Breaking out the Pysanky Stuff

Set up
With Christmas and New Years over, we have settled into the bleak, grey, and multicolor lightless bit of winter here in the northeast. It’s been cold (like, below zero windchill and sometimes the temp itself cold), and dark, and honestly it can get depressing without the distraction of the Christmas lights. So to keep some color in my life for the next few months, I’m skipping ahead to the next holiday a bit early, and starting on my pysanky already.

What are pysanky? They’re Ukrainian Easter Eggs, made using a resist-dye method that’s similar to batik, and they look something like this:
Last year's eggs details

These are some of my eggs from last year. None of them are terribly traditional, nor did I do enough before life hit the fan last year for my lines and shapes to even out and get terribly precise, so I guess these aren’t the greatest examples. But, once my grandmother – a 70+ year pysanky veteran (family lore says that her eggs were even on display in the Smithsonian as the example of the craft for a while back when my mom was a teen… can’t seem to get outright confirmation from her on this, but she’s never been one to toot her own horn) – starts hers, I’ll be able to show you true traditional pysanky.

Any fellow Ukrainians out there still practicing this craft? Do you have any traditional crafts yourself?

(full photo disclosure: the top egg in the middle row was actually made by the boyfriend… his second pysanky ever!)

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