TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

'Eggcellent' art on display at Sewickley library

If you go

What: “Learn the Art of Ukrainian Egg Decoration — Pysanky.”

When: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Sewickley Public Library, 500 Thorn St.

Cost: $5.

Information: Call 412-741-6920 to register.

Map
By Joanne Barron
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Jeff Lemley is helping to ensure the world's survival, according to a legend about pysanky, Ukrainian Easter egg decorating.

Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian Mountains are thought to believe the fate of the world depends upon the Ukrainian art form.

As long as the egg-decorating custom continues, the world will exist.

Lemley, of Coraopolis, is doing his part by offering a program, “Learn the Art of Ukrainian Egg Decoration — Pysanky,” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Sewickley Public Library.

Participants will learn to design their own pysanka using a batik method with hot wax. Those ages 8 and older are welcome to participate.

Pysanky typically are made to be given to family members and respected outsiders. To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life, which is why the egg must remain whole.

The most common designs are those associated with plants and their parts ­— flowers and fruit.

Lemley, an international flight attendant, is teaming up with Charlotte Orient of Moon Township, a retired college professor, and Dee Ruckert of New Sewickley Township, an art teacher in the Ellwood City School District, to show students how to turn a raw egg into a work of art.

Students first will cover with wax every surface on the egg they want to remain white — the batik method.

The process is called “writing,” or pysaty, Lemley said, as the designs are not painted on but written on with beeswax. Students then will use a kistka tool that features a funnel to hold the beeswax. The kistka will be placed over a candle to melt the wax, which then is applied to or written on the egg.

The egg then is dunked into dyes, starting with the lightest color first. Before dipping the egg into another color, any surface on the egg the artist wants to remain the first color again should be covered with wax.

At the end of this process, a large spot of wax will be placed on one end before the artist blows the yolk from the egg.

This is done because yolk can take off the dye on the egg, Lemley said.

The wax then is peeled off the egg, and the design remains.

The dye used is not what most people purchase at stores to make Easter eggs at home, Lemley said. For pysanky, Lemley uses aniline dyes that result in more brilliant colors.

Lemley and his crew will help participants with their designs and have examples on display at the class and also at the library until the end of March.

Lemley said he got interested in pysanky when he took a class 15 years ago at a Carnegie church.

“As a former college art major, it sounded interesting. I've been making the eggs ever since.”

For those who can't take the class at the library, pysanky classes are taught at St. John's Russian Orthodox Church in Ambridge from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday during Lent.

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or jbarron@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Sewickley

  1. St. James Church in Sewickley to kick off Music Plus
  2. Classes, programs in Sewickley can show you how to de-stress
  3. Serafini: Good cause or not, people find reason to complain
  4. Sewickley council allows food trucks to be part of mart
  5. Sewickley’s Sweetwater center adds new classes for fall
  6. Quaker Valley replacing 490 broken, 1-year-old laptops
  7. Road salt cost rises; Sewickley council OKs buy
  8. Photos: Quaker Valley students head back to class
  9. Sewickley Academy freshman making difference through love of science
  10. Need to modernize closes Ambridge theater doors ... for now
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.