Eggs To Pysanky

On Wednesday, April 4 REEEC hosted visit by Vera Samycia, a master artist of Ukrainian Egg painting known as Psyanky.  Vera demonstrated her craft at the Illini Union and later in the day at the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library.

Vera Samycia uses a wax-resist method in dying her eggs.  She starts by outlining her design on the egg in pencil, then adds beeswax to all the areas she wants to stay white.  The egg is then typically placed in the lightest dye (yellow) which sits for 20 minuets.  After each dying Vera adds beeswax to the areas she wants that particular color to stay.  After every color is done, the egg is dried, the layers of wax are removed by heating the wax with a candle. Finally, Vera varnishes the egg with polyethylene, and the inside contents are blown out.

Kids at the Douglass Branch library were fascinated by the Egg painting process, and thought the coolest part was when Vera blew out the inner contents of a finished egg and left the shell in tact.  Seventy people attended the Illini Union presentation and 22 children and 13 adults attended the after-school event at the library.

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Vera’s event at the Illini Union made the front page of the Daily Illini, to read the story and watch a video of the event, please go to the Daily Illini’s website: http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2012/04/easter_eggs_get_ukrainian_makeover

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