Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fifth batch of Ukrainian eggs hot off the work bench for 2014.

I decided to do the fifth batch of eggs with floral motifs- daisies and forget-me-nots. I have chosen similar colors for both so they are a cohesive grouping. As you can see, I've lightly drawn the design on the egg with pencil. I use a mechanical .05 pencil with a 2H lead. I've changed the divisions or elements for each egg to give them their own personality.
The forget-me-not flowers are hand painted in with an ice blue dye.
After the dye is dry, I outline the outside of the petals with wax and make the petal striations. I leave the rest of the flower unwaxed as well as the stamen.
Periwinkle is then brushed over any areas that are unwaxed on the petals. After the dye is dry, the rest of the petal is waxed over, and the stamen is enclosed in a circle. A couple of dots are waxed in the center of the stamen for highlight. The rest of the parts on the egg that I want to remain white are also waxed over. This design has a flower on the front and back medallion, and a large vertical band flanked by two smaller vertical bands.

I repeat the process with this egg, which has 4 diamond panels around the equator, and flanked by two smaller horizontal bands. It now has a top and bottom medallion. The hand painting of the dyes is a bit tedious, but it gives you more control with color sequences if you don't want to do a rinse or bleach back method. It also keeps the blue true, and is done first before the next dye, which is yellow. Had I done the blue after the yellow, it would have changed the blue to a turquoise, unless I bleached it- which might affect how rich and deep the consecutive colors would be.
This design was turned on the diagonal, or bias. It still has a top and bottom medallion, but everything is tilted. I continue to hand paint and wax the flowers. I have added little loops within the spaces that separate the small bands and the large middle band.
I now wax the diamonds that each flower sits in, and double up the lines for more interest.
This egg looks like it might be free form, but it too has a division. The egg is divided into eighths, with a flower at the top and the bottom of the egg. There are four swirls that come down from the top to the bottom on a diagonal. There are "S" shaped offshoots that start at the middle of the equator and curl into each eighth section. These will be the connective vines. Each vine will be covered with leaves and fronds. Fun!
This egg is divided into eighths as well, and separated by a vertical band that intersects with a horizontal band. When you do that, a triangular section that appears on top and bottom. It allows you to fill the space with anything you want! In this case, a flower, of course!
Here's an interesting division. It starts again with dividing the egg into eighths. In each section, a circle is drawn. When you add another circle outside the first, the edges of each circle touch (or kiss). Where the circles move away from each other, you get an elongated triangular shape. Perfect for tucking a little design in.
Next, we're onto the daisies. Recognize this spiral design? This time, we use the daisy as the top, the bottom and the middle point. It will have the same swirled vines with leaves and fern fronds. The petals are waxed in except for a little line in the middle. The next color that goes in will form a slight indent in the petal. I also hand paint the wisteria dye into the middle of the flower. Interesting!
Look familiar again? Front and back medallion with daisy in the center with vines curling out in a clockwise manner. There is a vertical band flanked by two smaller bands. I've also fit a diamond into the medallion so that the daisy has a place to reside. The blue stamen is also waxed over.
A horizontal band with diamonds and daisies are sandwiched between to bands and a top and bottom medallion. I've added triangles in the little spaces that separate the bands for more visual interest. I've also waxed little triangles, or teeth on the smaller top and bottom flanking triangles. The blue stamen is waxed in.
Almost the same, but the middle band has been tilted (on the bias). It still has a top and bottom medallion, and a diamond that the daisy resides in.
Now for the next dye- yellow! All the eggs are given a good dip. No hand painting this time!
Full submersion!
The yellow parts are waxed. Wavy lines and the stems for the fern fronds and leaves. Then the eggs are given their second dip in a fern green dye.
The small band on either side of the large vertical band is given an eternity vine, and there are four leaves each nestled in between each of the petals, and four curled vines that move in a clockwise direction.
The large middle vertical band also gets a wavy eternity band of fern fronds.
After waxing each egg and covering all of the fern green parts, I dip them into the next darkest color, which is light green. I gently pat dry.
It is a shade or two lighter, but it will be enough of a contrast while still being subtle.
The leaves are waxed completely in, and the shoots that come off of the flower are given little fronds. The small vertical bands are completely waxed in.
After I wax everything that I want to stay light green, I use a bleach back method to remove the excess green dye. I use the cleaner "Simple Green", spray it over the egg, and rinse off the cleaner. I pat dry and let the egg rest for at least 30 minutes or more.
What a contrast already!
Here's that swirly vine egg with all of the leaves and fronds added, and then the background also bleached back. Using "Simple Green" to bleach back instead of household bleach allows me to dye and have the color take to the shell a little more deeply.
Here's another egg ready for waxing onto the light green dye. I've added an eternity fern border on the top and bottom smaller bands, the leaves that flank the flower petals and some triangles with netting in between each large diamond.
While I was still waxing green parts in, I dyed the first bleached egg with a lilac dye, and left it in for about 3 minutes, and then patted it dry and let it rest again. I switch back and forth between bleaching, dying and waxing so that I'm not always waiting for an egg to rest or to sit in the dye.
That is some intense color. I don't believe that the color would have been as bright if I had used bleach instead of the "Simple Green" cleaner. You can also use "Fantastic" original formula cleaner, but I like the smell of the "Simple Green" better, and it claims to be non-toxic.
And repeat the process right up through the whole dozen. I then wax in some of the lilac spaces. On some eggs, I dip into one additional dark purple dye and then wax over the entire egg.
Here they are, awaiting unwaxing. They are put onto a cardboard egg carton lined with paper towels and put into a cold oven, then heated to 175 degrees F. It takes about 15 minutes, and I wipe away the residual wax with an extra paper towel. The only thing left to do is to varnish them with a glossy acrylic UV coat.
What a nice burst of color and Spring. Each egg is special in it's own right, but the collection of the twelve makes for a stunning display. I hope you've enjoyed seeing the process from start to finish.



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