Zoom April 2014

The Easter memories of Eastern Europeans are filled with images of intricate Pysanky eggs. Derived from neolithic Ukrainian symbolism evoking health and plenty from the gods, Pysanky evolved into a powerful Christian icon similar to the cross. The art form employs a strategic layering of wax and the application of dye to form symbols on delicate eggshells. First the lightest design element is applied by adding molten beeswax with a kistky—a kind of dip pen. The egg is then dipped and dyed the lightest color in the design, while the parts protected by the wax remain white. The artists then repeat the process through the different shades of dye from lightest to darkest until the design is finished. When the egg is completely colored, the wax is melted away to reveal the finished piece. Warning: Pysanky dyes are far stronger than the supermarket variety, rendering the eggs inedible.

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.