When it comes to making pysanky, Ukrainian Easter eggs, there’s much more involved in dyeing than simply placing the egg in colored water. For those who don’t know, pysanky is a tradition in Ukraine and Poland where decorators use wax to draw on eggs to create often elaborate patterns.
Things You Will Need:
- Pure Beeswax Block
- Kistka (wax pen)
- Paper Towels
Don’t add vinegar to dyes unless the directions say to, because the acid can weaken colors like pink and orange, LearnPysanky.com noted. While the dyes you’ve just made cool down, take the eggs out of the refrigerator so they can return to room temperature.
1. Wash your hands. The natural oils on skin can interfere with the design of the egg.
2. Draw the design you want with a pencil. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect. The pencil won’t show up on the finished product. Make sure not to use the pencil’s eraser if there’s a mistake since it can scratch the egg’s shell.
3. Heat the kistka in the flame of the candle and then dip into the beeswax. Don’t worry if the wax becomes dark from the soot of the candle; it will make designing the egg easier and won’t hurt the design.
4. It’s time to start the design. If the wax from your tool runs out, reheat the kistka.
5. When the first design is complete, dip the egg into the first color for 5-10 minutes. The most important tip is to start with the lightest color. If the egg is white, cover the parts of the egg you want to remain white with wax. Then dip in yellow dye. Continue this process for each color. If you want certain parts to remain yellow, then place the wax on top of the yellow color and continue from there.
6. Take the egg out of the dye with a spoon and place on a paper towel. Remove the excess dye.
7. Repeat waxing design. When finished, dip in another color for 5-10 minutes.
8. Wax can be removed by placing the egg near a candle flame. Be delicate; too much heat can ruin the egg.
For visual help, check out this YouTube video posted by user Lorrie Popow:
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