Friday, 15 March 2013

Pysansky hand decorated eggs for Oestara, Ostara

A perfect way to celebrate Oestara is with a hand dyed and decorated egg.  In the Ukraine, Ukrainian pysanky are blown eggs with patterns drawn in wax and dyed, these are considered to be pagan amulets for fertility, prosperity and protection The name comes from the verb, pysaty, to write, as you use a stylus (called a kistka) to write with wax on the egg shell. The process is similar to batik.

“The art of the decorated egg in the Ukraine or the pysanka, probably dates back to ancient times. No actual ancient examples exist, as eggshells are fragile.
As in many ancient cultures, Ukrainians worshipped a sun god (Dazhboh). The sun was important - it warmed the earth and thus was a source of all life. Eggs decorated with nature symbols became an integral part of spring rituals, serving as benevolent talismans.
In pre-Christian times, Dazhboh was one of the main deities in the Slavic pantheon; birds were the sun god's chosen creations, for they were the only ones who could get near him. Humans could not catch the birds, but they did manage to obtain the eggs the birds laid. Thus, the eggs were magical objects, a source of life. The egg was also honored during rite-of-Spring festivals––it represented the rebirth of the earth. The long, hard winter was over; the earth burst forth and was reborn just as the egg miraculously burst forth with life. The egg, therefore, was believed to have special powers.” Wikepedia

How to make your Oestara/Ostara/Oestre Pysansky Egg

Making a Pysanky egg is not as difficult as it first appears. The instructions follow along with some lovely websites at the end of the post that will give you further information on how to make your Oestara Pysansky Egg. In doing so you will honouring a very ancient Pagan tradition and keeping an art form alive, but you will also have loads of fun!

The basic concept is like batik if you have ever done that, you are basically creating patterns in wax on your egg and then building the colour up in layers. So you get your egg and then using the special Stylus or Kistka, you can draw a pattern in wax on your egg. If you haven’t got any tools you can make a more simplified pattern by dripping wax directly from a candle on to your egg. The wax adhears to the egg better if it is at room temperature and you may like to clean the egg before starting so that you have a good surface to work on. Details for suppliers of Kistka are at the bottom of the page along with further information.

You may like to decorate your egg with pagan symbols such as the triple goddess or pentacle. Or you can draw inspiration from some of the beautifully decorated Pysansky eggs that you can find on the internet.

When you have finished your first layer allow the wax to dry and then dye your Pysanky egg the first colour of your choosing, maybe yellow?  You could use food colouring as your dye or you can buy specialist dyes, check out the website link at the bottom for ideas of suppliers. When you have done one layer and it is dry you are ready to do another layer with a slightly darker colour, orange maybe or pale blue. You can do as many layers as you wish depending on how intricate you would like your Pysansky egg to be, remembering to use successively darker colours and thinking about the colour combinations that you are using. You could for example go through the colour cominations using red, blue, purple or black dyes. Remember that the molten wax protects the colour you wish to keep.
When you have finished with all your layers you can simply scratch away the wax to reveal your beautiful Oestara Easter egg. Another method is to gently heat the egg over a flame and carefully wipe the wax away.

When you have finished you may like to blow your egg, i.e remove the insides so that you can keep it. Be sure to do that after you have finished decorating it if you are dying in a large amount of liquid or the egg will just bob around. Obviously you can paint the dye on as another solution, depending what kind of dye you are using.

Here is how to blow the inside of the Pysansky egg ready for your Oestre, Ostara celebration:

How to blow your Pysansky Oestre Celebration egg.

1. Gently swirl the point of a scalpel, sharp knife or needle into the end of the egg, pushing as you go slightly, until it pierces.
2. Repeat at other end but  gently widen the hole at the other end by swirling the scalpel around so it chips away at the sides. Make it large enough to just insert the skewer.
3. Insert a skewer, or long needle into the egg and jiggle it around a little to break up the yolk.
4. Place your mouth over one end, the other end over a bowl and gently blow into the egg.
5. Now hold a finger over the bottom hole and place the top one under running water so the egg catches a little water. Shake it around a little and blow out again.

When your pysanka egg is completely finished you may like to include a layer of varnish to make it look lovely and last longer.  Above all enjoy having fun making your Ostara Easter egg, this is a wonderful activity for all the family to enjoy. You may like to give out your Oestara Pysansky eggs to family and friends or use them to created a wonderful decoration in your home to honour Ostara and the coming os spring.

Below is some more information that might help you.

This is an excellent website for learning the art of Pysanky for Oestara, Ostara.

There are many different types of Ukranian decorated eggs, this is from wikepedia:

“Pysanka is often taken to mean any type of decorated egg, but it specifically refers to an egg created by the written-wax batik method and utilizing traditional folk motifs and designs. Several other types of decorated eggs are seen in Ukrainian tradition, and these vary throughout the regions of Ukraine.
               Krashanky –from krasyty (красити), "to decorate"– are boiled eggs dyed a single color (with vegetable dyes), and are blessed and eaten at Easter.
               Pysanky –from pysaty (писати), "to write"– are raw eggs created with the wax-resist method (batik). The designs are "written" in hot wax with a stylus or a pin-head. Wooden eggs and beaded eggs are often referred to as "pysanky" because they mimic the decorative style of pysanky in a different medium.
               Krapanky –from krapka (крапка), "a dot"– are raw eggs decorated using the wax-resist method, but with only dots as ornamentation (no symbols or other drawings). They are traditionally created by dripping molten wax from a beeswax candle onto an egg.
               Dryapanky –from dryapaty (дряпати), "to scratch"– are created by scratching the surface of a dyed egg to reveal the white shell below.
               Malyovanky –from malyuvaty (малювати), "to paint"– are created by painting a design with a brush using oil or water color paints. It is sometimes used to refer to coloring (e.g. with a marker) on an egg.
               Nakleyanky –from kleyaty (клеяти), "to glue on"– are created by glueing objects to the surface of an egg.
               Travlenky –from travlenya (травлення), “etching” – are created by waxing eggs and then etching away the unwaxed areas. This is not a traditional Ukraine practice, but has become popularized recently.
               Biserky –from biser (бісер), "beads"– are created by coating an egg with beeswax, and then embedding beads into the wax to create geometric designs.
               Lystovky –from lystya (листя), "leaves"– are created by dyeing an egg to which small leaves have been attached.
All but the krashanky and lystovky are usually meant to be decorative (as opposed to edible), and the egg yolk and white are either allowed to dry up over time, or removed by blowing them out through a small hole in the egg.” Wikepedia


egg images from wikepedia, http://tpzoo.files.wordpress.com and www.dailykos.com

1 comment:

  1. ...way awesomeness! ~ blessed be! ~ dear heart!...(0: