Since I first learned to create Pysanky in 1972, my designs have been based on traditional Ukrainian colors and motifs. That’s over forty years! Those patterns and styles are etched solidly in my mind. Here is a picture of some of my first eggs from ’72.
Here is a sample of eggs that I made in the 80s.
These were made using an electric kistka, but the designs are still traditional.
Last year I looked up Pysanky on the internet (I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to look before that), and I was blown away by the modern designs! Artists were also using new techniques that freed up the order of colors in the dyeing process. That was huge because now we could use dark colors followed by light colors….such freedom. These modern creations are referred to as Batik eggs instead of Pysanky since they aren’t traditional in design or process.
In the past year, I have learned how to use a weak muriatic acid to etch the egg shell to add dimension. My designs have changed, but I have found it difficult to move beyond the traditional motifs. I do more filling in of backgrounds behind the linear patterns to give the shape a contrasting color to the overall background. If you look at the three eggs from the 80s, you can see the dark background throughout all of the designs. If I were to do them now, I might make the background of the bands a different color which would really make them stand out. Yet, the overall appearance would still be traditional.
So, it is time to really go for something new! The next egg I am working on is a Rhea egg. It is 5.5″ x 3.5″…much larger than the chicken and turkey eggs I have been using.
I am basing the design on this small wool rug that belongs to a friend that she found on a trip to Egypt.
I have been sketching out the tree to get the layout that will work.
I am planning on making the tree on the egg proportionally wider than the rug. I printed a photograph of the rug and drew a grid on it, and I am using a grid on the graph paper to adjust the design. I am thinking I will have this on the front and back of the egg, but I have not figured out how or what I want to do between the two images or above and below them on the egg. But, I am so excited! I will update its progress each week…that will hold me accountable to keep pushing myself to work on it.
My goal is to have the design sketched onto the egg next week, so I’ve got quite a bit of figuring to do!
Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead! 1 Peter 1: 6 NLT