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Ukrainian Pysanky Easter Eggs

Updated on April 21, 2013

How to make Ukrainian Painted Easter Eggs

The first thing you have to know about me is that I am NOT Ukrainian. So I have absolutely no knowledge of, and no experience in painting these eggs.

But when I recently spotted a beautiful photo of these gorgeous eggs in a magazine, I just had to learn more about them. The article also claimed that Ukrainian painted easter eggs are amongst the most famous in the world.

Called Pysanky (which means write), these eggs are painted with Hot Wax in colourful intricate patterns, traditional geometric designs and images of or symbolising nature.

Pysanky Egg Decorating Kit from Luba - Everything you need to get started decorating eggs

If you would like to jumpstart your Pysanky egg decorating, you might check out this Luba Ukranian easter egg decorating kit. It provides you with everything you will need except for the eggs.

Luba's Ukrainian Easter Egg Decorating Kit - Super Color Kit
Luba's Ukrainian Easter Egg Decorating Kit - Super Color Kit

The Luba Ukrainain easter egg decorating kit comes with 12 dye colors, 3 Delray kit sky pencils, 1 beeswax cake, and a 6 page color instruction booklet with designs, patterns and how to tips for Pysanky egg decorating.

 

How to create Pysanky Eggs

Please be aware that this is NOT a fast process. This lens also just gives you a rough idea of how the process is done. The wax is drawn on the egg with a tool called a KISTKA. Since the colours will be added in layers and going from light to dark (in order - from white (the egg colour), through yellow, blue, green, orange, red and brown to black), each time you cover a part of the design with wax, that part of the design does NOT take on the new colour.

Step 1 - The design is drawn out on a RAW egg with PENCIL.

Step 2 - Cover the parts of the design you wish to stay white with the hot wax, and then dip the egg into yellow dye. All parts of the egg NOT covered in wax will become yellow. Allow the egg to dry.

Step 3 - Now cover all parts of the design you wish to stay yellow, and dip the egg into the blue dye (although some blue dyes may have to be applied manually). Allow to dry.

Step 4 - Now cover all parts of the design you wish to stay blue, and dip the egg into the green dye (although some green dyes may have to be applied manually). Allow to dry

Step 5 - Cover all parts of the design that you want to stay green, and then dip the egg into the orange dye and allow to dry.

Step 6 - Cover all parts of the design that you want to stay orange, and then dip the egg into the red dye and allow to dry.

Step 7 - Cover all parts of the design that you want to stay red, and then dip the egg into the brown dye and allow to dry.

Step 8 - Cover all parts of the design that you want to stay brown, and then dip the egg into the black dye and allow to dry. Black is the last colour to be added.

Step 9 - Once the egg is dry you want to melt all the wax off. Hold the egg close to (but NOT IN) a candle flame lightly and and rotate the egg to allow the wax to melt and drip off. Have a soft drying cloth close by to catch the melting wax. Do NOT hold the egg IN the flame or the egg shell itself will burn.

Step 10 - When the egg is dry the egg may be covered in clear varnish to protect the painted design.

Pysanky eggs

The Blue and Gold fabric of the background, are indicative of the origin of these eggs. Those are the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Books on Pysanky Eggs from Amazon

History and Symbolism of Pysanky Eggs

Eggs, and bunny rabbits have been a symbol of fertility and birth of nature for thousands of years. The Spring equinox (March 21st) represents a time of rebirth - when winter ends and the new life begins. This is why we have the tradition of easter eggs and bunny rabbits. The early christian church adopted the tradition of the equinox as their celebration of the rebirth of man - although that is not what it means.

The Symbolism of Pysanky Eggs

More Pysanky eggs

These painted eggs are done using the Wax-Resist Batik method. Anywhere the wax is on the egg, the dye does not go. The egg is painted with wax and dipped into the dye over and over again as the colours are built up in layers. The order of the dyes must go from white to light and then gradually becoming darker. As the instructor said on the first video below, Once the egg is dyed black, there aint no going back to white..

Photo Source - The Basket Sampler, Michigan

How To Do Pysanky - Ukranian Easter Eggs

Map of the Ukraine

Map Source - CIA World Factbook

What do you think of Pysanky eggs?

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    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Whether you believe it or not that i have seen Ukrainian Easter eggs before even though i am not Ukrainian, I love the eggs :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for researching this beautiful subject. I had not ever seen the step by steps in the process and you sure give excellent directions for someone without experience actually doing it. I don't know if I'll ever give it a try but I sure will remember to not hold the egg in the flame when melting the wax off. Thank you for this look at the beautiful Pysanky eggs! :)

    • Pat Goltz profile image

      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      I think they're beautiful. I wish I had the skill and patience to make them.

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 4 years ago

      I did this craft for awhile on goose eggs. I still have a few around. I'm not nearly as talented as the people who did the eggs you've shown but I enjoyed it while I did it and sold a few eggs. It IS a LOT of work and you have to have a lot of patience.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 5 years ago from US/TN

      These are so pretty! It's amazing how detailed the designs are.

    • craftycrow profile image

      craftycrow 5 years ago

      I think they are wonderful. I tried doing this once but it's quite a craft.

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      These are beautiful.

    • RickBasset profile image

      RickBasset 5 years ago

      I'm of Ukrainian heritage, and although I only have a limited knowledge of Pysanky, you've done an excellent job of this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow, these are Very Beautiful Works of Art!!! They are simply Amazing. their Detail is Astonishing!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Wow! These are fabulously beautiful! Somehow I fear I lack the true artistic ability to create such beauty.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens! Looks like a lot of work, but very pretty!

    • carlajo73 profile image

      carlajo73 6 years ago

      Wow!! Some very colorful eggs here!! Thanx for sharing!!

    • lbos114 profile image

      lbos114 6 years ago

      Definitely Lens rolling this to my "How To Celebrate Easter" lens... I hope you check it out and enjoy it as much as I have your thanks.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      These are beautiful! Lensrolled to my around the world crafts for kids lens.

    • profile image

      alyssa87 6 years ago

      yes the eggs are nicely painted, awesome work

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 6 years ago from US

      Those eggs are Seriously beautiful!