Pisanki

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

      The process of making pisanki required a lot of patience and a steady hand. The eggs were emptied of their contents by drilling two holes, one on the top and one on the bottom. Then air would be blown into one of the holes so the contents were expelled from the opposing end. The inside of the egg is rinsed and dried.        To melt the beeswax, used to make the decoration, it was heated on a hotplate or a stove. The instrument used to apply the wax is called a kistka. It is a crude tool consisting of a sharp metal piece attached to a skewer. The wax was applied to the egg in intricate designs. The portion of the egg that was to remain white was the part that the wax covered because after the first layer of wax was applied, the egg was dyed. Often the order of the colors the egg was dyed began with the lightest and ended with the darkest color. The egg was layered with wax and color until the egg was entirely covered. The egg is left to dry. Then using a hot washcloth, the wax was wiped away to reveal the colorful designs underneath.
      For a family deeply involved in church, everyone was expected to participate in the activities in preparation for Easter. As a young child my father used to make pisanki with his aunts and grandmothers. When his family wasn’t attending church every day, his mother would keep the kids occupied by having them design eggs. Not only was it a good past time for my father but it was a way to preserve a Polish practice in America. 

– Kimberly Keblish

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant