Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm not entirely sure which form of the terms to use--since pysanky/pysanka comes from Ukraine.

I choose Pysanka. It sounds better in my head.

Anyway, I brought it up because I make them. Ukrainian egg decorating is
something my family picked up like ten years ago. We've been doing it ever since, but I think I'm the most enthusiastic about it. So let me explain the process.

It requires making a giant mess, so we only do it around Easter. ;)

First, you have to wash the eggs with vinegar-water, so that the dye will stick. Next, you take a pencil and draw light guide lines. Whatever you want white, you cover it in wax using a kitsky/kitska (is it a dialect thing or singular/plural?). When that's done, you can dye it. There's a specific order to the colors. For example, you could dye it yellow, orange, red, purple, black. Or yellow, green, blue, dark blue. But you couldn't dye it, say, yellow, green, blue, red. (You can change the color scheme with bleach or orange, but that's for another day.)

After you have all the layers of color and wax, it's time to wipe the wax off. We use a candle to heat it up--but we have to be careful not to scorch the eggshell. After it's clean, we varnish it, wait for a day, and then blow out the insides. (That's me blowing out one of mine, by the way.)

I feel like I should make it clear how easy it is to fail, even after hours of work. You could blob the wax. You could drop the egg at any point. You could burn the shell. If you use the wrong kind of varnish, you could rub the color right off of the egg. When you're blowing the insides out, you could create too much air pressure and cause the egg to burst.

See what happens when you drop it? You lose all the hours you spent on it. My little sister was the creator of this sad egg. She's broken two this year. But she did manage to create another like the first--this time without dropping it while taking off the wax.

While I've been creating ten beautiful designs, my husband has been doing this:

Pokemon. I asked him to make an egg, too, and he came up with this. Sigh.



  1. Ha ha! I love Jaron's egg! I remember your mom said something about making "psanki" on facebook and it sounded like some sort of foreign food. But I remember seeing these at your house when we were younger. Looks like fun! :]

  2. Great article, beautiful pysanky thanks for showing the artistic talent.