Tradition

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then red, then purple or blue. Once all the desired colors are included, the wax is removed by melting the wax and wiping it off.

“You are looking for high contrast on your egg,” instructs Ginny. “Always work from the lightest dye to darkest dye.”

Such as process requires quite a bit of concentration and hand-eye coordination and is not only potentially therapeutic but can also send one into a virtual time warp. Hildebrand says that, many times, people don’t even realize that three hours has gone by.

Ginny remarks, “It’s pretty intense. Time goes by so quickly –the only thing that exists in the world is that egg. Perception of time is just gone.”

Once the eggs are completely colored and free of wax, they are sprayed with a clear acrylic finish to make them glossy. Then, the inner contents of the egg are blown out. Hildebrand says that this is a delicate process, one that requires exceptional attention to the egg itself.

“You really must listen to the egg,” cautions Ginny. “You cannot put more pressure on it than you can handle or it will break. And that is a real heartbreaker after all that work.”

How to handle the egg is usually the first thing one learns in the class, and the lessons continue throughout the learning process. After all, it is an egg you are trying to draw on. Beginners, fear not. Even the most practiced hands can make the one wrong move that destroys hours of work.

“Some people bust it before they even get a pencil on it,” recalls Ginny. “There are many creative ways to break an egg and I always think I have seen them all until I have a new class and I learn another.”

Breaking the egg, however, shouldn’t deter anyone from trying Pysanky, and neither should inexperience or a perceived lack of artistic ability.

“You don’t have to have an eye for art,” says Ginny. “If you do crocheting, knitting or quilting you can most likely do pysanky, but you don’t have to.”

The class is open to the Mountaintop community from 2-5pm every Sunday starting February 23 and runs through Palm Sunday, April 13. Ginny recommends children be able to sit still and concentrate for an extended period of time, typically around nine years old. There is a one time materials fee of $6 which supplies the wax and kistka tool. Each student should bring four clean, white eggs with no cracks, a #2 pencil, white paper towels with no prints and a slim, taper candle with a stable base. Ginny recommends wearing old clothes or an apron to avoid ruining an article of clothing with the permanent dyes.

If you are interested, call St. Paul’s church at 570-474-6616 to reserve a seat.