Who wants to make Craysanky Eggs?April 10, 2009 12:09 pm Crafts, Easter, Guest Bloggers, Holidays, Kid's Crafts
Returning Guest Blogger Gillian from the Blog “Dried Figs and Wooden Spools”
Who wants to make Craysanky Eggs?
OK, I made that word up, but with good reason. As Easter approaches and the supermarket aisles are filled with PAAS kits and plastic eggs, I find myself itching to attempt some interesting egg crafts. Once upon a time, Easter would have seen me pulling out my pysanky decorating kit and teaching my fifth graders how to draw fine lines of bees wax to create intricate patterns. Psanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs, are truly an art form, they require a steady hand and a good deal of concentration, neither of which my 1st grader has. So, what’s a mom to do?
Answer: Scrap the thin lines and beeswax and go for the crayons! The premise behind psanky eggs is similar to batik. You draw wax patterns on an egg, dip it in dye, then add another layer of wax, more dye and so on. At the end you warm the eggshell over a candle, wipe off the melting wax and behold the beautiful patterns that have been revealed. And it turns out, it works just about the same with crayon.
I started with plain white eggs and four dye colors, yellow, red, green and blue. The eggs need to go in from lightest to darkest so if you want to just mix one dye at a time, that can prevent food colored water spillage on your counter. With a crayon (we started with yellow but then switched to black since it’s easier to see once the first layer of dye goes on) draw the beginnings of a pattern on a dry, hardboiled egg (psanky eggs are traditionally blown out but this makes them pretty fragile for little hands). Remember that whatever you draw now will turn out white in the end. Lower the egg into your lightest dye and let it sit until it has reached the color you are looking for. Pat the egg dry and draw a little more, this time covering the parts you want to be this light color (yellow in our case). Dip into the next darkest dye and repeat. Traditionally, Ukranian Eggs are finished with black so that the colors really stand out. The more color steps you do, the more complex the end result.
When all the dying and coloring has been done, hold the egg a few inches above a candle flame and as the wax turns shiny, wipe with a paper towel. The effect, though not as elegant as genuine psanky eggs, was still pretty impressive and from my son’s reaction, I know our Easter basket will be brimming with Craynsky eggs this year.
For more of Gillian blog posts, read them here.