In my 4th hour class, Crafts, we have begun a new project. We are making Ukrainian Eggs. In my blog I will tell you about the history of Ukrainian Eggs, how to make them, and how our class is doing with them.
Ukrainian eggs started in Eastern Europe well over 1000 years B.C. With the advent of Christianity, some meanings and symbolisms have changed, but the techniques and style are still the same. The colors and designs on every single egg have a certain meaning and each symbol represents a concept or thought. In the ancient times, eggs were created to express feelings, act as protection, and be aids in abundance of life and assurance in death. Every single aspect of life could be represented using a symbol and certain colors. Various regions throughout Europe and Ukraine developed their own symbols and meanings, so there were differences between the meanings of colors and symbols. Ukrainian eggs are often called Pysanky, which means “to write” in Ukraine. Pysanky were very often given as gifts to family, friends, or neighbors. Some more common names for these eggs are Pisanki, Himestojas, Kraslice, and Marguciai, it all depends on the language.
To make a Ukrainian egg, you first dip a clean egg into vinegar and water. You let it sit in the mixture for a minute or two, take it out and dab it dry. Next, if inexperienced, you should draw the design you want to follow onto your egg lightly with a pencil. Then, if you want any of the design to be white, you take the special tool, fill it with the beeswax, heat it over a flame, and place wax over the area(s) you want white. Then you put it in the lightest color die, take it out, and put beeswax over the areas you want that color. Then you put it in the next color, darker than the first, but lighter then the color you want next. You continue this process until you have completed the egg and are ready to finish it. The next thing you do is take the egg and melt all the wax off, revealing the colors underneath. Then you spray it with fixative, then clear coat spray. The last thing you do is blow the egg yolk out. You need a special tool to do this. You take the tool and poke a big hole in the top and a little hole in the bottom. Then you place the tool in the little hole and squeeze it many times until the yolk comes out of the big hole. You may want to rinse it out by adding water into the egg, then getting it out by this same process.
At the end you can put a cap on the big hole, and tie fishing line, a bow, or anything else you want to the cap. Ukrainian eggs are fun to make, make good presents, and are a good hobby. Anyone looking for something to occupy some empty time with something fun should really purchase a Ukrainian egg kit, you’d be surprised how fun it can be.
By: Laura Lodermeier