Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Art Of The Egg...!

I'll be the first to say that I have never had an egg even close to being as decorated as some of these are!

Art is where you find it, and a talented artist can use anything as a canvas! That's fairly obvious when you look at these eggs!

Myrna Arychuk shows off some of the 90 carefully crafted Ukrainian easter eggs she has in her collection. The eggs are an important part of Ukrainian easter celebrations.


The Ukrainian art of Pysanky—each egg tells a story

By Mario Bartel - Burnaby NewsLeader
Published: April 19, 2011 10:00 AM
Updated: April 19, 2011 10:10 AM

The egg may be one of nature’s simplest, most humble shapes.

But in the hands of a master artisan, it can be transformed into an intricate art object of colours, patterns and symbols with great meaning.

Pysanky, or elaborately decorated eggs, are central to the Ukrainian celebration of Easter, one of its holiest religious holidays. Every family, village and region in the Ukraine has its own special ritual, symbols and secret techniques for creating the eggs.

Myrna Arychuk, who runs a travel agency in Burnaby specializing in journeys to the Ukraine, remembers learning how to colour the eggs from her grandmother. Now she’s passing that knowledge on to her own grandchildren, aged four and two.

It takes a steady hand and infinite patience to etch the fine designs on the eggs with a stylus, then dip them in coloured dyes, protecting each different colour with a layer of wax. Each egg can take dozens of hours and some artisans will work all year to create a collection of eggs in time for Easter, although most families start decorating their eggs a few weeks before the holiday.

The result is more than just a beautiful shell. Each egg tells a story. Triangle shapes represent the Holy Trinity. A triangle with a circle in the center signifies the eye of God. Animals, like deer or horses, symbolize prosperity. Pine needles or periwinkle signify eternal life. Birds, always shown at rest, represent fertility and the fulfillment of wishes.

On Easter Sunday, the decorated eggs are packed in a basket along with traditional Easter breads, or pasky, and brought to church to be blessed. After the service, they are used to decorate the dinner table for a family feast. Often the eggs are shared, gifted to the priest and family members, placed in the mangers of cows to ensure safe calving, put beneath a beehive to encourage a good honey harvest, even stored in the nests of hens to encourage their egg laying.

I have to admit, some of these eggs are real beauties! Wonder if they still taste the same after a year of decorating? Think I'll pass on the egg salad, thanks all the same!

Now, how about some fresh coffee on the patio? I'll share my hard-boiled eggs with ya!


Gorges Smythe said...

Somehow, I suspect the innerds have been blown out ahead of time, Hermit. There's a lady that demonstrates the art some years at the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair in Ripley, West Virginia. They are beautiful, indeed!

Ben in Texas said...

Maybe they could bury em like the Chinese do for like a hunnder years and then serve them as a delicately .

linda m said...


JoJo said...

Those are so beautiful. That has got to take a very steady hand and a lot of talent.I can't even get those paste things that come with some egg decorating boxes. They get all wrinkled.
But I can make coffee and I know you can too so I will sit with you for awhile on the patio.

Anonymous said...

I´ve seen a documentary from Ukraine about a woman making these eggs and I´m really impressed by their talent!

Have a great day now!

ladyhawthorne said...

I have done this and it is very painstaking. If you use blown eggs you risk them cracking from being held too hard as you work, I found this out the hard way. I also know if you boil the eggs for 2 hours, and allow them a few months to totally dry out before dyeing and waxing, the centers will become a hard little ball eventually and it will rattle.