Sunday, March 02, 2008

Time Flies

My finished egg.

Doesn't it seem we just celebrated Christmas? And now in three weeks, it will be Easter. Next Sunday we're springing ahead for Daylight Savings Time. Stop the world . . . I want to get off! (Not really - but I wish time moved at a slower pace.)

Yesterday I had the privilege of car-pooling with several of my choir friends to the home of Cheri, another choir friend's home, to learn the art of making Pysanky, Ukrainian Easter eggs. There were 12 of us. Cheri lives 50 miles from our church, yet faithfully comes to rehearsals on Wednesdays and Sundays. What a commitment! Anyway, she had blown out the yolks of many eggs and had drawn the patterns on them before we arrived. She also had made some Ukrainian foods for our brunch: Borscht, Holubtsi which are Ukrainian cabbage rolls, and little baked cups made of phyllo dough and filled with cooked sausage and I believe pimento. I don't recall the name of them. We choir members brought some other foods to share, so we had a nice brunch.

Before starting the decorating of the eggs, we watched a video of a professional Pysanky decorator. It helped a lot. Then we went to the tables and sat at the design of the egg which we chose to decorate. I selected one that was more graphic rather than floral. Applying the heated bees wax with the kistka - we heated the kista
in the flame of an open candle - took me back to my ceramic days. (I used to teach ceramics classes in my home.) Holding the delicate egg shell and applying wax to it; carefully walking with the egg to the jars of dye, holding the hollow shell down with a spoon for a couple of minutes, and then blotting the dyed egg with a paper towel before applying more of the design with more bees wax was very interesting. I kept looking at the designs progressing on my neighbors' eggs. It was so much fun! It gave us plenty of time to visit too.

When all of my design had been applied with the bees wax and my egg had been dipped in five colors of dye - from lightest to darkest - I started removing the wax by holding my egg close to the flame of my candle. Everything was going well when all of a sudden my egg flew from my hand and bounced on the floor. I heard it crack - nearly into two pieces! Argh! I'm the only one to whom this happened. Nevertheless, I brought it home and it is displayed on a shelf. If one leaves it alone, it will be fine. It was so neat to do this craft that is centuries old.

When my grand kids get a little older, it will be fun to try this with them. I can picture Josiah enjoying it now.


Sarita said...

We did pysanky with some friends when I was around 11 or so. It was sooo cool. It kinda ruined easter egg dying from hen on because I wanted to use the cool wax stylus, instead of clunky old crayons. :o)

I didn't know you were a ceramics guru!

DD4 said...

Yes, I had two kilns and 30 students at one point. Peder, Hans and Heidi each tried their hand at it.

MamaD4 said...

Wow, that is really beautiful. There are a bunch of Easter egg festivals around these parts where they sell eggs similar to yours.