Miss(ed) Manners

February 15, 2007


Filed under: Easter,Eggs — missedmanners @ 1:38 pm

Easter is just around the corner everybody!

Okay, so it’s like two months away, whatever. Take your calendar and shove it.

For the last 10 or so years I’ve had a personal Easter tradition of making Pysanky style Easter eggs. I won’t get into the full explanation, so here’s the wiki entry.

Basically it’s a long and arduous process wherein you use hot wax to creative negative spaces on an egg, then dye the egg in successively darker colors. When done correctly, the effects can be quite stunning. Here are the ones I did this year:


I was fairly pleased with how they came out.

Each one takes several hours and you’re bent over a tiny chicken egg clinging a stylus that drops out even tinier lines of scalding wax. My love for such a culturally specific process is ironic in a few ways. One: I’m not Ukrainian. Two: You’ve got to have really steady hands, which I do NOT have. Years of physical and chemical abuse have rendered me with a slight case of the DT’s. I’ve got to start each session with a glass of Vodka, which I guess counters the fact that I’m not Ukrainian.

A lot of time and emotion are pumped into each egg. The nature of the process (covering the egg in wax) means that you have little indication of how the actual finished product is going to look.  This can mean that when you do put the egg in the toaster (to melt off the accumulated wax) you may be revealing an utter piece of shite. This happens to me at least once every year.

Also, you’re making glorified EGG-Shells. What’s more fragile than an egg shell? The egg shell of an anemic chicken maybe? This means the risk is VERY high that the egg you just spent 8 hours pouring your cumulative emotion, focus and chutzpah into could tumble out of your hands and shatter. This also happens a lot. I’ve put my hand through a wall once and broken a watch punching something after just such an accident.

There’s a lot to be said for the paralells such a process has with life in general and dealing with the one you’re currently living. But for more on that I’ll continue tomorrow. I’ll just leave you with a quote someone said to me when I explained the wax resist nature of the project, “So you’ve got to think in reverse then?”



  1. Those eggs look beautiful. I’d like to try that with an ostrich egg, but my arse would probably be pecked bald before I got near one.

    Comment by Gorilla Bananas — February 15, 2007 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

  2. Those are FABULOUS. I’m in utter and complete awe. Now I want to make dozens and dozens of them. When I was in 5th grade, I had a hippy teacher who showed us how to make them and brought in a big ass crock pot of wax for us to use (back before teachers had to worry about getting fired or sued for showing kids cool things that could possibly cause them to suffer horrific burns – I think kids were smarter then).

    I really want to do that now, though I’ll probably just stick with painting ceramic eggs instead. Harder to break a ceramic egg and the varnish smells pretty. mmmmmm…

    Amazing, completly amazing.

    Comment by Judy — February 18, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  3. Wow. These are beautiful. Do you just dip the stylus in the wax and then apply or do you use a dropper of hot wax, or what? They’re amazing.

    Comment by kylydia — February 19, 2007 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  4. If I had to guess what your hobby is, making Pysansky eggs would not be it.

    Carry on!

    Comment by Gidget Bananas — February 19, 2007 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

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