Monday, March 12, 2012


Because the Eastern Europeans and Russians who migrated to Globeville endured religious and cultural oppression in the "old country" they enjoyed continuing their cherished customs, such as ornately decorated Easter eggs. Called pysanky by Ukrainians, pisanki by the Polish and pisanica by Croatians, the blown eggs were decorated using a stylus to draw designs with melted beeswax. The patterns, symbols, and colors all varied by country and even by region, but many featured symbols of spring, Easter, faith, and the Resurrection. The winter months and six weeks of Lent provided ample time to decorate the eggs.
The process involved heating beeswax in a small bowl on a stove and scooping up the wax in the stylus as needed. The hot wax was applied to a clean surface of the egg, rotating the egg while drawing. The egg was then immersed in the first color. More designs were drawn in wax and the egg was dipped in another color. The process continued with added designs, always going from light to dark colors. After the last color was applied, the wax was removed by gently heating the egg and rubbing off the wax with a soft cloth.
These eggs were given to friends and relatives as a symbolic wish for a good life, and could be displayed all year, since they were hollow. Many of these eggs would appear in the baskets that were blessed on Holy Saturday. What remains is a rich tradition of making art from the simple egg and beeswax. 

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