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Friday, April 6, 2012

Pysanky egg-sperience

How do I know it's spring?

It's that time of year when I itch to sleep outside again.  Which worries me that my sense of weather is run by my innate girl scout, not a seasoned urban farmer.  Neither of which is necessarily going to help me explain my egg-addiction.

They are perfect globes of compacted nature with babies/food inside. And every spring they begin showing up like magic falling right out of a chickens behind. 

This spring I wanted to appropriately express my gol' durn amazement at this mystical process.
Then I recalled something in my brain. The part of my brain where I keep all the crafts, magazine clippings, urban farm lifestyle tips and funny animal you-tube videos.
It's a big area, so it took me a while to remember the name.  Pysanky

 I needed supplies:  Ukranian annaline egg dyes, Kitska, pencil, beeswax, glass jars,egg stand, spoons.

For future record, should anyone ask, there are no Ukranian Pysanky Supply shops in the greater Boise Idaho area.

Heck if this girl scout was beat. I rustled up some o' my own version rigged Idaho style from what I had in the house/art store.

Beeswax - Check
Beeswax melter tool/batik/kitska - Check 
Eggs- Check 
Food Egg Dye- Check
Several glass jars - Check
Spoons- Check
Big table in messy art studio that I should have cleaned before taking pictures - Check.
Over caffeinated cheerleader enthusiasm  - You're damn straight.

Thank you Rabinowitz Design, you saved my arms many wax burns from my first attempt with a less expensive tool. I'm hoping my arm hair will grow back in those areas soon

I did some  research on the internet and was inspired and touched by the idea that Pysanky Eggs were meant not to be kept but to given to others as a gift. Normally when I research a project I take weeks reading, researching and taking notes.
This time I had twenty-two minutes until the next Sponge Bob video was done entertaining my five year old. 

Let me preface the following experience by explaining that my ego was riding a little high by being fortunate enough to have our Boise Backyard Chickens Blog and Facebook Page mentioned in the Idaho Statesman in an article about chickens in Boise.

For all intents and purposes I was kind of a jack ass about the whole Pysanky "challenge".

No problem,  I could master this centuries old art in an afternoon in the art studio.
Needless to say I was confused when my first egg came out so broken and muddy colored
that I sent the contributing hen a mental apology for the tragedy I just inflicted on her perfectly good egg.
Then one after another to my horror the eggs just got a little bit better, but that's about it.

My artistic talents in this area should transfer right? Nope. Nopity, nope, nope.
 What did transfer is my artistic sense of self censure and obsessive compulsiveness about line spacing. I figured my ego was probably just smacking itself back into the real Idaho spring air.

These market food dyes didn't do the job
The outcome were some pretty interesting looking eggs.
None of them look like Pysanky Eggs. Not even a little. 
Of course I can laugh about it now,but if you had asked me about it a day ago I'd have still been pretty warm about my ignorance and frustration.

I've decided that I like my eggs, and I'm going to be brave and give them to friends and family as tokens of love and luck. Ugly, ugly eggshell luck.

Better luck and preparedness to you during this holiday from the Boise Backyard Chickens Urban Farm.

To learn more about Psanka/Pysanky visit: 

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