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Pysanky - Ukrainian Egg Dying

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Step 12: Tips, Tricks, and Variations

Picture of Tips, Tricks, and Variations
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  • There are 3 different colors of Kistka handles. The white handles are the smallest size funnel opening. These are good for very fine detail work. The blue handles are the medium size and are used for most applications. The red handles have the largest opening and are very handy for filling in large areas of color.
  • A good way to get clear colors is to start with your lightest color first and work to darkest. It can be difficult to dye a light color over a dark color.

  • Working in one color family (yellows to reds or shades of blues) helps keep clear colors as well. That said, interesting effects can be obtained by breaking all the rules. Sometimes colors interact in surprising ways.

  • You can get an interesting "acid washed" look by rubbing the egg dry instead of patting when you remove it from the dye pot

  • A light bleach solution can be used to remove colors from all non waxed sections of the egg, letting you have a white background color or giving you clear colors in future dye baths. Be careful, dyes don't always give exactly the same color or saturation on a bleached shell.

  • Vinegar can be used to etch an egg's shell. Used instead of dye, the vinegar will remove thin layers of shell creating a raised effect where the waxing is done. On a brown or green shell, the etched areas will be lighter and lighter shades fading towards white. multiple color tones can be created by waxing and etching repeatedly.

  • Vinegar etching can also be used to remove a layer of dying and give you a white shell again.

  • Another traditional method of applying wax is the "drop-pull" method. This method uses a pin instead of a kistka to apply the wax. A stainless steel straight pin is inserted into the eraser of a pencil to give it a handle. Colored wax is melted and the pin is dipped into the molten wax. While the wax is still liquid (you must work quickly) the pin is touched to the egg shell and pulled to form a drop of wax pulled to a tear drop tail. There are an amazing variety of patterns that can be formed just by creating dots and teardrops.

Check out the gallery of Jen's Pysanky:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/esmecat/sets/72157594232833262/

And the gallery of pysanky made by guests at out annual Egg Dying Days:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/esmecat/sets/72157594232833262/

 
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nanaverm1 year ago
Beautiful! You have a lot of patience and a steady hand!
grannyjones2 years ago
We've been doing this for years, using first the traditional tools , made by my father-in-law from the cut up side of a soda can wired onto a stick, and more recently the electric kistky from Ukrainian Gift Shop in Minneapolis.
lakramer4 years ago
This is so cool! I'm definitely going to try this! Thank you for the great step-by-step instructable!
arirang7775 years ago
I've always wondered how those beautiful eggs are done. I like this instructable and have faved' it. Nice job Esmecat.
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