In earlier times, “white” pysanky were created not by dipping them into bleach as a last step, but by soaking them in vinegar or sauerkraut juice.  This produced a mild etching effect, and gave the egg a bit of three dimensionality/relief. The technique of etching is called “trаvlennia” (травлення), and the resulting eggs are often referred to as “travlenky” (травленки).

Modern pysankary had adapted this technique to brown eggs, often using traditional patterns to interesting effect.  You can see examples of this sort of work below.

Pure etching and drilling eggs are traditional to other slavic cultures, but not Ukraine. In modern times, many foreign techniques have been adapted by Ukrainian folk artists. Taras Horodetsky created many original works using only etching, or with a mix of minimal dye and etching. Examples of his work can be seen here. The etched and drilled eggs below are examples of adaptation of foreign techniques to traditional designs.

Etched Pysanky


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