March 31, 2011

Easter Egg Decorating

Easter egg decorating has not always been my favorite activity.  To be honest, for me, it can be quite the undertaking.  Eggs and dyes need prepared.  The process can be quite messy, and clean up long.  The children, however, love the novelty of coloring eggs.   Some years I have dyed eggs with them.  Other years, we opted for an alternative craft. 

Last year while using Geography Through Art with our local homeschool co-op group, I stumbled upon Ukraine Easter Eggs.  What a magnificent art form!  I definitely wanted to introduce my children to such beauty, and wanted them to experience some of the process.  Unfortunately, as I researched, it became obvious that we would not be trying our hand at Pysanka in the traditional methods of dyes and wax. 

I visited our local craft store in hopes of finding something similar, either in process or results.  As I combed the isles, I noticed a Martha Stewart magazine with an article on decorating eggs.  Interestingly, it used a multi-dye method using stencils made from vinyl tape.  Looking at the article, and recalling the information I had read on Pysanka, I thought perhaps I could adapt the method and use it to make eggs in a process similar to Pysanka.

Using the vinyl tape idea, we took white eggs placing tape over the areas we wanted to remain white.  (In true Pysanka style, the artist would use melted wax instead of tape.)  Then we dipped the entire egg in our lightest dye, yellow.  Next we allowed the egg to dry.  Using the vinyl tape again we covered the areas we wanted to remain yellow.  Then, dipped the entire egg in the next darkest color, orange. 

We continued the process of dipping the eggs in a dye bath, allowing them to dry, taping the portions of egg to remain that color, and repeating.  At the very end, after the dark purple dye dried, we carefully removed each layer of tape to reveal our multicolored eggs.  (In Pysanka, the artist would carefully melt the wax off the egg to reveal amazingly intricate designs.)  While our results were not perfect, and the process not exactly thes same, we learned in a hands on fashion a little bit more about Pysanka, and had a fun time dying eggs. {even me!}

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  1. These are awesome! My oldest daughter wants to have a egg dying day...but she wants it to be kicked up a few notches...You have accomplished this! =)


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