Friday, April 15, 2011

Ukrainian Eggs


First a little history via
The meaning of Pysanky is "to write"; decorating Pysanky eggs and orUkrainian eggs have been handed down through the generations of theUkrainian and Russian heritage.  Decorated eggs are a strong part of the daily lives of those in the Ukraine.  The eggs were thought to possess powers to keep away evil since spirits feared the rooster and chicken eggs.  The prominently white eggs were given to the younger as their life was still blank, the eggs with deeper darker Pysanky colors to the older since their lives were fulfilled.  The early Pysanky Designs strongly depict man's close relationship with the earth through theUkrainian egg symbols such as wheat and trees many of which are still used today.  When the egg is broken the yellow yolk represents the sun and the white the moon.   This form of Ukrainian egg decorating is still popular among many artists today.

 Today we learned about the Ukrainian art of decorating eggs called Pysanka. We saw some traditionally decorated eggs and had the opportunity to try our hand at the art form.  
Let me just say it's not your average dunk and done Easter egg dying.  I loved the activity because it really required the kids to organize their ideas, follow directions and work slowly and patiently to reach their goal.

Shmeep's egg
 My 6 and 8 years old both participated in this activity. What I will say is that it teaches patience and respect for the elements.  My 6 year old had hot wax on his fingers a couple of times before learning the proper technique for holding the darwing tool. I was very proud of Shnook. He got hot wax on himself, his design didn't come out the way he wanted and he broke his first egg. However, after being a little upset he tried again this time with more respect for the tools and the flames. Unfortunately, when he was almost finished his second egg rolled off the table too. He was ok with it because he enjoyed the process so much the egg didn't really matter. I was also so impressed when I realized that Shnook worked on two eggs and Shmeep worked only on one egg for an hour straight; another example of just how still and focused kids can be when they are engaged in something of interest.
Shnook's second egg

I'm going to order some supplies ( ) for this activity and do it at home with the boys. I was itching to get busy on an egg but time flew by and all too soon the workshop was over.   I highly recommend trying this with your kids who are at least kindergarten age or have a healthy respect for fire because you use a candle throughout the entire process.

When we came home I took out a plain egg and some paint to let Shmitty try his hand at egg decorating. 
Shmitty with his egg

1 comment:

  1. In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.