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Issue Date: April 2014 Issue

Shell Shock

by Kathy Ames Carr

These Ukrainian Easter eggs put our basic pastel shells to shame. Each multicolored pysanky is intricately decorated by hand and personally inscribed for the recipient. “The Ukrainians spend all winter carving their eggs with messages of faith and prosperity, then bless their eggs at Easter and give them as gifts,” says Andy Fedynsky, resident scholar of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives. At the converted Tremont home, you can learn how artists use a kistka, a writing tool with melted beeswax, to create geometric patterns that remain through many dye baths. In addition, more than 1,000 eggs will be on display, showcasing how the painted eggs celebrate nature’s rebirth. “Christianity incorporated this ancient pagan art form, and the egg became the Christian symbol associated with Easter,” Fedynsky says.

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