Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Ukrainians are Coming!!

You gotta love Pysanky. As I make plans to go professional, here's a shoot of most of my work up till now.

Pictexplanation: The evolution of a pysanky egg:

First you draw your design and put down wax on the plain egg, if you want any white on your final product.

Then you dip in the dyes, light to dark, waxing as you go. Here I added lines onto the yellow egg, but they're a little hard to see.

Now I've got gold over the yellow. A subtle difference -- but notice how the wax is accumulating?

Then I did pink and then brown. Here's the finished product, after all the wax has been melted and wiped away.

And a close up. Lots of lines on this one.

A random picture of the blue dye. Yep. There it is.

Some products of past years:

I believe I did this one on a naturally brown egg.

This one was brown too. It comes out very pale tan next to the dyes.

Two views of this one - pysanky done on a naturally green egg.

The front of this one didn't come out too well. I always prefer looking at its side.

Some less traditional designs. This art takes a lot of expirimentation.

Two views of my henna egg.

This one broke. You can't really tell, but the other side of the top is cracked away. It's also superglued in places. Fragility of the eggshell is just one of the many variables in pysanky. Sometimes you drop them and they live. Sometimes they burst in your hand for no apparent reason... this one I accidentally knocked off the table.

It's okay though. See, I'm beginning a reproduction of the egg! I think this one's gonna be better anyway.

Two views of a very traditional one I did last year. This was also done on a brown egg. I got lucky: notice the gorgeous shape of this shell.

Three views of one from last year, and my favorite to date. This was a gift for mom, who loves bees.

This is the first egg I did this year up in my attic studio. I found that when I moved all the pysanky stuff down to the kitchen for the lent/easter season, my work improved. Not sure why.

Had some trouble with the dyes on this one...

I was so frustrated with this one I almost broke it. A few drops of dye got into the egg during the first dippings-- and then came back to haunt me later. If your egg isn't completely dry on the inside, the egg can leak and sweat, which messes up subsequent dyes, thwarts the wax, and generally makes life miserable. Plus I got the first blob in years. (If you spill wax on your egg, you can't take it off. It seals on whatever dye it touches and consequently ruins your design.) You can't see it from this view, but it's there.

Another on a brown egg. After this one I decided I'd stick with pure white eggs for the nonce.

Front, side, and back views of one of this year's eggs.

Front and back views. I often like to have contrasting designs on the sides.

My latest thing is the stained-glass window egg. The trick is to do everything but the lines, which you leave for the last dye in black. It takes a lot more planning than a lot of the designs I do.

Four views of my favorite egg from this year (so far). I figure each layer of color takes me anywhere between 20 min. to an hour.

Here's the work of many years... fruits of the whole family's labor. Every Holy Week the kitchen smells like beeswax, smoke, and vinegar.

Then we have pretty Easter decorations like these!


Rosa said...

Oh how beautiful! I know what you mean about where you set up "shop." I was in the dining room this year and didn't "feel" it. Yours are gorgeous. You have quite a talent. I still use designs of others so they all kinda look the same. But yours, oh my. How lovely. Can't wait to read more of your blogging!! Thanks for visiting mine! Khrystos Voskres!

Rosa said...

Tell me where you will be selling your pysanka. On Ebay?

Nefertitichild said...

Thanks so much! I got another look at your work and was stunned by one egg in particular. It's a big (possibly goose?) one in the middle of a basket, all yellow, green and black. Very impressive.

I'm hoping to set up a site of my own for my designs; hopefully one where I can branch off into my calligraphy and other crafts. I can't believe the prices people put on their eggs on Ebay -- they're worth so much more!! There's a ton of talent listed on that site as it is.

By the way, I found out how to get black wax, since I'm not going electric and so can't use the carbon stuff. I never knew before to dip the point of the kitska into melted wax. I always used to feed the kitska from the back. Doing so is faster and easier I find, but usually gives only clear wax. A little extra effort and I get black wax all the time!

Rosa said...

Do you dip in melted bee's wax? How interesting. Good idea! Nooo, that goose egg is not mine!! I bought three on Ebay. Yes, they are very inexpensive there. I used to sell mine for about $30 for the detailed ones at small shops. Keep me posted!

Anonymous said...

These are gorgeous! You should post a how-to post, what a fun family project.