My name is Mar’yana Svarnyk. I live in Regina, SK and I make somewhat traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanka), using the traditional wax resist techniques, that is, hot bees wax to draw patterns on the eggs, and dyes or acid to color or etch the shell.
I’ve been doing this since I was a child, even though growing up in Soviet Union, this particular Ukrainian craft was not encouraged (not sure how strongly it was actually discouraged), but our grandmother showed us how to do this. She would make her own wax pen from a used-up aluminium toothpaste tube, cutting a half-circle with a handle out of it, twisting into a cone and attaching it to a pencil – very simple indeed. Of course, the line consistency was not very good, but it worked. She also used matches to make drop-pull style Lemko eggs.
These days I use bought rather than hand-made tools, have started to experiment with some non-chicken eggs, and have embarked on a “trying out natural dyes” journey. My progress is very slow, because this is just a hobby, not a job, and the actual job, plus some other commitments, take up most of my time. But, the old festina lente saying works well for me (and also for the eggs!), so this is how it’s going to be for now. I wonder though, perhaps I will switch to doing this full time if at some point in life I will be able to retire from my current job.
You can find out more about me and my other interests in my non-egg-related blog: msvarnyk.wordpress.com