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Czech traditional wax decorated Easter eggs

Czech traditional Easter eggs decorated with wax coloring technique

Czech traditional wax decorated Easter eggs
Jana White's image for:
"Czech traditional Easter eggs decorated with wax coloring technique"
Caption: Czech traditional wax decorated Easter eggs
Image by: Yaniv Or-Shahar
© © Photography by Yaniv Or-Shahar 

Ready to get creative? Painted Easter eggs make fabulous gifts. This wax painting style is one of Czech Easter traditions. It is also a simpler alternative to Ukrainian pysanky that you can create with tools that you'll find in your home. Give it a try and see how these colorful wax decorated Easter eggs will make your Easter basket special. They will be a big hit with everyone on your list.

Things that you will need: Raw white eggs, food dye, pencil, round plastic head pins, tea light, 1/4 inch ribbon, large paper clip, tissues and some creativity.

Step 1 - Egg Preparation

Make sure that you get white eggs that have smooth surface. Let eggs warm up to a room temperature. Clean uncooked eggs with a damp cloth and a mild solution of dish washing detergent to remove any grease. Dry with a clean cloth to wipe any left over soap and moisture.

Step 2 - Applying wax and creating designs on your eggs

Insert a pin into the non-writing end of a pencil. You will be writing or creating strokes with the head pin on an egg surface, so make sure that the pin is firmly inserted to support your bold strokes. Light your tea light and wait for the candle to accumulate a pool of hot wax. Now, that you have your pin pen ready and your wax pool ready, you can begin to decorate the cleaned raw egg.

Dip the head pin into the candle flame and warm it up. Be sure to remove the head pin promptly, so it does not catch on fire. You don't want the head pin to burn in flames, it will easily melt or fall off. This may happen as you work with the pin, so be prepared to use several of them.

Right after you dip the head pin in the fire, dip it in the hot wax pool and immediately transfer onto your egg. Experiment with the strokes. Get into the rhythm of dipping and stroking. Transferring of the hot wax should be quick and precise. The ideal stroke will look like a long tear. Dedicate one egg for your practice and don't worry about the shape of the strokes. With practice you will get the right shape and will master the timing. Once you start having handle on transferring the wax onto the egg, you can start to play with creating a design or a shape from your strokes. You can create long tear drop shapes and build a simple flower from the strokes. Use a dot for a center and then apply the stroke from the outside toward the center of the dot to create the petals of your flower. If you reverse the stroke, you can create a star shape. The creative possibilities here are endless. Once you master the stroke, you will discover, that you can create all kinds of long lines, dots and even curves.

Step 3 - First egg color dye

After you create some designs on the egg choose a light color to dip your egg. Start with yellow, it is the lightest and brightest on the color chart and can easily be overpowered by darker colors. You will be doing several steps of dying, depending on the number of colors you would like your final egg design to have. Selecting a dark color first will overpower any lighter color you choose as a second or third color dye. When you prepare color dye make sure that it's not hot. Some food color use hot water to mix the dyes. Make sure the color dye is cooled off otherwise it will melt the wax stokes of your egg. After your egg has been dipped for at least 5 minutes in the yellow dye take it out and let it completely air-dry. While your first egg is drying start decorating another white egg.

Step 4 - Second wax design application and second color dye

After your yellow egg is completely dry get the pin to add more wax strokes. You will be creating yellow strokes because you're covering the yellow surface of the egg. Be creative, you can enhance the design that you've started or create new design patterns where there is yellow egg shell showing. After you're done with applying a second round of wax strokes dip your egg in a second color dye. Select green or orange because they're close to the yellow on the color wheel. Once you take the egg out of the orange dye you will see that your designs have white and yellow strokes in them. In areas where you apply the wax the color of the egg shell gets preserved in subsequent color dye. Let completely air dry again. This is a great time to go back to start decorating a second egg.

Step 5 - Third color dye

After your first orange egg with white and yellow strokes has completely dried you can apply another layer of wax strokes. These strokes will end up orange because the non-covered eggshell has been died orange. After another round of strokes dip the egg into the green dye. Once colored you will have an egg with white, yellow and orange stroke designs. You can keep coloring and experimenting with the colors. The end color of the egg can be deep red, green or blue with contrasting colorful designs on them.

Step 6 - Removing wax from your finished egg design

Once you're happy with the colors and designs on your egg, it's time to remove the wax build up from the strokes. Use your tea light flame to warm up the wax on the eggshell and wipe it off with a tissue. Be careful not to bring the egg too close to the flame. It can cause black ashy streaks on your final design so keep an effective distance. Also, make sure that you don't put the egg directly above the flame, this can also cause black marks. The best is to heat the surface from the side of the flame where it's cooler, but never touching. Heat up the surface only to the point of the wax melting. Then, wipe it up with a tissue to remove it completely. Continue to heat up and wipe the wax until all of it is removed and your egg shell feels smooth. This step will create a beautiful finish to your design. Some of the black ashes that made it in the wax application will get removed and the colors underneath will become more vibrant.

Step 7 - Stringing decorated Easter eggs onto a ribbon

To make your Easter eggs even more festive string them onto a ribbon so they can be hung on trees or anywhere. To blow out the egg white and yolk, start by making two tiny openings in the center of the top and bottom of your egg. Use the tip of a knife to knock out a tiny hole then gently twist the knife point to drill out a hole of about 1/8 inch in diameter. Once you have both holes drilled, get a cup and start blowing into one of the egg openings. Blow directly over the cup to catch the egg white and yolk. Do not squeeze the egg when blowing, be careful not to push your fingers through the eggshell. When the egg is empty, let dry for several hours.

To finish string the decorated egg onto a ¼ inch wide ribbon. This is where you will use the big paper clip. Unfold the clip into a straight wire. Take a ribbon and wrap it over the wire and hold tightly. Next, thread the ribbon through the egg shell openings. Sometimes it's hard to find the opposite opening, so poke around the inside of the egg to find it. The sturdy wire is ideal for this. After you find the opposite opening and see a tip of your ribbon, catch the ribbon with the tips of your fingernails and gently pull the ribbon through. If you use too much force the egg shell will crack so go slow. At last, tie a bow at the bottom end of the egg and keep a long string, so that you can tie and hang your eggs.

As part of a Czech tradition, girls and women decorate hard boiled eggs and give them out to the boys and man on Easter morning after they receive traditional Easter whipping. They take pride in decorating them and give them out as a token of thanks to the boys for bringing them youth and beauty for the upcoming season. Czech Easter traditions are celebration and welcoming of spring. Blown and strung Easter eggs are hung on sprouting tree branches to decorate Easter dinner tables. Go ahead give this egg coloring technique a try and welcome spring with colorful Czech traditions.

More about this author: Jana White

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