Home » Webster Parish Libraries host pysanky egg decorating lessons

Webster Parish Libraries host pysanky egg decorating lessons

by Amber McDown

Webster Parish Libraries recently offered lessons in egg decorating using the pysanky style, a Ukrainian folk art dating back several thousand years. The word “pysanky” is derived from the Ukrainian verb pysaty, which means “to write.” Traditionally, it was exclusively done by women at Easter, but now many people create pysanky eggs year-round.

The pysanky method, similar to batik, involves using a tool called a “kistka” to apply hot wax to the shell of an egg. The egg is then placed in a series of dye baths. The wax prevents the dye from reaching the surface of the egg, allowing for the creation of intricate patterns. The final design is revealed when the wax is melted off at the end.

Shelley Masog, library resource administrator, served as the instructor for the classes. Masog, who has been decorating eggs in the pysanky style for about 11 years, learned the method from her uncle in Minnesota.

“Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with it. About 11 years ago we were up there on vacation, and he showed me how to do my first egg, and I’ve been doing them ever since,” said Masog. Legend has it that as long as people wrote pysanky, evil could never take over the world. Masog laughed, “And I thought, I need to share this process, and maybe more people will start writing eggs.”

Masog provided a traditional design for use in the class and all of the supplies. This project was completed in less than two hours with everyone taking home a lovely decorated egg. Some people had taken the class last year, and at least one had taken the class at one of the other locations already this year. Classes were held in Springhill, Doyline, and Minden.

Masog plans to offer the classes again next year.

Related Posts