The eggs and I

I learned to make Ukrainian Easter eggs, or Pysanky, from my college roommate. Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, I made dozens and sold them to a few gift shops and art galleries for $5 each, which seemed reasonable 40 years ago.

As other interests prevailed, I put my egg making tools away. When I tried to make them again a couple of years ago, I found that neither my hand nor my patience are as steady as they once were. So I sent my dyes, waxes and kistkas to my artistic niece-in-law Wendy, to carry on the tradition in her own way.

I just figured out how to use a nifty film-to-digital converter called a Wolverine to digitize some photos of the eggs that I’d taken with a SLR camera. So I want to share them on this first day of Spring.

The colors on the old 35 mm slides have not aged well and I was a pretty dreadful photographer, but at least I now have some digital files that won’t further deteriorate. These photos show my range of colors and designs.

Copyright Peggy Willett
Copyright Peggy Willett

If you want to learn more about the batik dye process used to create Pysanky, many small websites offer Pysanky supplies and how-to’s. Surprisingly, one of the best detailed explanations of how these (inedible) eggs are made is at All Recipes.

I still have a few that I bring out to enjoy in each spring. My favorite egg in the photo below (so easily captured from my camera phone) is the one with the purple and pink, made by daughter when she was about ten.

photo copyright Peggy Willett

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