“Pysanky”, batik-style Easter eggs, are inherently Ukrainian. Purists shudder at the beaded “pysanka’s” very existence. The word comes from the verb pysaty, “to write”, as the designs are not painted on. Some artists have the nerve to use beads to decorate eggs instead of ‘writing’ them with a stylus and beeswax in the wax-resist method, as is tradition. These beaders often refer to the traditional motifs and designs for inspiration. However, bead shapes and sizes dictate how closely or far apart they can be placed on the egg and the patterns become stylized.
I believe there is a place for beaded eggs in this day and age. They may not have the talismanic powers of the real “pysanky”, but they are beautiful and bring joy to the recipients.
Beaded eggs are definitely a challenge to make because the beads somehow need to be applied onto the outside shell. Do you drain the egg, wash it out, plug it and apply beads outside of it or onto a wooden egg? Do you beadweave around it? Do you insert beads into wax or glue so their inner holes are part of the design? Do you sit them upright on their edge? Do you wrap strings of beads around the egg or just fill between motifs. Do you strategically glue one bead at a time? The possibilities are endless…
Read more in our Spring 2011 issue.
Article by Maria Rypan