Pysanky at the Library

Ask most people if they’ve heard of pysanky and you’ll get a blank stare. Mention Ukrainian Easter eggs and some people will understand what you’re talking about. But if you show folks a photo of a pysanky, a Ukrainian Easter egg, most will recognize it right away.

Pysanky (pronounced “pih-sahn-KIH”) is a centuries-old tradition in the Slavic cultures of eastern European. Although the eggs might look like they are painted, they are actually dyed using a wax resist (batik) method. Using a special stylus called a kistka and hot beeswax, lines are drawn on a raw egg. The egg is then placed in yellow dye. Next more lines are drawn in wax and the egg is dyed orange. The process continues with ever-darkening dyes. Finally, all the layers of wax are melted off and the beautiful design emerges.

 

Banished as a religious practice during the Soviet regime, pysanky has enjoyed a strong resurgence since Ukrainian independence in the early 1980’s. Although it is believed that Ukrainian eggs predate the Christian era, the symbols and folk motifs drawn on the eggs have evolved and taken on new meanings.

Join us at the Northern Resource Center at 6pm on Thursday, April 4 to make an egg and learn more about this unique folk art, its customs, history and symbolism. Register here. Space is limited.

If you attended the workshop last year, come on Thursday, April 11 at 6pm to extend your knowledge and skill. Register here. Space is limited.