Snowflake Pysanky



My efforts in creating snowflake pysanky were not quite as expansive in 2010 as they had been in some previous years.  Because I’d gotten sidetracked with autumn themed goose eggs in November, I didn’t get going on the snowflakes until December, and then had only a couple of weeks to write them all.  In the end, I created about 3.5 dozen.

The small chicken eggs I used this year had problems with dyeing, notably prominent roller marks1, so I didn’t end up with very many deep jewel tones. Instead, I ended up with mottled pastel blue and eggplant2 finishes, which I got by washing and rubbing off previous colors3.  Many of these were what I call “two-tone”, as some of the first dye was left to outline the snowflake. Examples can be seen in the details above.

The color combinations above are 1) light blue–>eggplant, 2) & 3) eggplant–>light blue.  In egg 2, the eggplant was not completely washed away, resulting in a mauve mottled finish. The eggs pictured in the photos below were photographed after varnishing, but prior to having findings attached.


  1. 1.Eggs that are processed mechanically sometimes end up with circumferential stripes when dyed.  This happens because the rollers used in the processing machinery damage the cuticle and inhibit dye adhesion.

  2. 2.Eggplant is a lovely color which can be obtained by mixing together a packet each of UGS Red and Purple. It’s not the deep purple black of an actual eggplant, but a deep red with purple tinging.

  3. 3.When the dye does not take well on a snowflake pysanka (blotchy finish, roller marks, areas of poor adhesion), I will wash off the dye using a combination of soap (either Ivory dish soap of Simple Green) and a Magic Eraser.  I apply the soap and use a plain sponge to wash the color back to white or a light pastel.  I use the Magic Eraser (a commercially prepared sponge with an impregnated cleanser) to further clean,and to rub off all but a bit of dye around the wax lines, as in the details above.
    I then dye, usually with UGS Light Blue or the UGS Eggplant Mix.  Eggs which have been treated in this manner won’t take dye well, giving a mottled, pasted finish.


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