The Vein Center of Maryland
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Painting on Eggs

cm45_eggs_500

by Lynn Walter & Katie Menges

Pysanky (from the verb pysaty, “to write”) are Easter eggs created using a traditional Ukrainian batik method, in which artists draw on eggs using a special wax applicator and then place the eggs in a series of dye baths, adding wax to retain various colors along the way.

Westminster’s mother-daughter team, Lynn Walter and Katie Menges, began creating pysanky in early 2011, after Lynn attended a local workshop. 

Because wax cannot be erased once it is applied, designs created in this style must be bold and have clean lines. Although traditional motifs include geometrical designs and stylized animals, Katie and Lynn enjoy melding old with new, creating new patterns and designs as they work. Some of their eggs are traditional and appear as if they have been in the family for generations; others are dyed in bright pastels and have a vibrant, modern feel.

Katie and Lynn have recently opened shop and are now selling their pysanky online at www.etsy.com/shop/RedHenArt, as well as the Carroll County Arts Council and Ain’t That a Frame in Westminster.

How to Create a Pysanka:
Step 1: Select a plain egg.
Step 2: Using a beeswax applicator, draw a design on your egg.
Step 3: Dye your egg with your first color, then cover any areas you wish to retain this color with wax.
Step 4: Repeat step 3 as many times as you like. It is best to begin with lighter colors.
Step 5: Dye your egg in the color you want for its background, then remove all wax  to reveal your art. The easiest way to remove the wax is to hold your egg next to a candle and wipe the wax away with a paper towel as it melts.
OR
Step 1: Select a plain egg.
Step 2: Draw a design with wax.
Step 3: Dye the entire egg. With the wax pen, fill in all areas that you want to remain this color.
Step 4: Dye the egg as many more times as desired, each time coating areas with wax to retain a given color.
Step 5: Once the pattern is done and the final dye is complete, remove all wax from the egg.


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