The art and craft of pysanky

Step by Step

When people see these eggs for the first time, they often assume I’ve painted them.  In reality I use a wax-resist process.  “A what?” is the next question I hear.  And “Is it hard?” closely follows.

To answer both these questions let me take you step by step through this process.

With a kistka (a small copper funnel on a stick) I apply melted beeswax lines to the egg.  All areas covered by this first layer of wax will remain white on the finished egg.

Next, I dye the whole egg yellow and draw more wax lines to preserve the yellow color.  Green dye must be painted in small areas and then covered with wax.

Now the egg receives an orange dye bath.  Anything that should stay orange on the finished egg must be covered with wax.

  

After the red dye bath, the egg is ready for another layer of wax to protect everything that will remain red.

 

 The final dye color on this egg is black. 

To reveal the finished design, I remove the wax by holding the egg near a candle flame and wiping off the wax as it melts.

 

 Several layers of glossy varnish protect the design and complete the process

 

With just a few simple tools and a lot of time and patience, these colorful eggs really come to life.

One response

  1. Karla Osorio

    Hello Teresa, my mom and I are still planning on attending the 21st for your class…what are the details??? Where do we go? What time? What do we bring?

    August 16, 2010 at 8:04 am

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