having finished this one.

Using it (on the left) as my guideline,  I'm making two more.  These two are a little more accurate than my first attempt, but also with a little design error... Oh well, I have to accept this inevitability.

The exciting part, melting off the wax and watching the design come to life!

Maybe next year I'll do the design right!  Maybe I'll still do it this year... I don't know, this is becoming too much of an obsession!

My own version of pysanky!

Happy Easter!
"Christ is Risen!"
"Truly He Has Risen!"

Come join us all at the Farmgirl/Farm Friend Friday blog hop
hosted by the Dandelion House and Verde Farm

It's always great fun to pop in on so many interesting farm and homesteaders!


  1. Just beautiful! Can you share more about the tools used for this? I have honeybees, so I have lots of beeswax...can that be used to make eggs like yours?

  2. These are absolutely beautiful!! Wonderful job!!~~Rain

  3. He has RISEN indeed!

    And those eggs are stunning! Just stunning. I am amazed, awed... by your patience and creativity.

  4. Beautiful! We made some too at a friends house just this week... I have to say, yours are beautiful! It's a wonderful tradition to start with your family! thanks for your entry and a very Happy Easter to all at the Y Not Homestead!

  5. Those are so pretty!
    That takes talent...dedication and patience for sure!
    have a blessed Resurrection Sunday

  6. Such beautiful eggs! Where did you find that tool to blow out eggs?


  7. Beautiful! You do wonderful work!

  8. Reminds me of our childhood. Your Pysanky are amazingly beautiful!!

  9. What a exquisite obsession. Glad to meet you through FFF.

  10. wow! You did an awesome job! Are you Ukrainian? My family is Ukrainian so I have lots of painted, wooden Ukrainian crafts from the country. Our local library had a Pysanky class this year that I wanted to go to but wasn't able to.

  11. Those eggs are amazing! It makes me want to start some. Great Pictures.