Wow, I bought a new set of scratch tools from Pysanky USA, and spent all yesterday experimenting with them on a chicken egg. The first picture is the egg not yet completed-the view shows both sides so far, but look closely to see the delicate scratching on the madallion face; I did this with the tool that has the handle marking red/blue in picture #2- this is a fine point for fine detail scratching. The eternity band side picture #3 was mostly done with the larger point tool;it easily scrapes away bigger spaces. It's always exciting to get new tools! And I appreciate having the tools come in a set. Lovin' It!
Drapanki-Skrobanki-Kraszanki are created by scratching designs into the surface of a dyed egg to reveal the white shell below. Drapanki is a word derived from ‘drapać’ (to scratch). In some regions of Poland drapanki are called kroszonki (in Silesia) or skrobanki. I did not learn this style as a child, as I did with the Ukrainian Lemko Drop-Pull style, which uses bees wax and a stylus; but I am now intrigued with the elegant patterns and the scratch process. Below are a few of my completed pieces for 2016. I plan on making a tutorial blog entry on making of a drapanki. These following video clip drapanki have not been finished with a varnish.
I have taught classes as large as 27 and as small as 5. But whether large or small, it is important to a new student's to create a climate conducive to a rich and rewarding pysanky experience.
If you are a 'new' pysanky teacher, here are some tips for creating a great
First Time Experience for you and for your students, space-wise.
SPACES ORGANIZATION: Dye work space, Student work space,
Teacher group& individual instruction space, Outdoor Airing space for spray varnish, Refreshments space.
If you are asked to do a demonstration or a display, I always use a variety of interesting containers like baskets, dishes, bowls stands and even egg cartons. TAKE PHOTOS of your displays for future events so that you do not have to re-think the set ups. Here are some of the displays with captions.
Click on the image above it is a link where you can print out the cheat sheet.
I found out through a color test by an MD, that I am in fact color challenged in terms of Red-Green, a common issue for others too. I generally stick to the 'traditional pysanky color scheme' of yellow, orange, red, green, black, as you see in my pysanky below. Of course, I use variations of shades for the traditional color scheme.
You can use the Mr Clean Magic Eraser, even the store brand to save money, on any egg but duck eggs. The erasers are made of micro fiber, there are no chemicals in them, and they will not scratch the surface of the egg.
To Pre-Clean Eggs first rub by hand with a baking soda paste, then use the Mr Clean Eraser on any nasty spots, finally dip the egg into white vinegar, rinse with clear water and dry. Dyes take brilliantly this way.
As they are used more over time, the Mr Clean Magic Eraser will naturally break down, telling you it is time to use a new piece.
Caution must be used around pets or children, you do not want them to accidentally ingest pieces of the sponge-like eraser!
You may be asked to do a demonstration on the Art of Pysanky Writing. You can negotiate a fee or gratis, without payment as a volunteer.
1. Prepare a ½ dozen to 1 dozen eggs beforehand, in different stages to show the audience: dividing the egg, measuring out a design, the first waxing, second wax, etc.
2. Your audience will ask questions. Having display eggs you have made is valuable to answering questions, with an example in hand.
3. Have at least three eggs that are completely waxed and dyed, so that you can demonstrate taking off the wax with a cloth and candle. This breathtaking moment will speak louder than any explanation.
4. Have a display of eggs from ostrich to quail that makes for a great "hands on" and "show & tell".
5. Show & Tell eggs are a great discussion focus for children. I always include a full goose egg that is not drained, to show difference in weight.
6. Set up the work station in an organized and attractive way.
7. Include cultural items to the display to emphasize tradition and ethnicity. ·
8. Include your name and business cards to the table.
9. Prepare some take-away activity for the pre-school child traveling with their parent.
10. Prepare a slide show in a digital frame. This photo shows a small space for the demonstration.
My favorite colors to use on each egg are yellow and orange. Ocassionally these colors can " sour or develop a gel called mother". To correct the problem, I filter the dye through a fine sieve-a knee high stocking (found at a dollar store). I prefer to strain the dye into a clean container. Next, I microwave the dye to boiling and add a fresh tablespoon of white vinegar, when cool. While heating up the filtered dye, I wash out it's holding container and dry it with a lint free paper towel such as Viva. Finally, pour the refreshed dye back into the correct container.
I have been teaching pysanky for several years now, and always used fresh unblown eggs in the classes. Ocassionally a student dropped an egg, that burst. This season I used emptied eggs. To help submerge the blown egg in the dye, use a mini half-pint water bottle. If you are working with a goose egg, you may need to add spoons to help to fully submerge the goose egg. Fill the water bottle only half-full when working on chicken eggs.