Dyeing Problems:

Tiny Bubbles


PROBLEM:  small bubbles will often form on the surface of a pysanka, often over individual cells of a cross-hatched area on a pysanka.  These bubbles keep those ares from dyeing properly. You thus end up with areas that don’t take the next (or final) color, as in the completed pysanka above, and the example in progress below. You can see yellow spots in the resheto, and on random areas of the shell’s surface:

Here, too, we can see lots of squares in the lattice that are partially or fully undyed.

CAUSE: the surface tension of water (dye) forms a film over tiny sections of the wax resheto, and/or forms small bubbles, preventing the dye from getting into small spaces/details.  Those spots then remain un-dyed.

SOLUTION: dip egg into rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) briefly to wet it, and then dye again.  This should get rid of the bubbles and allow the egg to dye properly.

I dunk the egg in and immediately remove it, shake off the excess alcohol, and put it straight into the dye. A few drops of alcohol may be introduced to the jar of dye, but they do not interfere with the dyeing process, and any alcohol in the dye will eventually evaporate.

Alternatively, you can apply dye to the egg with a larger paint brush, forcing it into each section and crevice, or hold the egg in the dye (with a gloved and) and rub the dye onto the entire surface.  Both of these techniques require much more effort and are less likely to provide uniformly good results.

Photo credit:  Deanna Russell ©2019, Stephania Blahut ©2019 

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The problem with surface tension