As I was composing my kickstarter project description, I wrote: “It takes some planning to cover one color after the next, light to dark, with wax.” It’s not quite true that light to dark can’t be reversed. It’s generally true, but there are exceptions even within the tradition. I actually didn’t learn this until about 10 years ago when I bothered to read a book about how to make pysanky and learned that the orange dye can be used to strip colors off…so the sequence is often:
- stirpper orange
I shuffle the sequence around quite a bit to get different effects: olives, grays, and muted colors. Gold, orange, pink, pumpkin can create odd colors when applied onto greens and blues. One can also put the egg in diluted bleach to get back to white. One can start the plain egg in a dark color, apply wax, then bleach, and go from there. And on and on. And yet still, it helps to work with forethought. Multiple color batiking is just challenging.
Here’s a snapshot of pysanka that started as a black egg. After drawing the lines in wax that I wanted black, I bleached the egg to white and proceeded with the other colors light to dark. Not your Babushka’s pysanky, but still pretty.