4-H members make Ukrainian Easter eggs
Egg artist Jacqueline Wittwer from Shelley spent last Saturday teaching 12 4-H members how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs.
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Wittwer and two other egg artists will be doing demonstrations and personalizing eggs at the North Bingham County District Library, 197 W. Locust St., Shelley. Each personalized egg costs $5.
Funds raised will go to Friends of the North Bingham County District Library to help raise funds for a new library building.
“I took a class on [making Ukrainian Easter eggs] in Salt Lake City 11 years ago and fell in love with it,” Wittwer said. “I became obsessed with it. It must be the gypsy in me.
“I’ve been teaching [how to make these eggs] for 11 years,” she said.
“What I really like about this is you can do it with every age,” Wittwer said. “Every family member can make these eggs, from 2 years old and up.
“Farm eggs are best,” she said. “I prefer using white eggs rather than brown because I like the white color.”
To begin, a person must first get the egg yolk and albumen out of the egg. Only the shell is left.
“The shell is really strong,” said Wittwer.
First make a hole in one end of an egg with a 16 gauge needle, said 4-H member Ally Hansen, age 10. Fill a syringe with air and then squeeze the air into the egg.
“Under pressure, the egg comes out,” Ally said.
“After the [yolk and albumen] are out of the shell, spray water into the egg to clean it out or it will stink,” Wittwer said.
To make the pattern, a line is drawn around the circumference of the egg shell. The egg shell is then divided into consecutive geometric sections—halves, quarters, eighths, etc.
A tool called a “kistka” filled with bee’s wax is used to put the design on the egg.
A synthetic dye from the Ukrainian Gift Shop in Roseville, Minn., is used to dye the eggs.
“You start with the lightest color first,” Wittwer said. “It’s opposite everything you learned in pre-school.
After the egg is dyed in the first color, the design continues to be put on the egg. Bee’s wax covers the part of the design the artist does not want to change color.
After the design is completed, all the wax is melted off the egg until the egg is really smooth and soft.
“It’s so fun to see what you have made; what you’ve created,” said Wittwer.