Sunday, April 24, 2011

Czech-style Easter Eggs

Today, for Easter, I decided to decorate some Easter eggs Czech style--with hot wax.  Here are the less than professional--but fun--results.

Czech-style Easter eggs I decorated myself
I didn't have exactly the right ingredients (no handy beeswax to throw into each colored pot), and the wax I applied at the wrong temperature tends to fall off, but it still reminds me of the Czech Republic.

Here's how I did it:
1)  Propped up a cooling rack on four juice glasses
2)  Put one tea light candle below the rack on a saucer, and three tea light candles above
3)  Slowly melted the candles on top of the rack
4)  Fished out the wicks
5)  Added 1/2-3/4 of a crayon to each tea light.  I recommend Crayola or some other high quality crayon.
6)  Melted and stirred the crayon to give color
7)  Warmed up the eggs for a long time in my hand because I forgot to take them out of the refrigerator early enough
8)  Stuck one of those straight pins with the big plastic heads into the eraser of a pencil, to make my paintbrush
9)  Experimented until the temperatures of the egg and the wax were right, so that the wax didn't cool and harden the moment it touched the egg.
10)  Dipped into the wax, quickly drew a line or made a dot on the egg, dipped into the wax again, made my next line or dot, and repeated. 

For better results, use some real beeswax.  I also think the wax most likely to fall off is that which I applied too cool, which made each dot or stroke thicker, giving it too much height away from the eggshell.

Here are my better results last year in the Czech Republic:

My mixed-medium Easter eggs 2010
The professionals use better wax than tea lights and crayons.  It's thinner and doesn't stick up as much.  They also mostly apply it to hollowed-out shells, instead of hard-boiled eggs like I did, and their wax stays firmly and beautifully attached to the egg for years.  Here's what theirs look like:

Hand-painted Czech Easter eggs
One of my favorite things in the Czech Republic was watching those artists decorate their eggs:  so quick, so sure, so meticulous, churning out these hand-crafted masterpieces you can actually afford to buy and take home to hang on your Easter branch.  Ahh... I miss the Czech Republic.    


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful tradition. Enjoyed the photos.