Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pysanky Easter

Caribou Harvest Egg on Left, Traditional Ukranian
Windmills design on right

Friday night, I spent a few hours happily sitting at the table, and drawing in wax on raw eggs.  This traditional wax resist dye method was used for centuries in Eastern Europe, both pre and post Chrisitanity, to celebrate this time of year.  Some of the traditional designs are very Easter specific, referencing the life of Christ, and some of the designs are more universal, representing hopes for happiness, good weather, and abundant harvests.  The one on the right above is a traditional design.  The one on the left, I designed using traditional motifs.  There are two variations on sun motifs on the top and bottom of the egg.

Set up: candle, kistky, wax, dye
My caribou harvest egg
This one uses a traditional 'deer' design that I decided was actually a caribou, a crossed branches motif, and a duck's foot motif.  I made it out of deep respect for the cycles of life in this northern land where we still have feet of un-melted snow.  It is in honor of the continuity of the seasons, and my hopes for a hunt in the coming year.

Ram, sun, seed sprouting, apple tree


This was the final egg I dyed.  It is divided into eight sections, and each holds a symbol representing my hopes for this homestead and this life we are beginning to build.  There is a red ram for vigor and fertility, a rooster for abundance, sunshine, sheaves of wheat, and an apple tree! 


  1. Wonderful, beautiful post! Next year we'll have to dye together...xoxo!

    1. It's a date! You bring the eggs from snowbasin hens?!?!?! And I'll mix up the rest of the dye colors and make sure we've got plenty o' wax!

  2. Hi Jasmine! It's Jenn from work. Love the work you did with these eggs. They are beautfiul!