I also think I ought to make some margučiai and bring them to Slavic U. What am I talking about? Well, the singular is apparently margutis -- and margučiai are the same as pysanky -- in other words, decorated Easter eggs. Since the event is the weekend after Easter and the mid-Atlantic region will be bursting with new flowers and plant growth, what would be a better A&S display?
I've been saving yellow onion skins for a while now, and I have a gallon zip-bag filled with them. I look forward to boiling them and mixing in a spoonful of vinegar to create a natural dye. I may also experiment with the cooking water from red cabbage and green spinach leaves. These plant-based materials may not provide the intense color of modern commercial dyes, but I'm willing to try them nevertheless. If they all fail, I've got some dye tablets left over from last Easter!
The more common (and especially Ukrainian) technique is to use hot wax to draw the designs first, then color the eggs. I seem to recall, though, that last year I found some examples of Lithuanian eggs in which the artist dyed the eggs first, then scratched off the designs with a knife. I may experiment with both methods.
There's also the question of whether to draw the designs on raw eggs -- and then blow the contents out, leaving only a varnished shell to keep for the long term, or to decorate hard-boiled eggs -- and then have people peel and eat those artworks. Again, I may try both methods. I am thinking that the scratch-off method may leave the eggshell weak. Maybe I should try that on the hard-boiled potential lunch specials. :-)
So, without further ado, here are some links to eye candy!
- The decorated egg I made at the 2009 Kingdom A&S Festival (a beginner's effort, to be sure).
- A very nice blog post from 2009 with photos of margučiai and even a short video on making them (the artists seem to be using hot wax and either a very fine brush or a pin embedded in a pencil eraser).
- The previous blogger's 2008 set of Lithuanian eggs.
- There's a whole Flickr pool of photos of margučiai!
- A Wordpress blog with lots of photos of pysanky decorated in a more Ukrainian style.