Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg) Online Class Basic Design 1 White  Design
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ONLINE  BEGINNER CLASS 

DESIGN #1    WHITE

PYSANKY CLASS -- DESIGN 1      WHITE

CAUTION HOT FLAME!

FIGURE 3

STEP 5

HEAT YOUR KISTKA

Now its time to apply the wax.  You will use a tool called a Kistka. It contains a brass cup or a well made of rolled copper foil. A candle supplies the heat to melt the Beeswax  which will be placed inside the cup. Once liquid, the wax will flow through a small hole in the bottom.  For this design, choose a medium size kistka (Blue handle, if you purchased the kistka from us). The size of the kistka determines the width of the line that it produces. Hold the well of the kistka over the middle part of the flame, with the cup tilted at a slight angle (FIGURE-3). Typically it only takes 5 to 10 seconds to bring the cup up to temperature. As you work, you will have to continuously put the tool back into the flame for a few seconds before drawing on the egg again.
 
SCOOP THE WAX
FIGURE 4
LOOK OUT!  THE BLOB!
FIGURE 5
GET RID OF THAT EXTRA WAX
FIGURE 6. 

STEP 6       FILL KISTKA WITH WAX

With the hot kistka, take the block of Beeswax  in your other hand and scoop the edge. (FIGURE 4) Similar to cutting butter with a hot knife. Your goal is to fill the cup 1/2 to 3/4 full. Don't overfill. Before proceeding , take a quick look at the bottom of the tip. Look for the "BLOB" (See FIGURE 5). This is the accumulation of a large drop of wax on the outside of the cup, typically near the bottom. Touch it on the egg and, a large pool of excessive wax will  mystically appear on the shell. To prevent this, touch the tip back on the block of wax and the extra wax will flow off. Beginners have a bad habit of touching it to the paper. Sure this cleans the wax off, but it wastes the wax and picks up lint which eventually ends up on the tip. An alternative method is to chop up the wax into small pieces that can be dropped into the wax cup.  Personally , I choose to use  Spaghetti wax, which can be easily cut into small pellets.
HERE WE GO!
FIGURE 7
HALF WAY THERE!
FIGURE 8
FIRST SEGMENT DONE!
FIGURE 9
WHITE LINES DONE!
FIGURE 10

STEP 7    APPLY THE WAX

The purpose of the wax is to seal the shell under the wax, preserving the color of the shell at the time. Currently the shell is the natural color of the egg. Therefore, all the lines we draw in wax on the egg at this step, will in the end, be the color of the shell. The egg in our example is white, so those lines will be white when we finish the Pysanky. The color of the wax has absolutely nothing to do with the process.  This may sound obvious, but think before you start. Know where the beginning and end points of the line are. Ideally, you want to start and stop where the lines intersect. This is not mandatory, but it will result in cleaner more uniform lines. Your kistka is now filled with wax. Reheat the tip in the candle flame to keep it liquid. Once out of the candle flame,  quickly move to one of the middle intersect lines (FIGURE 7). Keep the kistka cup slightly tilted and move along the pencil line (FIGURE 8) until you reach the next intersection. (FIGURE 9). It helps to keep your forearms flat on the table. Move the kistka by rotating your wrist away from your body and rotate the egg toward you at the same time. This movement results in smaller wrist movements and straighter lines. Using the same technique, complete the remaining 11 segments on the egg.  You will have to refill your kistka with wax several times.  The final egg should have all pencil lines covered in wax ( See FIGURE 10).

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Page last revised 2/24/2006