Pysanky Eggs
A Springtime Seasonal Sampler

Current Events:

Upcoming Workshops,

Other Seasonal Samplers:

Wild Edible Plants,
Natural Building,
Pysanky Eggs,
Ivy Baskets, and more

Water play & boat workshops,
Natural Building
Camps and traveling workshops, 
fruit harvest

Kitchen Alchemy,
harvest and food preservation,
gifts and crafts,
Fire Science

Artisan Truffles,
Paper Snowflakes,
Ice and Crystals, and more

Year-Round Building Blocks:
Knotical Nauledge,
Caveman Chemistry,
Messy Science,
Rocket Stoves,
Writing, and Illustration
Classroom Visits,
Community Activities


Pysanky are traditional Ukrainian-style dyed eggs.  The wax-resist writing technique allows for very elaborate designs.

"Pysanka" comes from a root meaning "written." The designs are "written" or drawn onto the egg with a wax stylus (kistka).  (These first three images are courtesy of this excellent web site: Писанкарсктво)

Dyes go on in order, from lightest to darkest, using the wax to protect areas of each color from the next one.  Designs can be geometric, figurative, religious, simple or quite elaborate.

Erica's mom likes to duplicate traditional designs, step by step, to make beautiful geometric eggs.

Erica likes to start with a thematic idea  (bunnies, lilies, penguins, spirals) and improvise around it.  This allows accidents to influence the final design, instead of spoiling it.  The "comet" in the design shown here was an accidental drip.

Erica also imitates famous art in egg form, including traditional motifs from other cultures (Maori, Celtic, etc), or famous artwork like this Faberge egg replica.




This "tiger in the grass" was created as a gift for family doctor Dr. Ezra Azhar



 Pysanky makes a great craft activity for adults and older children, at your location or ours.  Spring and easter are the obvious season, but they also make lovely Christmas-tree ornaments, or gift projects at any time of year.

More examples of past work:

Natural dyes:

Modern "Pysanky" dyes are long-lasting and colorful, but not food-safe.  Traditional Pysanky are not eaten, so that's not an issue: you "write" your egg, and then give it away or keep it in a safe display (out of direct sunlight) and allow it to gradually dehydrate.  

But what if you want the option of eating your eggs afterwards?  Especially the "practice" ones that turn out funny? 
Or what if you're just interested in natural dyes, want to support local gardeners instead of a distant chemical industry, and have finally remembered to save your onion skins all year?

These are some eggs we did with natural dyes this year.  Both are based on traditional Ukrainian designs.  The one on the left was produced with very long baths in purple cabbage and beet dyes.  The one on the right was mostly onion-skin dye (there's also a turmeric yellow in some areas, but it shows only faintly.)