The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, "to write" or "to in scribe", as the designs are not painted on, but written (inscribed) with beeswax.
They are created using a wax resist process, where beeswax is applied to the eggshell with a traditional tool called a kitska. Once waxed, the egg is placed in a dye bath. This process is repeated, going from lightest color to darkest all the while waxing in between.
At the end, the wax is melted off to reveal the final design.
A modern take on the traditional craft, etching uses the same wax resist process but replaces dyes with an acid. Instead of coloring the shell, the acid erodes the shell away in any waxless area.
The end result is a textured imprint of the design, all the while revealing the natural colors contained in the shells layers.
If lions were eggs, they would be these Hustul inspired beauties. They’re fierce, confident, and refuse to be ignored.
The slow and purposeful etching of the shell on these natural brown eggs shows amazing depth for something so fragile. A respect for nature runs through Ukrainian culture, and pysanky are no exception to that. This modern technique allows this appreciation to be symbolized in a different way.
These shells are unrivalled in their ability to take dye. Pair that with their larger than average size and you have an egg artist’s dream.
One particularly harsh and cold winter, the birds were unable to fly south. The peasants of Ukraine brought them into their homes and cared for them through the winter. When spring arrived, the birds flew off, only to return again with the most beautifully decorated eggs. These were the first pysanky.
Although today they are associated with easter, pysanky are really just a symbol of spring. Spring was a reason to celebrate, as it meant you survived the winter.
Strikingly subtle is the best way to describe these etched aracauna chicken eggs. With amazing variance in shell color, they highlight the truly amazing capabilities of these natural canvases.
As long as pysanky are being made, the world will have peace.
Evil is a monster chained to the earth. Every pysanky that is written keeps his chains strong. If people stop writing pysanky, the chains will break and evil will take over the world.
Only about an inch and a half big, pheasant eggs boast a very hard shiny shell. They put up a fight when being etched, but in the end they are perfect for these stylistic representations of nature.
Probably the coolest egg to work with, you swear you’re etching a dinosaur egg. Starting with a very dark green shell, etching reveals the layers of green under it eventually reaching white, if you’re lucky.
The depth of blues used in the Blue Babies series brings a modern spin to the traditional craft. Minimalism and maximalism unite here.