Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Few Pysanky

I've done a bunch already and will try to get a group photo before I start giving them away this year. But these are my three most recent (as yet unvarnished and unblown).

I remembered a couple of weeks ago when I was having coffee with my former pastor that a member of his church raises chickens, and I asked him to snag me a couple of nice brown eggs from the next batch he gets - as I've never really done much with brown eggs. I was delighted to find when I visited Resurrection last Sunday that my chicken-raising friend had brought a whole dozen lovely brown eggs for me, in a wonderful and diverse palette of browns and tans.

These eggs are amazing! They are by far the nicest ones upon which I have ever written. In over 20 years of making pysanky, I've never used eggs which haven't seen a grocery store and the difference is like night and day, not only in size and shape, but particularly in hue and in the quality of the shell itself. These eggs absorb the dye so much better - the colors are deeper and richer. There are fewer bumps and blemishes in the shell, and the shell itself seems heavier and stronger than the eggs from the store.

I did share a couple of these eggs with a friend, and am guarding and using very judiciously the ones I have left, reluctant to go back to the plain old eggs from the grocery store now. But it's given me a whole new enjoyment in making pysanky and it's definitely got me thinking ...

Hmmm... 2 kids, 2 cats, a dog, ... and chickens?


Thom said...

Chickens are and EXCELLENT investment, even for people in urban areas with very little yard space. Go for it! (And some are really pretty, too!)

Dixie said...

Oh my. I am envious of your skills. When God passed out artistic skill I was doing double time in the "talking" line and missed out.

I absolutely LOVE Pysanky. We had a fundraiser for Bethesda (the Lutheran Home for those with mental disabilities) at my former Lutheran church several years ago and one of our members made about 3 dozen Pysanky eggs which she sold and donated to Bethesda as part of the fundraiser. It was a tremendous success. The eggs sold from $25. $35 or $45 each depending upon the intricacy of the design.

Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your recent work with us.

-C said...

"...I was doing double time in the "talking" line and missed out...

Ha! We are sisters, after all, Dixie. I always got a check mark in the "Refrains from Disturbing Others" section of my report card as an elementary school kid - indicating that it was a skill I needed to work on.

It's not all that hard to do, really. You can do it, too! For me, it's all about having the right tools, which has helped enormously in even just the simple designs I choose.

I'll never be able to do those incredibly intricate designs, I'm afraid. It seems that my eyes are simply no longer up to the task, and so that ship has probably sailed for me.

But I am completely in awe of those who can do them.

Mimi said...

Wow! Those are amazing! I'm so in awe!

DebD said...

Those are wonderful. Pysansky and Icons?! You are much more talented than you give yourself credit for.

I used to raise a small clutch of chickens (in suburbia). They are quite easy to deal with (although rather messy). Check out The Chicken Tractor and Chickens in Your Backyard They're both very helpful books.

Poem Master 3000 said...

I too have noticed that farm fresh or free range eggs have tougher shells. I, however, did not discover this while making a beautiful work of art. Rather, I was peeling hard boiled eggs and noticed that the shells of the store bought white ones broke into a million pieces and stuck to the egg while the brown ones broke off into nice big pieces. This news might come in handy next time you guys make those deviled eggs for coffee hour. (How about this coming Sunday?) :)

-C said...

OK, Matt -
Where are you getting farm-fresh eggs??? Many of the eggs sold at co-ops and natural foods stores still come from an egg processing place where they spray the eggs with disinfectant and other stuff. So simply buying from "Whole Foods" or "Fresh & Natural" locally isn't helping one iota.

Make you a deal, buddy. You find me a vendor for eggs - that is, someone with chickens - from whom I can buy, and I'll make you all the deviled eggs you can eat (before and after the fast, of course :-)

I'll have a word with the family cook and offer up your suggestion for our potluck offering for this week's archpastoral visit. (But the bishop is a monk, right? Can they eat eggs? I know they can't eat meat).

Poem Master 3000 said...

My roomate's mom lives in the boonies. The eggs of which I spoke were from a little farm near her house in Spring Valley Wisconsin. They were indeed farm fresh. I doubt I'd be able to hook you up with many, because we don't get to see her much. You're right, I really am not helping by buying Whole Foods eggs. But I still maintain that the shells of Whole Foods free range eggs are easier to peel than the white ones.

-C said...

I'll give you that Whole Foods eggs are likely far superior to Cub's - probably about anything is.

But DearHusband says that if for no other reason than you requested it, we will bring some deviled eggs to the potluck on Sunday!

(But I'm not sacrificing my good farm fresh eggs for them! We could consider a trip to the health food store, though!)


Poem Master 3000 said...

Thank you for relaying my shameless request. And thanks in advance to both you and DearHusband for the deviled eggs!