July 24, 2013

Favorites from the Year: Pysanky Eggs


It's been awhile since I posted a Favorite from the Year, so even though it's not Sunday...I'm going for it!

Pysanky Eggs

So, what is a Pysanky Egg? It is a Ukrainian Easter Egg!  The egg is decorated in traditional Ukrainian folk designs using the wax resist method. Fancy, right?

Source: wikipedia.org
They are truly incredible. Most designs are geometric or relate to nature (i.e. lots of flowers).  You can absolutely get lost in a Google image search. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I always pull up lots of pictures to give my kids ideas before we even get started.

I also read Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco because you can never pass up an opportunity to incorporate literature.  It is a beautiful story and the pictures of the eggs are incredible.
 

Summary from School Library Journal:
 Babushka, a kindly, stout old woman, lives in a little house in the country near pre-revolutionary Moscow. She is renowned for the gorgeous Easter eggs that she paints so painstakingly during the long, cold winters and brings to the Easter festival in Moscow. As she is feeding hungry caribou one day, she rescues a wounded goose, names her Rechenka, and tenderly nurses her back to health. While exploring the cottage, Rechenka accidentally smashes Babushka's eggs and subsequently lays 12 beautifully decorated new ones to replace them. While Babushka is in Moscow winning a prize, the goose flies away, but she leaves one last egg in her basket. From it a gosling hatches that becomes Babushka's companion. 

Finally,  it is time to create a Pysanky Egg. 


I found this project in a  Scholastic book called Art Projects from Around the World 4-6. I won't go into too much detail on the steps of the project, because I'm pretty sure that violates some kind of copyright, but I will show you lots and lots of pictures.


After doing this project several times and tweaking materials/process here and there, I found that I can complete this project with just the following materials: white paper, sharpie/black marker, white glue, water colors, and colorful construction paper for backing. Below are my modified steps.


This is a 2 day project. Essentially, day one consists of drawing and designing the egg. I use an egg shaped template, just to make life easier. The design does not have to by symmetrical, but some kids do that naturally.  I always suggest not going too small or being too detailed.  The best eggs always have large simple designs and lots of color.  


When you are finished drawing, outline your design in black Sharpie.  Then outline again with a steady stream of glue.  When the glue dries clear, you have nice little compartments to paint with the watercolors, but you can still see the black outline below the glue. It's a very cool effect!
 

One tip...use white card stock if you can, so the glue doesn't bleed through the paper when you attach it to the construction paper.  Because you know...occasionally students use too much glue and watercolors are sensitive.  You may notice some glue lines in the pictures.  *Sigh* I tried to tell them.


 So, what do you think?  Pretty, huh?

Hands down this is one of my favorite art activities. I just love the way they turn out every single year. Every egg is uniquely different and beautiful.  All together, they make an amazing bulletin board.  I heard lots of "Oohs!" and "Ahhs" as people walked by and since we are an open concept school, my kids heard it all too.  Let's just say, they definitely got an ego boost.  And it was well deserved.


Be sure to check out Art Projects from Around the World 4-6 Some of my very favorite projects have come out of this book.  I highly recommend it. It's kinda pricey at Amazon, but I have seen it on Dollar Days through Scholastic too. So, next time you see it, download it! It's worth it. 

What projects/activities do you love for spring?  Link up to Favorites from the Year and join the fun!


Until next time...

4 comments:

  1. I grew up in a city with a large Ukrainian population (thought that everyone ate perogies and cabbage rolls). Had fun learning about the symbolism of the designs on the eggs - and a few brave teachers had us use styluses and beeswax and dye to make pysanky. The experts make it look so easy ... Black markers and watercolours look very effective - and a whole lot easier (no one passes out blowing the yolk out of their egg!)

    sandi
    rubberboots and elf shoes

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  2. I love Pysanky Eggs and Patricia Polacco!!! I switched grade levels and the third grade uses her books. I still sneak in a couple! Your project looks great!

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  3. The eggs turned out cute! I'm going to put this down to do next year.

    Hooty
    Hooty's Homeroom

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