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The Ukrainian Easter Egg

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Presentation on theme: "The Ukrainian Easter Egg"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ukrainian Easter Egg
PYSANKY The Ukrainian Easter Egg

2 History of Pysanky Pysanky and pysanka, the singular form, are derived from a Ukrainian word meaning "to write." The tradition of decorating eggs, especially at Easter or in spring, was widespread through Europe. It was especially prevalent in Slavic areas. At various times of the year or at points of passage in a person’s life the pysanky took on mystical meaning. Colors and designs came into being to be representative of nature and life itself. Children were given pysanky with floral designs in a usually light color. Teenagers would receive pysanky with predominantly white coloring to signify the blank page of their future. Married couples were given pysanky with the popular 40 triangles design which in Ukrainian culture symbolized the forty tasks of life. An older person of advanced age received black pysanky with belts, ladders and gates to remind them of their bridge to heaven.

3 Designs based on “Americana” American quilt design and Native American blanket and pottery design motifs.

4 Traditional Ukrainian design floral motifs, triangles, diamonds and pulled drops

5 During the span of history, the egg has represented mystery, magic, medicine, food and omen. It is the universal symbol of Easter celebrations throughout the world.

6 Marbled eggs wax which has been dribbled and dripped on

7 modern and unusual design

8 In Pagan times the egg represented the rebirth of the earth, and was believed to have special powers. It was buried under the foundations of buildings to ward off evil. French brides stepped upon an egg before crossing the threshold of their new homes.

9 design based on 60’s style

10 pictorial narrative design holiday themed design work

11 The Process The process is basically a stencil type process similar to the way batik is used to dye fabric. You begin with a clean white egg (clean is important).

12 Wax is painted on the egg using the kitsky tool
Wax is painted on the egg using the kitsky tool. Wax is placed wherever you want white to appear in the final design. This part of the process is what creates the resist stencil.

13 The egg is then dyed in its first dye bath
The egg is then dyed in its first dye bath. The lightest color is used first, making it easier for each successive layer to cover the previous layer. Where the wax was placed, the egg remained un-dyed (or stays white).

14 Wax is now added to the egg where yellow is desired as part of the design. The egg is then dyed in the next dye bath.



17 Each layer of wax and dye leaves more of the egg dyed
Each layer of wax and dye leaves more of the egg dyed. When the final color is added, the egg is often waxed one last time and dyed black.

18 The wax is then melted and wiped off the egg to expose the final design.

19 The final Pysanky

20 Egg design based on Greek Pottery…

21 With the advent of Chrisianity the symbolism of the egg changed to represent, not nature's rebirth, but the rebirth of man. The Christian church was very accomplished at absorbing pagan traditions and making them their own. Decorating and coloring eggs for Easter was the custom in England during the middle ages. The household accounts of Edward I, for the year 1290, shows the purchase of four hundred and fifty eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts.

22 Some other possibilities…
Decorated Eggs Some other possibilities…

23 Etched eggs Wax has been applied to the egg and then it has been given a vinegar bath. Vinegar dissolves the calcium egg shell, creating an intaglio area


25 TRIVIA: These eggs were laser etched as part of a CBS promotion
TRIVIA: These eggs were laser etched as part of a CBS promotion. They were available in large metropolitan areas.

26 Franc Grom Master Egg Carver http://www. vrhnika. si/index. php

27 Franc Grom Master egg “carver”
Franc Grom Master egg “carver”. Grom uses a dremel type tool to create different layers, lines and negative areas.


29 Scratched eggs The egg has been dyed and the surface has been scratched away to create the white lines. Notice the variation in line weight – the thick to thin areas and how solid white looking areas have been created.

30 Wax applied eggs Different colored wax is applied and left on to create the designs.

31 Some other possibilities…
Decorated Eggs Some other possibilities…

32 Hard boiled Easter eggs that have had the shells cracked, then dyed to create this broken glass or spider web type designs.

33 The Faberge Egg The Russia tsars traditionally presented painted eggs to their confidants at Easter. Among the Easter eggs the world famous name was gained by the Faberge firm. Peter Carl Fabergé (May 30, 1846–September 24, 1920) was a Russian jeweler. Faberge created eggs that were decorated with gold, silver and precious stones. The first Faberge eggs were produced in 1884 for the tsar Alexander III.



36 Virtual eggs… fractal designs created digitally

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