2014-02-20 / Lifestyles

LECAC to host ‘Pysanky’ egg class

MANISTIQUE – Lake Effect Arts of Manistique is hosting a class teaching the art of making highly-decorated Pysanky eggs are an old and honored Ukrainian tradition on March 15. The class will be taught by Gerry Reese.

Geared toward both beginners and those who have made such eggs before, the class is set for 9 a.m. to noon at The Presbyterian Church of the Redeemer.

“I learned this technique for making these decorated eggs as a teenager and have taught it to family and friends on many occasions,” Reese said. “My family used to make Easter a big celebration of renewed life, and Pysanky eggs were a part of that.”

During the Soviet reign, this traditional craft was banned and the art nearly forgotten, but in more recent times, the creation of Pysanky eggs has seen a rebirth. The meaning of Pysanky is “to write,” and though different parts of the former Soviet Union create these eggs differently, Reese teaches a style to batik. This involves writing on a raw egg with wax and then dipping the egg in dye.

These decorated eggs are a part of daily life in the Ukraine and were thought to posses the power to keep evil spirits away. Younger children were given eggs predominantly white as their lives were still a blank; older adults were given eggs of darker colors and more all over design as their lives were mostly fulfilled. The designs on all eggs showed each person’s close relationship with the earth, and symbols such as wheat and trees are frequently used.

Reese will supply the dyes, wax, and tools, as well as a variety of possible designs, and participants will leave with their decorated Pysanky egg, as well as individual kits of supplies to make more eggs in the future. Bring two (or more) raw eggs (cooked eggs will not take the dyes), a candle and holder, and wear older clothing.

Cost for this class is $42 for non-members of LECAC and $37 for members. To join LECAC or find more information about this class and register at the LECAC website, visit www.lakeeffectarts.org using either a credit card or Pay Pal. Participants may also send a check to Stephanie Reese, LECAC Education Committee chair, 3259W Michigan Shores Road, Gulliver, MI 49840.

For further information call (906) 283-1001 or Mindy Asp at (906) 450-5777.

Deadline to register for “Pysanky Easter Eggs” is March 8.

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