Pysanky is Ukrainian egg decorating, in which you use the wax-resist (batik) method. The symbolism of the egg represents nature's rebirth and the rebirth of man. The egg symbol is likened to the tomb from which Christ rose. Colors that are used on Ukrainian Easter Eggs are typically placed with specific meanings in mind.
White- purity, innocence, or birth with it's fresh beginning
Black- eternity, the darkest time before the new day
Yellow- eternal youth, hospitality, happiness, purity, and light
Red- passion, hope, happiness in life, or the sun in it's energetic splendor
Orange- strength, endurance, or the sun with it's eternal endurance
Blue- good health, life, or the sky that holds life giving air
Green- hope, new growth, or Spring (the eternal symbol of hope and new growth)
There are also certain symbols that are found on Ukrainian Easter Eggs
Roses- love and caring
Crosses- Christ or the four corners of the world
Wheat- good health or a good harvest
The Sun and the Stars- good fortune, life, and new growth
Pine Needles- stamina, health, and eternal youth
Ladders- prosperity or prayer
Poppies- joy and beauty
Deer, Horses and Rams- wealth and prosperity
Curls- protection and defense
Birds- fertility, fulfillment of wishes; always depicted in a resting position, never in the air
Nets- fishing nets, references the biblical passages on fishermen of people
Ribbons- water and everlasting life
Triangles- three in one, the Trinity, air, water, and fire, the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost or heaven, earth and hell
The Saw- fire, life-giving heat, the loyalty and wisdom of a wolf (wolf's teeth)
What You'll Need to Make a Pysanka...
Raw eggs at room temperature
Pencil (NEVER USE AN ERASER ON YOUR EGG)
A variety of styluses called kystkas
First off you need to put your eggs in vinegar and then pat dry. This will make the dye hold to your egg better. Lightly trace a design on your egg. You can also use rubber bands to give you straighter lines.
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, ERASE! If you ever do, there WILL be a blotch there and it will look horrible. Hopefully I've stressed that enough. If you have to change something, do it with a paper towel and a little bit of vinegar.
Here are the kystkas, you can choose to get the traditional ones or the modern ones. Modern ones are a whole lot easier. And if you're going to get really into this you can get an electric one.
Now heat the kystka in the flame and scoop up the wax and write on your egg.
Wherever you put the wax, that area will be sealed and will stay the color that is under it. If you started waxing with a white undyed egg, then it will be white wherever you put the wax. Now you can dye your egg any color you wish. If you want to do multiple colors, the dye sequence is always light to dark. Dye your egg a light color, add more wax where you'd like that color to stay and then keep dyeing and waxing, with each color dye getting darker and darker. Watch out for this...
Make sure you have a paper towel always handy so you can wipe off any excess wax. If not, you'll get a big glob of wax on your egg and could ruin everything you worked so hard on.When you're all done...
...take your egg and put it next to the flame and wipe off the melted wax, a little bit at a time. DO NOT LET YOUR EGG GET ABOVE THE FLAME OR IT WILL GET THE BLACK STUFF FROM THE FLAME ON IT. Not fun!
Now you can varnish your egg and make it nice and pretty.
Lastly, you need to hollow out your egg. There are lots of ways to do this, but my way requires only one hole at the bottom of your egg so no one will see it. This is the tool you use...
It's a little scary, but hold it like the above picture firmly in your palm and shove the bottom on your egg on top of it. If you do it slowly, it will crack your egg. Then, use it like this...
And then you have GORGEOUS eggs you can keep for a long time.
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