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Pysanky: Ukranian-Style Eggs

Course Overview

Pysanky (Ukrainian-style wax resist eggs) are a traditional folk art once practiced by families to celebrate the return of spring. The designs found on the eggs are thousands of years old and can be found in artisanal work throughout Eastern and northeastern Europe. Students will learn about the history of wax-resist eggs, the traditional meanings of the designs, and some of the associated folklore. Students will practice the basic techniques for creating the eggs, how to use the kystka (tiny metal funnel on a stick) to draw the designs in melted wax, the techniques for dyeing the eggs, and how to finish the project. The dye sequence moves from lightest to darkest, and the complete design is not revealed until the wax is removed at the end. Participants will then use this information to create several eggs of their own to take home. While most often identified with the Ukraine, resist-dyed eggs are traditional throughout Eastern Europe and into Estonia and northern Russia. The traditional designs we’ll be using will link to patterns used in traditional “Northern” crafts such as Scandinavian knitting and Viking carvings. We’ll also link in the traditional stories relating the eggs to spring rituals that reach back to pre-Christian times.

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.