Pysanky is the ancient Ukrainian art of decorating eggs. It’s surprisingly easy, using tools that are thousands of years old. The symbols used are steeped in history and meaning – and are a lot of fun to make. They can be updating to modern imagery as well; I once saw a pysanka artist making an egg with Kenny from South Park on it. Brilliant! I’d like to incorporate some images from my native Celtic history in Ireland; we’ll see how successful I am at adapting them.
If it’s an art you’ve wanted to try, I encourage you to check out the Ukrainian Gift Shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. They ship supplies and the dye and utensils, called “kistka,” are very inexpensive. You can get fancy, if you want to; there are electric kistky (the plural of kistka), and egg lathes and equipment for blowing out eggs. But at its simplest, all you need is a kistka, a candle, and an egg. If you have a large supermarket, try using “jumbo” eggs and the little tiny A sized ones – there’s a wide size variation. This year, I purchased a duck egg from the Ukrainian Gift Shop; I’m looking forward to working with it.
What about you, Dear Reader? What are some of your favorite crafts?