“Reconstructed” pysanky are created on eggs which have been reinforced to make them a bit sturdier.  This technique was originally developed to preserve pysanky at the Museum of Hutsul Folk Art in Kolomyia (Коломия), but is now commonly used in the region to produce pysanky for sale.  There is some dispute as to how protective this technique is over the long run, as the materials used are non-archival, although it does allow modern pysanky to bounce when dropped short distances, rather than break. (There is much dispute over using this technique on old pysanky–cracking the eggs risks significant damage, and testing has not been done to determine if the procedure is even safe due to the use of non-acid-free paper.)

To “reconstruct” a pysanka, the egg is cracked open; the white and yolk are then removed, and the shell thoroughly cleaned out.  The shell is then reinforced with newspaper and white glue, and the egg is glued back together.  This increases the strength of the shell, allowing it to survive jostling and small falls without breaking (although, as my experiments have proved, they will not survive a fall to the ground).

These photos are from the Museum of the pysanka; one of the curators was working on reinforcing several eggs.  She was kind enough to demonstrate the technique for me, and to let me take photos.




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