Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Gift of Pysanky is a Sincere Wish for Your "Best!I

Easter Blessings!

These are for you.* Check out meanings at the close of the post.

*(The reason I own these pysanky is that I dropped them prior to being able to give them away. If you look closely, you'll see a crack on each)

Bible verse 1 John 1:7 tells us that "The blood of Jesus (his death), God's son, cleanses us..." In the words of Max Lucado, Christian pastor and author, writes "Our Savior kneels down and gazes upon the darkest acts of our lives. But rather than recoil in horror, he reaches out in kindness and says, "I can clean that if you want." And from the basin of his grace, he scoops a palm full of mercy and washes away our sin."

I held three Pysanky workshops prior to Easter this year. A Pysanka is a decorated egg following the traditional Ukranian style and tradition. (plural: pysanky) A basket of pysanky is said to offer protection from evil.

Traditionally, you decorate, and give away to someone special in time for Easter, an unblown egg. The unbroken egg represents absolute perfection and purity with regard to the gift of life. However, I usually give away decorated, empty egg shell. It is much easier to preserve, as it takes a number of years (kept in a cool place) before the egg white and yolk dries out inside an un-blown egg.

You first segment the egg by lightly drawing with a pencil.
Never erase.
The pencil lines "disappear" between the dying and the removal of wax.

The colors, designs and symbols each significant meanings which you chose to use as you create an egg to give away. After you determine your basic design, heat a taper candle and using melted beeswax and a hot kistka, draw the design on the egg.

If you desire to incorporate the color white (meaning purity) in the design, first draw on the white egg.

Then you dye your egg with special dyes purchased from a Ukranian store.

The colors progress from light to dark, with the exception that light green and light blue are first used before orange. The orange dye will wash these colors out before progressing to red, brown, dark green or blue, or purple. Very often the final dye is black.

Upon completion of your design (this is a simple one), the beeswax is carefully heated, melted, and wiped off a small section of the egg at a time.

The final color on this egg was red; meaning we used the white of the egg, and yellow, a spot of green, orange and red dyes.

The last class I taught used the very same basic design but added other elements, symbols and dye colors. Their eggs looked like the one below when they finished dying them black.

Again, using the side of the flame and one small part of the egg at a time, the wax is heated and wiped off. Heating the wax at the top of the flame runs the risk of ruining the design by the soot of the flame (which is what we Wanted when we heated our beeswax!).
This is done slowly and carefully -
but is one of the most delightful, exciting parts of creating
a pysanka.

You will notice triangles, a star, pine needles, ladders, dots, crosses, narrow, never-ending lines (belts) that encircle the egg, and the colors white, yellow, light green, light blue, orange, scarlet, and black.

You might wish (or pray) for the person receiving an egg (depending upon the designs and colors used): triangle (geometric symbol for groups of three: holy trinity; father, mother, and child; birth, life and death), stars (represents God's love toward man, purity, and life), pine needles (health, stamina and eternal youth), ladders (prayers and journey or ascent into heaven), dots (can be stars and/or constellations), cross (represent Christian faith), never-ending lines (eternal life). Colors: white (purity, light, rejoicing), yellow (sun, stars, moon, harvest, warmth, perpetuation of the family), gold (spirituality, wisdom), orange (endurance, everlasting sun, ambition), red (happiness, hope, passion, blood, fire, ministry of the church), red and white (respect, protection from evil powers), blue (sky, air, good health, truth, fidelity), green (spring, hope, freshness, wealth), pink (success, contentment), purple (royalty, faith, trust, patience, fasting), brown (earth, harvest, generosity), black (center of the earth, eternity, darkest time before dawn, absolute), 4 or more colors (family happiness, peace and love).

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Anniversary!

We spent our Anniversary weekend in Cedar Rapids at the Ceramic Center!

This is our instructor, Jeff.
What a patient person he was! :-)

He's centered his clay and is now creating a cylinder.

Up it goes!

Here's a bit of clay for me to work with.

A good lot of tools.

These are some of our pots.

Jeff has to finish them for us...
and we'll be picking up the final product soon.
(I'll show you later!)

Thanks for a great time, Jeff!

About Me

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I enjoy being outdoors! I also love that I've two children (now grown up with families of their own)and six young grandchildren! :-) Sure would like to see them more often!!