Pysanky Art (Ancient)
I’ve been giving some thought to attempting to do a Pysanky Egg art project. I was recently watching public television when they did a small documentary on this ancient form of art. I was immediately intrigued. Of course I would never be able to approach the quality of those who have done this all their lives, but I would like to give it a try.
The process starts with a clean, white, chicken egg (yolk and all – a real egg). You lightly draw a simple pattern with pencil on the egg shell that you want to remain white. (See the white pattern in the image on the left?). Next you cover your simple pattern with a coating of bees wax. (This will prevent that section of the egg from absorbing dye when it is later dipped). The tool you use to “write” on the egg with wax is called a Kistka (see below) which is basically a small metal funnel attached to a dowel that drips molten wax.
Once protected with wax, the egg is dipped into a dye bath. Pysanky eggs that will go on display use a dye that is more brilliant and glossy then could be achieved with regular food coloring.
The egg above only uses one color (plus the natural white of the chicken egg). But many beautiful Pysanky eggs use multiple colorings. At each stage, each new color is again protected with wax and the egg is dyed again.
The next stage involves holding the wax covered egg next to a flame. As the wax melts, it is gently wiped off exposing the color it was protecting.
The final stage involves two tiny pin holes on each end of the egg. The yolk can be blown out leaving only the decorated shell.
If I do attempt this, I will keep you posted with additional information, links, and of course pictures of my attempt.
Also check out Hilo Verde’s pysanky art.