I am a folk artist.
Believe it or not, that is an incredibly bold statement that took decades for me to learn. When you grow up making something, you don’t always know that it is special or that it needs nurturing to survive.Pysanky has misty origins in early pagan Slavic tradition. Eggs were collected and decorated with beeswax and dye when winter transitioned to spring. They were treated as magical objects - talismans - that would bless water, field and home. There are regional ethnographic patterns and colors and I consider it part of my heritage to practice and carry on making those designs.
While I do not hand make my own kistky (styluses), I do use a manual tool that is heated by a flame. The original tool used a charcoal brazier and that isn’t something that can be used in a regular home!I use beeswax that is sourced from local beekeepers instead of using artist beeswax. It has impurities like pollen and debris which can cause slight line imperfections but also adds to the charm and authenticity of the pysanka.
I also try to source as many eggs locally as possible. Living in rural suburban Chester County, Pennsylvania, means that there are farms and neighbors with poultry of all sorts. Most are quite eager to learn more about pysanky and egg art. Farmers will often choose the nicest shapes or even learn how to empty or clean them for me. When I do have to buy eggs outside of my area, I know my farmer.