Every year, during Lent and before Easter, it is my practice to dye eggs Ukrainian style, and these particular eggs in the plural form are otherwise known as “Psanky.” In the past I’ve made a point to introduce as many friends to the art form as possible, usually with a series of egg dying parties. My sister and I learned how to make Psanky when we were in Junior High school as participants in a special workshop, and she and I have been decorating eggs using melted beeswax and layers of dye to color them ever since. Although we aren’t Ukrainian by heritage, I feel a strong affinity for the Ukrainian women (and some men too) who have been creating these incredibly detailed eggs for generations, and I admire their dedication to the craft. This year, Easter managed to sneak up on me, and before last weekend I had not done anything to get ready for it– let alone dye eggs.
It is never too late though, and I had the perfect opportunity to get at least one egg done in time for Easter. A couple of weeks ago I made a lucky connection at an innovative local art studio, Märchen Studios, and was excited to set up a Ukrainian Egg Dying workshop that I would teach there this weekend. The studio has all kinds of classes and workshops, as well as open studio time for artist/members, and a perfect workspace for such an event . The artist, Jessica, who runs the studio out of her home had the thought to set up the workshop ‘Family Style,’ so that individuals could come on their own, or kids accompanied by adults could participate as a family and save a little money. The idea was so well-received that the workshop had to be ‘closed’ and we had 20+ people there!
Everyone seemed to have a good time, and even though we lost a few eggs in the process, each person completed at least one successful psanka, and I think they went home pleased with what they made.
Later, on Easter Sunday afternoon, I had the pleasure of finishing my own egg with my sweet cousin, who made a blue and white beauty of her own.