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The Process and History

Pysanky is the name of an ancient Ukranian folkart and derives its name from the word "pysaty" which means to write.  Traditionally the symbols that are dyed on the eggs have deep religious meanings, believed to help rid the world of evil, protect households, and celebrate abundant harvests and prosperous years.  They were decorated in a very special and ritualistic manner. If the egg was not prepared perfectly it would lose all of the magical powers it was intended to have.  The message was strong because the egg itself is the greatest symbol of life. Customarily, Ukranians decorate and present the eggs as gifts during Lent and Easter. Legend says the world will end when eggs are no longer decorated.

Artist Kent West designs each egg using the traditional method of applying wax to the egg to create an amazingly complex pattern.  The wax is applied with a kistka, a simple tool composed of a metal cone mounted on a wooden stick and filled with wax.  He then uses permanent aniline dyes to impart the brilliant colors onto the egg.

The amount of time it takes to complete a piece can range between 3 and 80+ hours depending on the intricacy of the design and the quantity of colors used.

Learn the symbol and color meaning by clicking here.

 

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