Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Painted Eggs

Since we're reading a book about painted eggs this week, I figured I should probably give you a clue as to what those painted eggs are and the tradition behind them.

Egg painting goes back a LONG time (think pagans) and, as usual, Christianity adopted the idea into their religion (because they wanted to convert a ton of people, so they kept a lot of pagan traditions.  It's why Christmas is in December as opposed to April, when Jesus was really born.  It's because Christmas coincides with the winter solstice.)

To this day, most nationalities have their version of the "painted egg" (don't YOU decorate your eggs at Easter?)  Slavic nations are no different, painting eggs beautiful colors for the Easter season.

For these particular eggs, they don't really paint so much as they "write" on the eggs.  A stylus is taken, dipped in hot wax and then the wax is drawn or "written" on the eggs to form a design.  Then, the eggs are placed in a dye-bath.  The wax helps to retain the color and, eventually, the wax is melted off to leave nothing but beautiful colors and patterns.

Sometimes, the eggs are big/thick enough to have the patterns actually carved into the surface, leaving a lot more texture.

Faberge Eggs are an extreme version of the Slavic art of egg painting.  They're extravagant eggs made by the House of Faberge, mostly for the rich (because no one else could afford them.  In fact, that's still true to this day).  The eggs were covered in gold and jewels, making them incredibly extravagant (though, incredibly beautiful).  The most famous of these eggs were made for the Russian Imperial Family, the Romanovs.  There were 54 eggs total made for the family, 42 of them surviving to this day.

Crazy extravagant, aren't they?

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