Pencil can first be used to draw guidelines or designs on the egg. Whatever will ultimately be white is then drawn on the egg with the kistka. The kistka is basically a small copper funnel attached to a stick with copper wire, in which the beeswax is melted over the flame of a candle - in our case we used tealights. The tip is then drawn along the egg and the melted beeswax adheres to the shell. The egg is then dyed the next lightest colour - in this case, yellow. I then drew on the egg what ultimately would be yellow lines. Then the egg was dyed red.
Here, I'm filling in all the areas that will ultimately be red.
Now comes the fun part. We take the dried, waxy, black egg and hold it near a candle flame to soften and melt the wax, which is then wiped away with paper towel.
And here they all are drying after being varathaned. Elaine's are ones with purple and turquiose, one above the other at the far left. Marion's are both on the bottom right and mine are on the top right.
This was Marion's first attempt. I think it turned out very well.
The basic supplies are:
- prepared dyes stored in wide-mouthed jars (vinegar is the mordent)
- kistkas of various sizes
- beeswax (I used the sheets often used for rolled candle making and also have one of the wax 'pucks')
- tea lights
- newspaper to cover work areas
- lots of paper towels (to cushion egg at the work area, to dry the eggs off, to clean up any messes).
I have also seen Pysanky drawn with Christmas and Hallowe'en patterns.