A pysanky is an Easter Egg, decorated with traditional Ukrainian folk designs using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysanky, which means “to write,” as the designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. A pysanka is traditionally given with its symbolic meaning in mind and symbolizes the gift of life. Therefore it is usually displayed in a public room of the household. Every element of the egg is very meaningful, and it holds a lot of significance to the maker and those the eggs are made for. The colors and symbols all have meaning behind them, and traditionally a pysanky is given to either a priest or member of your church as a very endearing gift because of the time and effort it takes to make one.
I have recently gotten back into Egg painting, a tradition that was passed down from my mother. She taught me this beautiful art and the cultural significance when I was about 10 years old. Since then I have been working to create unique and one of a kind pieces that hold a lot of meaning to myself and to those I design them for. Although it took me a while to get the hang of using a kistka, which is the tool used to melt the wax and draw on the eggshell. I have finally learned how to stop shaking and have come to love creating little pieces of art on the eggshells. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this traditional the eggs themselves are actually varnished and blown out after the design is complete, yes it really stinks when it breaks after you spent so long on a design..but hey it’s an egg right?! I then like to put gold findings at the top of the eggs so it may be used as either an ornament or a simple decorative piece. Although varnished and protected as much a possible, I do recommend keeping it out of direct light because it will actually fade over time. With a desire to create more unique and one of a kind eggs, I have brought in new elements with my love for mix-media, and have incorporated things such as glitter, acrylic paint, and real Swarovski crystal without losing the spiritual and cultural meaning behind them. Every egg I make takes me many hours if not days to complete. I take great pride and care in my work to ensure that every piece I make is a projection of my passion for my work. I have also been working on a new line of brown eggs, which is something I have never done before. I have even started coming up with my own designs, rather than using the traditional pieces, that are much more significant to me and represent a blending of the old traditions with new ideas and techniques.
If you are interested in knowing the meaning behind particular eggs, or why I personally created a design, please do not hesitate to ask. However, here are a few meanings of certain colors and important symbols used in the traditional designs that are most often used.
White: Purity, innocence, and birth
Yellow: Light, purity, youth, happiness, hospitality
Orange: Strength, endurance, the eternal sun
Blue: The sky, with its life-giving air, good health
Green: Spring, new growth, and hope
Red: Happiness in life, hope, passion, the sun.
Black: Eternity, darkest time before the dawn
Bands: Endless line of eternity. Fulfillment of wishes
Dots or small circles: Stars or constellations
Cross-Hatching: Represents fishermen
Rose or 8-pointed star: Christ
Little baskets or Triangles: Holy Trinity
Fish: Ancient symbol for Christ
Leaf or Flower: Life and growth
Pine Needles: Youth and health
Now here’s a look at some of the eggs I have made thus far.
Twist on the Traditional:
Brown Egg Line:
My new 3-Dementional eggs and personal designs
If you were interested in purchasing one of my eggs for either yourself of for a gift. Here is a link to my online Etsy store. Or send me a message, and I’d be more than happy to send one your way if I have it in stock!