Couple weeks ago we visited Renaissance Fair in Irwindale, and had a pleasure to meet with Adriana who does colorful art of decorating EASTER EGGS, or PYSANKY, that has been a Ukrainian tradition for over ten centuries.
PYSANKY, the richly decorated raw eggs, are never eaten. They are kept in the home from year to year as decorations and as protection from evil, fire and lightning. Friends exchange pysanky that have been blessed on Easter morning to commemorateChrist’s teachings of peace and love.
The word PYSANKA comes from the Ukrainian word “pysaty” which means to write. PYSANKY are decorated by a complicated dye process similar to Batik. Melted beeswax is applied with a stylus, which is called a “kistka” or “pysaltse” to afresh egg, raw, and clear of blemishes.
The egg is dipped into a succession of dye baths, starting from the lightest, usually yellow,and ending with the darkest, typically black. Between each dipping, wax is applied over areas where the preceding color is to remain. After all the designing is complete, the wax is melted off and a hard glaze is applied. Bees wax is used because it staysliquid longer than paraffin, is more pliable, and has an adhering quality; and, of course bee-keeping was very common, so a large natural supply was on hand.