The local library here hosted a Pysanky workshop this weekend. This is a Ukrainian egg decorating technique that uses dye and wax. They tend to use traditional folk designs that are intricate and colorful.
Our instructor has 39 years of experience with this mind boggling art form because her Ukrainian grandmothers taught her beginning at a young age. Her skills and patience are admirable.
We were first given egg shapes on paper to sketch our designs in pencil. Crayons were used to experiment with the palette and inspiration came from books and an assortment of eggs she had on display. Once we had our ideas together, we chose an egg and were armed with a lit candle, block of wax and a little tool used to draw on the egg with the wax.
Given my obsession with sunflowers last summer, it was logical to do something with a sunflower pattern. Not only is the sunflower the national flower of Ukraine, it’s a captivating example of how imperfections can be beautiful. I strolled through three sunflower fields last summer and my favorite flowers were the ones that were flawed.
Here’s my egg.
It is incredibly flawed and the sunflower imperfect but I’m still quite proud of how it turned out. I love the palette I chose and the design too. The execution leaves a lot to be desired as working with wax on a real egg shell is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.
All the same, I managed to get it done and had fun in the process. It now is in a place of honor on my bookshelf, a pretty reminder that enjoying the creative process can be as rewarding as the outcome. Also a reminder that perfection is overrated and that imperfections can be beautiful.
I suspect and hope that this was not my last attempt. I will count on trying it again someday.
Here’s one more view of her gorgeous eggs.
Here’s something about imperfections from last year. I wrote about sunflower fields here, here and here. I would recommend finding one near you this summer! If you get a chance to try a new kind of art, I recommend you do that too!