Eggs-quisite: Pysanky Arrives Right in Time for Easter
Lansdale Parks and Recreation hosted its ninth Pysanky workshop Saturday.
These aren't your normal Easter eggs.
Pysanky eggs are Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated through the use of a wax-resist method and dyes.
To be a Pysanky egg, it must be decorated with a Ukrainan folk design.
Before anything is done, the yolk and white are blown out of the egg through a small hole.
A stylus, called a kistka, is heated under a flame. The kistka has a funnel-like reservoir attached to a plastic handle. Kistkas can vary in tip size from extra fine to heavy.
The reservoir, once heated, stores melted beeswax. The kistka is then used to "draw" a design on the egg.
The wax remains on the egg, and one can dye the egg different colors. Repeating this process, designs are drawn and dye is blocked out until the egg has a unique Ukrainian feature to it.
Each color of dye has its own meaning, but colors are secondary to the designs and symbols on Pysanky eggs.
White means purity, light and virginity. Yellow represents sun, stars, harvest and perpetuation of the family. Gold means spirituality and wisdom.
Orange represents endurance, everlasting sun and ambition. Red stands for blood and fire, but also happiness, hope and ministry of the church.
Red and white together mean respect, fidelity and protection from evil powers.
Green represents awakening, spring and hope. Pink proffers success, purple represents royalty, trust and patience, and brown is for earth and generosity.
Even black has representation in Pysanky: center of the earth, eternity and absolute.
When making Pysanky eggs, there is an order to using the dyes.
It is recommended to begin with yellow, then gold and colors like orange and pumpkin. Reds follow, then pinks and greens. Blue, turquoise, dark blue and purple follow next. Brick, brown and black round out the order.
One could also use orange to lighten a darker color, as it has a bleaching effect.
When all is said and done, the wax is melted and wiped off the egg, leaving behind a colorful masterpiece.
One Pysanky workshop took place last Saturday in Lansdale.
An advanced Pysanky workshop is set for April 16 at 8:30 a.m. at the Lansdale Borough Parks and Recreation building. The cost is $22 for residents and $27 for nonresidents.
The workshops are conducted by art teachers from Pennbrook Middle School.
Check out our photo gallery from the recent Pysanky event, as well as our video of a Pysanky egg being made.