I am Ukrainian on my mother’s side of the family, and we have made Ukrainian Easter Eggs (pysanky) since I was a little girl. Every year at Eastertime, I set up all of the dyes and tools for about a week so a few friends can come over and make eggs with me each day.

Photographers checking this blog might recognize Jessica Claire and Dina Douglass, and client friends might recognize Althea & David or Pam who are clients-turned-friends from weddings I shot last year. Thank you, too, to Melisande, Logan, Lori, Abby and Christine for joining in, and of course, Abigail and Olive. Special thanks to Jason who did most of the teaching of the actual process while I did my usual fussing about taking photos with my new 30D.

Pysanky is done by applying bees wax to the eggs with tools called “kistka” as they are dipped into darker and darker dyes. Once the egg comes out of the darkest color all of the wax is melted off with a candle. Then the egg is varnished and drained of its raw insides with a special little tool. A really elaborate egg can take hours to finish, so its a really fun chance to catch up with friends and hang out while doing something creative.

Like my late grandmother, I actually have quite a large collection of eggs from all the years we’ve been doing this. (If you look closely, you can see them on blue shelf in the background of a few pics.)

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