Learn how to write pysanky with our simple guide.
An Easy Step-by-step Guide to a Perfect Pysanka
What you will need:
· A white egg,
· A pencil,
· A straw,
· A kistka,
· A candle,
· The dyes,
· A safety pin,
· Cocktail sticks,
· White vinegar,
Step 1: Preparation
To begin with, you will need to hollow out your egg. To do this, use the safety pin to create a small hole on top of the egg, and a larger hole at the base. Then use the cocktail stick to break up the yolk. Using the straw, blow on the top hole of the egg to empty its contents. Rinse the egg in water, and repeat the process, blowing out water from the egg to clean it. Leave to thoroughly dry.
Step 2: Draw
Use the pencil to lightly sketch your chosen design onto the egg. Be careful not to press too hard, as these lines could show up on your finished egg.
Step 3: Write
Prepare your kistka by heating it over the candle flame for 30 seconds. Then scoop a little beeswax into the funnel and reheat until the wax has melted. Once heated, test the flow of the wax on a piece of paper.
Wax all the lines and areas that you want to appear white at the end, the dye will not go anywhere the wax is placed. When writing, use long broad lines for a smoother effect.
If your egg is hollow, it is important to remember to plug each hole with wax to avoid dye seeping inside the shell.
Step 4: Clean
Mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 240ml of water. Soak your egg in the mixture for 3-5 minutes to clean off any oil or debris. Hollow eggs will float, so placing a plastic cup filled with water on top will keep it submerged.
Step 5: Organising the Dyes
Before you dye your egg, it is important to understand the order of colouring. Remember to always start with the lightest colour. The orange dye is different, and is used to wash away the cool blue/green tones before you dye the egg pink or red. Remember to make sure your dyes are cool before putting your egg in!
Step 6: Dye
Use a spoon to carefully place your egg in the first dye, in this case the colour is yellow. Leave the egg in the dye for up to 15 minutes to achieve the pigment you require. Remove the egg with a spoon, and dab dry with a napkin.
Step 7: Write
Next, cover the areas with wax that should remain yellow. There is no need to go over areas that are already covered.
Step 8: Repeat
Dye your egg in the next colour, red. Repeat the process of writing the beeswax, shading in the areas designed to stay red. In this case, the areas are the dots above each of the four branches, and the inside of the four petals.
Step 9: Final Colour
The final colour to dye this egg is black. As this is the last dye, leave the egg in a little longer than the previous colours. Once removed from the dye, dry the egg with a napkin.
Step 10: Melt the Wax
After the final colour, hold the egg next to the flame. It is important unseal the holes in the egg first, otherwise the egg will crack due to a build-up of pressure. Do not hold it too close, as this will singe the shell. Wipe the melted wax off the egg with a clean napkin. Repeat this process until all wax is removed.
Step 10: Spray (optional)
To create a glossy finish for your egg, use a spray varnish or lacquer. We recommend the Wilko Clear Lacquer Spray.
Written by Leah Dorotiak for Huddersfield Ukrainian Club.