Tuesday, April 22, 2014

the things i didn't expect were just as good as the things i had planned

easter sunday 2014.  not just the easter of western christianity, but orthodox easter, too.  twice the impetus for egg decorating, though we always color more than just red.

i planned to try something new this year, a different look than what we have done in the past (see here and here and here for prior examples).  i did, in fact, do that, but i want to tell you first about what i didn't plan for but loved just as much.  embracing embodied.

i made a quick trip to ohio to visit my parents last week with the kids during their spring break from school.  gammy (my mom) had hard-boiled four dozen eggs so we would have plenty of material to work with.  i wasn't sure if ander was going to want to color very many; he surveyed our work area and confidently confided in me that he was planning on doing "just two: one red and one green."

while diana started drawing on some eggs with crayons, ander was a little impatient for the water to be heated, so he decided to drop food dye directly on an egg.  he was delighted.  "i'm doing art!" he exclaimed.  yes!

putting it into a small glass was helpful to keep the dye off his fingers and the work surface

red and green for this one
we talked about how the color would not really stay on the eggs without an acid (vinegar) to etch it into the shell, so he agreed to a quick dip into a prepared color wash and was pleased with the results.

the effect was unexpected and pretty.  it reminded me of watching a glassblower at work - the misshapen blob of hot glass turning into an appealing object of an entirely different color.  ander had created a different (to us) technique for coloring eggs that was dramatic and lovely with elements of surprise and random beauty.

gammy had read about stirring some oil into the vinegar/hot water wash before adding the color, so we tried that, too.

i focused on dropping dye onto an egg already in a wash or just having come out of a wash.  both ways allowed the color to spread over the surface.

diana, as she does, created a whole series of eggs based on her favorite cool-math game du jour, rolling hero.  the ovoid shape lent itself well.

and also the rattie boys:

all in all, we made a lovely assortment.

the cracking and peeling were almost as much fun as the coloring.  ander's egg won the first round of the competition.  he enjoyed this game so much that we indulged him in playing until i had nearly a dozen eggs to peel for egg salad.  did you know that a pastry blender is an effective tool for chopping hard-boiled eggs?  all these years i've been using my egg slicer and a fork.  go figure.

gratuitous cute picture of my son holding the bunny boarding at my parents' house for the week
it was on easter sunday that i sat down at the freshly-cleared art table with my blown eggs to decorate.  diana wandered over and joined me for a couple.  i love working side-by-side with her on art.  she and i share well, offer positive comments on each others' progress, and get into our own zones fairly easily.

i was very pleased with the ease of use and effectiveness of my new egg-blowing tool.  the single hole is so small that it can be easily hidden.

my first attempt at an interpretation of psysanky using hot glue as a resist.  i don't recommend this as a technique due to its lack of precision and the stickiness of the glue, but a friend kindly pointed out it reminded her of a watermelon, so that's all right then.

zentangle egg 2

diana's zentangle egg

zentangle egg one

diana's cherry blossom

cherry blossom, in honor of the national festival we did not attend this year
i leave you with one last photo.  it's a pysanky-ish egg that a lifelong friend gave to my mom when i was very young.  she's kept it all this time and gave it to me for my collection.  i think it will inspire me to get the proper tools to work on pysanky next year.

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