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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs)
Sort Of...Edible Variation

Many years ago I bought a pysanky decorating kit from one of the Ukrainian tables at the International Institute's “Old World Market”. I did in fact decorate a few eggs using the dyes and materials provided, though my discipline in following a traditional pattern lasted roughly 15 seconds, or maybe till I put down my second or third line.

Edible pysanka made with food-safe dye. 2012

The problem with traditional pysanky (singular pysanka) is that the Ukranians use raw eggs (which they empty) and aniline dyes (which are not food safe) and clean the wax off with toxic solvents (such as lighter fluid.) I was completely unable to drain any eggs, even pricking it with two holes, let alone one, and wasn't thrilled with the idea of using flammable, toxic solvents to remove the wax.

Like so many Americans, my trouble is not a lack of possessions but far too many of them; even my friends who possess knicknacks were not thrilled with the eggs, the no-doubt-rotten-contents having sloshed around in their refrigerators for some odd years. Like the gift decorating I wanted something emphemeral, more like the traditional american easter eggs, which are hard-boiled, dipped in food-safe dyes and consumed.

Thus I hit upon combining the two traditions last year. The eggs from 2000 were colored with much better quality dye; this year's dye, old fashioned tablets from a sesame street kit, had the nasty tendancy of peeling right off the eggs. In any case, the technique makes for a rather pastel-ish product, in contrast to the brilliantly colored traditional Ukranian eggs. However, pastels are associated with Easter anyway, so that isn't a problem for me.


Lot 3, orange pysanky for thee and me:) 20apr2022


Lot 2 of 2022, blue and yellow easter eggs. 19apr2022


Saturday 2022 pysanky 18apr2022


A fun, emergent quality of eggshells for easter eggs 24mar2016


New index page for pysanky, with instructions


2015 easter eggs, aka pysanky. 06apr2015


2013 pysanky look very much like 2012 pysanky. 31mar2013


In 2004 my technique for edible pysanky hit its apogee. I've been trying to get up to that level ever since. This is...not bad. 08apr2012


2009 Pysanky. Looks an awful lot like the 2006 pysanky. Oh, well. Originally posted 13apr09. 14apr2009


One of the styli needed minor repairs. I tested it , plus a wax removal method, on this organic brown egg. This is the cheat-sheet summary of tutorial info scattered in the rest of the posts. 16apr2009


Though posted on 14apr2009, these pysanky were made in 2008. 15apr2009


My old pysanky index page was created in 2006, with a bit of background of how I began making edible easter eggs. 01may2012


Triangle pattern pysanky . Originally posted 17apr06 17apr2006


This sub-index page uses the & (2006&pysanky) but otherwise is obsolete, since index-tagging has put all psyanky, 2006 or not, on the main page. 18apr2006


CurliQ pattern pysanky . Originally posted 18apr06 18apr2006


Circle pattern pysanky . Originally posted 16apr06 16apr2006


This link used to be deeply buried, which is why there's no pix. My defense for making pysanky even if you have no religious investment in Easter. 22may2004


Basic (text-only) instruction for making a pysanky stylus. Picture of the finished product only, sorry. 22may2004


How I make my Variation on Traditional Pysanky 22may2004


Orange/red/purple egg 22may2004


Old index page for 2002. Since I've gotten rid of the tag, this page is obsolete. 22may2004


This egg from 2002 evokes to my mind a coral reef. Max image size: 500 pixels. 22may2004


2001 wasn't a very successful year for pysanky. Here're 3 views of the best one. (Max image size: 500pixels wide.) 22may2004


Eggs dyed for Easter 2000 01apr2000


filed updated 18apr06;and again 12sep15—new summary, image added, index removed.