Today’s Inspiration: Ukrainian Easter Eggs

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Today’s Inspiration: Ukrainian Easter Eggs

This morning for our Inspiration Meeting, I shared a cultural tradition called Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). Many of you are probably familiar with these intricately decorated eggs, but I bet you haven’t tried making one!

I had my first experience creaing Pysanky years ago in my high school Russian class, so I thought it’d be a fun thing to try again.

The process of dying the eggs is slightly complicated because you have to plan ahead what your finished egg will look like. Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s a very rewarding experience.

Basically, you dye the egg in order from lightest to darkest, covering with wax the parts you don’t want dyed another color. Here’s a basic look at decorating and dying your egg (for more detailed instructions, go here):

It’s always a good idea to start with a plan. Know which colors you will use and what order you should go in. In our example, we’ve got five colors, so the dye order should be (from lightest to darkest): (white), yellow, orange, magenta, then blue.

First, using the kistka (the wax stylus), draw the swirls onto the egg (this part will stay white). Then put the egg into the yellow dye.

Now you have a yellow egg (left). Next, draw/fill in the parts you want to remain yellow, like the line, polka dots and the entire top cap of the egg (center). Place the egg in the orange dye.

Now you have an orange egg (left). Using the kistka, color in the band you want to keep orange (center). (Yes, it looks like an orange bumblebee. Don’t worry, it won’t stay this way.) Place the egg in the magenta dye.

You now have a magenta egg (left). Go ahead and fill in the middle band with wax (center). Place egg in the blue dye.

Now your egg should be pretty much covered in wax except for the blue bottom (left). How do you remove the wax? Just hold the egg close to the candle flame and wipe the egg with a paper towel when the wax begins to melt. Do this until there is no more wax on the egg. It’s a bit tedious, but the results are amazing!

Here are some of the eggs we created (see below). As you can see, we strayed from the more traditional patterns and colors and improvised what we thought would look cool.

It’s always fun to put a new twist on an old tradition. Hope this inspires you to try your hand at pysanky-making.

-Aya