On April 3rd and 4th, IHMS held Pysanka and Krashanka Workshops to help celebrate‚?® Easter this year. Each student in the school created their own version of a Ukrainian Easter Egg in the form of a pysanka or a krawanka. The younger students also created pysanky out of foam paper and paska bread with the help of Isabel Lukie. Parent volunteers and staff members provided helping hands.


Creating these pysanka art forms is quite a process. Starting with a hard boiled egg, students begin by taking bee‚??s wax and placing it inside of a Kistka, a special tool that allows a person to draw the wax onto the egg. The kistka has a funnel on one end and a needle on the other. When heated, the wax flows like ink and will adhere to the egg wherever it is placed.

Once a student is happy with the design, the egg is now dipped into one of several containers containing a dye, starting with lighter colours like yellow and orange. Apparently, it really helps the dye adhere to the egg if the egg has been washed in vinegar before hand.

If strictly following tradition, a student will draw a little on a white egg, then place it into the lightest colour first. Then the student will draw a little more and later return to dip it into the next lightest colour. Each time a student places the wax on the egg, the previous colour is preserved.

Once the egg has been bathed in all the layers of dye, the last step is to heat the egg lightly until the wax liquefies and is taken off the egg to reveal a multicoloured masterpiece. This is in itself a tricky operation. Professionals can use a candle‚??s flame to heat the wax, however, this can cause smudging if one is not careful. One helper‚??s suggestion was to have the students heat their eggs lightly in an oven. This apparently liquefies the wax so that it can easily be wiped off the egg with a paper towel.

A great time was had by all.

Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped the IHMS students experience this timeless Ukrainian tradition.