“Pysanky is part of my heritage, but no one in my family did the art.
I always saw them at other houses and always being interested in art,
decided I wanted to give it a try,” says member Nick Zdinak. “I was hooked and have been doing pysanky for the last 50 years. I am self taught, starting with a
staright pin in the eraser of a pencil and eventually graduating to
the traditional and electric kistka.”
Pysanky is done on eggs with hot beeswax and dyes. Nick starts by drawing a design onto an egg with hot beeswax, using the kistka, a specialized stylus used in pysanky. The egg is then placed into a dye bath, where the areas not covered by wax pick up the dye; the waxed parts remain the egg’s natural color. Nick repeats the wax application and dye bath process, proceeding from lightest to darkest colors as he builds the design. When the entire design is finished, Nick empties the contents of the egg and then melts the beeswax by holding the shell to a candle flame and gently removes the wax with a soft cloth to reveal the final design. The egg is finished with several coats of protective clear glaze.
Most of the designs Nick uses are traditional designs that have many meanings
in the Ukrainian tradition. He also get many of his ideas from nature,
other forms of art, especially from other cultures, such as Persian
rugs and Moroccan tiles and also takes inspiration from fabrics and wall
Nick’s happy to create traditional pysanky designs, but also like to “think outside the box” and renders designs and themes that are unique to his works.
Nick will be here, with over fifty other fine artisans, so mark your calendar, today! In the meantime, you can see more of Nick’s work on the Gallery page of http://www.ybcrafts.org.