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Topic: Ukrainian pysanky eggs *tutorial*  (Read 19401 times)
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« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2005 01:14:00 PM »

Here's how I do my eggs:

Assemble your tools.  I use tea-light candles, and the kistka/stylus tools for melting my wax. I prefer the tinted beeswax (that square thingy in the corner), because it is easier to see your wax lines on the egg. Cover your work surface with paper towels, plastic or newspapers.  Have a bowl of water ready in case you set something on fire.  (It happens!)  I blow out my egg shells, and then seal the ends with wax or masking tape.

Lightly draw your design on the egg with pencil.  If you make a mistake, DON'T ERASE.  It changes the surface of the egg, and the way the egg takes the dye.

Scoop some beeswax up in the cup of your stylus, and hold the stylus next to the flame. When the wax is molten, draw on the egg with the stylus.  I try to remember to lay off the coffee before doing this. 

Drawing with the wax.  THE DREADED BLOB!  I find it helps to off-load your stylus after you've loaded it with new wax.  I tend to get a blob when there's fresh wax in the cup.  You really can't scrape your blob off, so just be philosophical about it. Nobody's perfect, right?

Hold your egg in paper towels.  I find that my fingers get a bit waxy, and this wax residue can get on the surface of the egg, and keep the dye from sticking.

The egg has been dunked in the first color -- orange.  This first application of wax will keep dye off the surface of the egg, and thus retains the original color of the eggshell.  In this case, I'm working with a brown egg.  Dry your eggs with paper towels after dyeing.  The wax won't stick to a wet eggshell.

More wax has been applied, and the egg has been dunked in red.  The brown egg color and the orange have been covered with wax.  The next application of wax will cover -- and preserve -- the red color that is now on the surface of the egg.

Applying more wax.

The final color, in this case black.  I label all my dye containers, because the darker colors all look the same.

This is the "magic trick" part of the process...  Melting away the wax and revealing your colors.  Hold your egg next to, not directly over the flame.  If you've sealed the ends of your egg, unseal them.  Eggs can explode from the heat and pressure of the flame, and that's heartbreaking!  Wipe the melted wax off your egg with clean paper towels.

The completed egg!  If you want to hang up your egg, break a toothpick in half and tie a loop of thick-ish thread (button or upholstery thread works well) around the toothpick.  Gently shove the toothpick inside the egg, wiggle it around and pull the thread taut.  The dyes are not light-fast, so keep your egg out of direct sunlight.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2005 01:16:11 PM by lisascenic » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2005 10:32:55 AM »

whoa, for some reason I didn't notice this topic take off at all (didn't show up in my new replies to my posts Sad )

A few weeks ago I bought some blue, rarebreeds chicken eggs and thought "oh boy! blue etched eggs!". Imagine my utter horror at wasting a whole evening and taking off the layers of wax to find... NOTHING! absolutely NOTHING no pattern what soever. I started to use the eggs in cooking like normal and I found out why... these blue/green eggs are blue/green all the way through, unlike the brown eggs which are only brown on the outside and white on the inside. I am so annoyed and disappointed all at the same time.

I learned how to do this in school. I forgot why (and why they were letting us 10-12 year olds around candles) we did it but it was cool and then I bought some supplies at a local craft shop and did a few at home, a few for teachers around easter etc. They seemed to get more and more popular year after year.
I'll point out now that I prefer the "traditional" style of kistka that's a wooden stick with a metal funnel attached to the stick with wire wrapped around it but that's just me...

« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2005 10:48:06 AM »

I'm glad Craftster combined our two threads.  Makes a lot of sense!

You vinegar etched eggs are really lovely.  Thanks for the warning about blue/green eggs.  Hopefully, your frustration will be rewarded by saving other people from making the same -- understandable -- mistake.

« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2005 02:38:46 PM »

What breath taking ART you ladies have created!!!
Truly very talented artists.
« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2005 07:24:14 PM »

Don't be intimidated by the gear used to make these particular eggs.  You can do a version of this with the wax crayon that comes with the East egg dyeing kits.  Or you can do a version by dripping wax and building up layers of colors. 

« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2005 01:40:04 PM »

Here's an article I wrote a few years back about pysanky:
I love it and love all you eggers out there! I have not done a whole lot lately; am concentrating on quilting and acting. But keep on putting your work on the site!

Everybody is a star
One big circle going round and round
-- Sly and the Family Stone
« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2005 02:40:46 PM »

Oh, that's so lovely!!!!

« Reply #57 on: March 31, 2005 06:06:07 PM »

!! oh those eggs are beautiful.  I've done those eggs as long as I can remember but my hand is not steady enough to do the traditional designs.  Do you have any helpful hints for learning to do the complex stuff? Huh
« Reply #58 on: March 31, 2005 08:47:59 PM »

Lightly sketch your images with a pencil, and lay off the caffeine would be my two biggest bits of adive.

Oh, and don't sweat it if you make a mistake.  Have fun!

« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2006 09:06:59 AM »

Well, Easter isn't too far off.  So I thought I might revive this topic. 

If things in my life go well, I'll be hosting another Eggstravaganza, and having my friends over to decorate eggs and have a few drinks.

Feel free to ask geeky technical questions regarding this technique.  (The egg decorating, that is.  Y'all can figure out the drinking part on your own!)

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