Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eggs, the 2014 Edition

Happy Easter! I know today is Saturday, but by the time many of you read this, Easter Sunday will have arrived (and perhaps passed) and Christ will have risen again.

It's a rainy, misty day in our little valley. The cows and new calves across the road made for a pretty scene this morning:

Cows in the mist.

At long last, the promised pysanky photos.

What with work, a day in bed with vertigo (damned BVVP) and a short work week (courtesy Good Friday) with the pressure of early deadlines … well, let's just say the ol' blog was way down on the To Do List.

Last weekend I helped Katherine, daughter Sasha and friend Tristan make their very first pysanky. It was an interesting afternoon.

Sasha (in red shirt) took her egg writing very seriously … for about 4 seconds!
She did work hard on the design, though.

Katherine writing the white portions of the egg. Pysanka is reverse wax work
- you cover the colours according to design or whim, lightest to darkest.

Sasha excitedly waiting for one of her eggs to come out of the red dye bath.

Eggs in progress - white been done, yellow been done, and now they will go
into either the red or blue dye. I usually limit childrens' first eggs to three colours.

Katherine working on the red elements.

First eggs!! Katherine's are front left and centre.
Sasha's are the most solid red and blue eggs.

Katherine reflected on how the act of writing eggs is very 'zen' and I agree. For me, it's one of the strong attractions of the craft. I get totally immersed in the process, only to lift my head an hour later and note the passage of time with surprise.

On the other hand, when done with other people, it's also a very social activity. We chattered pretty much non-stop for the entire afternoon. I've worked with Katherine for almost 7 years and got to know her better last Saturday than in all the time leading up to it. I had a wonderful time.

Of course, I got no eggs done myself except a sample egg that's rather harum-scarum (you'll see it finished in a minute) and touching up the girls' eggs.

So I set up my workspace at home and have been ignoring most everything else while I indulge myself in this very seasonal craft.

My workspace: writing tools, cake of beeswax (black is from candle soot,
helps to see the wax on the egg), and candle to heat the tools and
eventually remove the wax from the finished egg.

It's been a few years since I wrote eggs. I'm not sure why. Lack of motivation, I suppose. Offering to teach Katherine and Sasha was the kick in the butt I needed. We've already agreed to do it again next year.

My lack of practice shows in the egg below. The three triangles are less than accurate! but that's OK. When the egg is done, the wax removed and the colours glow, no one but me will notice.

Egg in progress: everything in black wax is white in the design; it has
 been in the yellow dye bath (obviously) and ready for the
yellow parts of the design to be written.

Dye pots.

My daughter and her partner will be out this afternoon, and we'll get back to our tradition of many years, writing eggs on Easter Saturday. I still have eggs my son and daughter made 25 years ago.

Finished eggs. The wonky one with the deer, (back, right) was the one I used
to demonstrated technique to the girls last weekend.
I'm looking forward to the day when my granddaughter is old enough to write eggs with us.



  1. Fabulous. Do you write the name of maker, and year on them?

  2. Sometimes I put a small date on an egg. That's all.