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Re: Russian Crafts

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Heyjude5270_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 17:47:37 PST


The book I have on Pysanka is entitled, A Kid's Guide to Decorating Ukranian
Easter Eggs by Natiale Perchyshyn. I found it at a local craft supply store
for about $12.00. The process of making authentic pysanka is probably too
complex and tricky for little ones, but a modified version could be done with
oil pastels and egg dye. True pysanka is done with just the empy egg, which
requires blowing out the egg. If you're feeling brave, apply melted wax to
the egg as a resist and then place egg in dye. The melted wax is applied to
the egg with a tool called a kistka, although the djantung (sp?) tool used in
batik would probably work, too. It's actually like the batik process where
colors are protected with wax and the wax later removed with heat. ( usually
held near a candle flame. This is why it's not possible with the little ones.
Actually, even with lots of the big ones that I have.) You could have them do
the traditional pysanka designs on paper eggs with colored pencil, though.
Traditional pysanka designs use symbols of both nature and Christianity. I'm
sure you could find examples of the designs at the library or on the web.
The Faberge egg lesson was one I found on the internet, so thanks go to the
teacher who authored this lesson. Couldn't find the print out of the lesson
tonight, but this is the general idea:
Draw an egg shape on a colored piece of paper. Draw a line dividing egg in
half lengthwise. Cut egg shape on lines, but leave an area on each half of
the egg uncut, so that it's still attached to the paper. The egg is now cut
in half lengthwise and will open out like doors. Place this paper with the
cut out egg on top of another sheet of paper of the same size. Open up the
two halves of the egg that was cut on the top paper and trace the egg shape
onto the bottom paper. Remove top paper. Inside the egg shape drawn on the
bottom paper, draw a scene or any choice of designs. (Faberge's eggs opened
to display elaborate and richly decorated scenes or designs.) Add color to
the design drawn.( Adding some gold would add to the Faberge look.) Now place
the paper with the cut out egg "doors" on top of the bottom paper with the
scene drawn. Line up carefully and glue the top paper to the bottom, being
careful not to glue the "doors" of the top egg to the bottom paper. Is this
all too confusing? If I can find the site's address I'll forward it so you
can see their example. This lesson could integrate well with history by tying
in the story of Czar Nicholas and his family, for whom many of these eggs
were made. Many kids are familiar with the Disney film,"Anastasia", so they
might be aware of some of this history. Let me know if I need to clarify
directions. Good luck.

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