So I sat my butt down on the couch this weekend and created some pysanky. Ukranian Easter eggs. Pysanka is singular, pysanky plural. The things I learn and feel the need to share :)
Anyway... this was my first egg. Which I broke while trying to remove the wax.
So I made it again with slightly less success. One of the most interesting things about making Ukranian Easter eggs is that EVERYTHING is a symbol. Every color, every shape, everything means something. On this egg, the curls signify defense and protection, the dots can represent stars or Mary's tears at Jesus' crucifixion, and the background color of black signifies the darkest time before dawn. Neat, eh??
Now, the process of actually making pysanky is time-consuming but well worth it (even if your results are as amateurish as mine).
THIS is the setup (and I learned later that tea candles don't cut the mustard). Dyes are in the labeled containers up the top and are not edible and will stain everything, including your hands. Eggs have to be room temperature. Q-Tips are for dabbing on small bits of dye into small areas for certain colors. I'm a lefty, which is why the beeswax and candle are on the left. Good lighting is also a must.
First, you have to draw your guide lines. They (usually) get covered up with dye when you're making the egg. After you draw your guide lines, you heat up the beeswax using the candle in one of the kistky and sketch the areas you want to keep white. Then dip in the first color. Dry it off. Cover everything you want THAT color with wax and repeat the process till you're done! Sounds so simple, right? And then you melt off the wax, cover it in varnish, and empty out the internal contents.
But really... they're so pretty. And if I can ever get the hang of it, I'm going to really, really enjoy it.