2History of PysankyPysanky 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.
3Designs based on “Americana” American quilt design and Native American blanket and pottery design motifs.
4Traditional Ukrainian design floral motifs, triangles, diamonds and pulled drops
5During 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.
6Marbled eggs wax which has been dribbled and dripped on
8In 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.
10pictorial narrative design holiday themed design work
11The ProcessThe 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).
12Wax 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.
13The 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).
14Wax 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.
21With 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.
22Some other possibilities… Decorated EggsSome other possibilities…
23Etched eggsWax 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
29Scratched eggsThe 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.
30Wax applied eggsDifferent colored wax is applied and left on to create the designs.
31Some other possibilities… Decorated EggsSome other possibilities…
32Hard boiled Easter eggs that have had the shells cracked, then dyed to create this broken glass or spider web type designs.
33The Faberge EggThe 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.