Art and Design: The Ancient Art Of The Easter Egg

Have you ever heard of pysanky?

Or pisanki, bemalte ostereier, hímestojás, kraslice or pirhi?

All of these names are for a
specially decorated Easter Egg!
I am of both Hungarian and Italian heritage,
and my Dad (the Hungarian side), introduced me
to the Eastern European tradition of decorating
Easter eggs with dyes, kistka, wax and candle flame
when I was a young girl. I loved it!

The Eggs are a traditional symbol of hope and renewal.
Originating as a pagan ritual,
people once believed that great powers
were embodied in the egg;
it represented life, fertility, and rebirth. 

The tradition continues throughout
Europe and in parts of the United States today.
It is a particular art form, with repeating patterns
 and symbolic and iconic images
of fertility, harvest and animals. 

Learn more details and see other
examples of different styles at

The designs are 'written' in molten beeswax,
using a special pen called a kistka.
The eggs are dipped into multiple color dye baths,
then the wax is melted off the surface,
revealing all the colors and creating
protective sheen on the shell.

a traditonal, home-made kistka
Learn more about the art, and to
buy supplies to make your own here.

By the way, I still own my very own kistka ,
and occasially will sit and create my own hímestojás.