Pysanke (piss an keh) are often referred to as “Ukrainian Easter eggs”, although the tradition is much older than Christianity. The egg is symbolic, the colors are symbolic, and the designs are symbolic. Some of these are traditional designs; others are of my own devising.
They are made using a process very much like batik. Using beeswax in a tiny brass funnel called a kistka, lines are drawn on the bare egg. Then the egg is dyed yellow. The areas covered with wax remain white. Once the yellow egg is dry, additional wax lines are added to areas that you want to remain yellow, and then the egg is dyed red. And so on, getting successively darker. Often, the final dye bath is black, resulting in a lumpy waxy black ovoid blob. Then the wax is melted and removed, uncovering the beautiful glowing colours!
One of my ‘traditions’ is to make these while watching Stanley Cup playoff games, but this year I’m super busy and Easter is early, so maybe next year will see some new ones!