Lithuanian Easter Eggs (Pysanky) Techniques
March 3, 2013
A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word comes from the verb pysaty which means "to write". The designs are not painted on, but written with beeswax. The plural of pysanka is pysanky.
Many other eastern European ethnic groups decorate eggs using wax resist for Easter. This include the Lithuanians.
Visitors could learn the traditional techniques at a special event at the Lithuanian American Club on East 185th Street in Cleveland.
In the first video, Linda Hupert shows how a tool called a kistka is used to heat beeswax and write a design on the egg.
Linda Hupert showing Nana Egiazaryan how to make pysanky
In this next video, Linda Hupert shows how the work is backward from painting - the wax holds color and the white stays white. She uses raw eggs and goes from lightest color to darkest when creating the eggs.
In the third video, Linda explained the difference between the dip, drop and pull of the Lithuanian technique and the geometric design of the Ukrainian eggs. She showed examples of her finished eggs - white and brown.
Ona Zalensas showed the old traditional Lithuanian style Pysanka Easter egg technique of tightly wrapping the egg with leaves and plants in nylon.
Next, Dainius Zalensas showed the coloring and unwrapping steps of the old traditional Lithuanian style Pysanka Easter egg technique of tightly wrapping the egg with leaves and plants in nylon.
Dainius Zalensas also showed a traditional Lithuanian dried flower arrangement that is popular in Lithuania.
Andris Dunduras showed a 4-step Lithuanian style Pysanka Easter egg technique. The drop and pull technique of the beeswax with a pin is the Lithuanian style.
In Step 2, the eggs are placed in a bath to prepare the shell to take color more evenly and then dipped in industrial dye.
In Step 3, after Andris Dunduras's egg was dipped in blue, he put more wax designs on and then dipped in red for a beautiful purplish egg.
The final steps are to remove the yolk of the egg, remove the wax if you choose and polish with Vaseline or varnish.
Danguole Harrell, Hannah Wilson and Ilona Richards