A group of eighth-grade students at Stella Niagara Education Park recently learned the ancient art of pysanky in one of SNEP's after-school clubs
"Pysanky is the art of writing on eggs with wax," explains Sister Gertrude Lacki, religion teacher and club adviser. "It's comparable to a batik process. It was done by the Ukrainian, Polish and Russian people for thousands of years before Christ."
At the beginning of the year, each participant received a supply kit and sheets explaining the meaning of the symbols used in traditional pysanky design.
The process requires patience, steady hands and a delicate touch. Writing is done on raw eggs with a stylus called a "kistka." The kistka is heated on a candle flame and dipped into pure bees wax. Bees wax turns black and dries immediately. The eggs are dipped into jars of dye to create the colored designs.
It takes several weeks to complete an egg.
The purpose of Stella Niagara's after-school club program is to provide students with an opportunity to learn something new in a fun and creative environment. There are more than 40 clubs from which to choose each semester. The majority of the Stella Niagara student population participates in the after-school clubs.
Pictured, eighth-graders Rebecca Dobrasz, Camille Bennett, Angelica Priest, Kerstin Crum and Tara Finlayson work on their pysanky eggs.