The art and craft of pysanky

Etching

Normally the designs on these eggs fill the eye with color but if I use the same wax-resist technique in a slightly different way the resulting monotones are surprisingly beautiful.

A bit of explanation here.  A brown chicken egg is only brown on the outer surface.  Just underneath that dark layer it gets progressively lighter and lighter until the shell become nearly white.  To decorate these eggs I use acid to eat away layers of shell and reveal what’s underneath.  And by protecting my design with beeswax, I can preserve the darker colors on the finished egg.

As I worked on a sample etched egg for a class, God began to whisper a metaphor to me about the process of etching.  Acid is tough on the egg, but getting down to the pure white layer is the only way to reveal the beautiful design created by the darker outer shell.

This is the part that started me thinking.  Often when life doesn’t go as planned, I grumble and complain.  I like my familiar, dark “outer layers” and that “acid” in my everyday life interferes with my personal agenda.  But if I sit in the moment instead of avoiding the hard stuff, I come away changed in some way…hopefully for the better.  God can make my deep, dark outer layer into a beautiful, intricate design if I give Him space to work.  He doesn’t take away my faults, He just transforms them into a thing of beauty.  Wow, that’s a lot to ponder.

If you’d like to try your hand at acid etched eggs, I’ll be teaching this class March 24, 2012, at Craftology in Fair OaksVillage.  Here is the link for more details

4 responses

  1. Karen Good

    Teresa,
    Metaphors teach much, and your object lesson gives me much to think about! Deep, Dark layers in one’s life do not feel beautiful, they feel like a mess, they feel painful. It takes a loving God, a patient God, to quietly and continually show us what beautiful things He has done with the painful things. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:48 am

    • Well said Karen. I’m glad this spoke to your heart. Isn’t it funny how a simple art like pysanky can bring such deep spiritual insights? And not just for the artist alone.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:13 am

  2. Your talent for both etching and word thoughts are a gift to us all.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    • Thank you Katherine. Sometimes it’s hard for me to stop long enough to capture those thoughts on paper. So often I think about things and then the ideas evaporate into the busyness of life. It’s good to hear that sharing is worthwhile.

      February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

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