Sunday, 17 November 2013

A few dozen ...

Today was St Catherine's Day and as she is the patron saint of Lacemakers, the local Guild sponsored a get-together.   They had an awesome display of beautiful lace -  some old vintage and some created this past year by members of their Guild.   As happened before ( here)  I was really tempted to try this exquisite work but do not need to add any further obsessions hobbies into my already packed schedule.   So I watched, admired and closed my mouth when I was tempted to make enquiries about lessons.   Beautiful bone bobbins, glittering spangles and detailed textbooks were ever so tempting!
Meet Evan.   He was the guest speaker and he is an expert painter of Pysanka.   Yet another temptation! 
Dozens and dozens of these beautifully painted eggs came out of his capacious supermarket bag.   Gingerly we passed them from hand to hand.   One poor lady dropped two which miraculously did not break so obviously they are more robust than I imagined.   He told us much of the significance of each of the motifs - much of his explanation I have already forgotten but for this egg
I do remember that the oak leaf =  King of the Forest and is supposed to be a good luck  charm for men who have fertility problems.
I rather liked this one with the poppy motif too.
After bringing out nearly a  dozen trays of eggs (yes 144 in total!), apparently only a minute percentage of his vast collection, Evan gave a demonstration of how the original design is sketched on symmetrically. 
He showed how the wax resist (blackened beeswax) is applied with a delicate stylus similar to that used for batik;  how the egg is placed into the cold dye bath = ever so many steps in applying all these colours; how the wax is melted off the completed egg (ever so gently and rubbed delicately with many many paper kitchen towels).  
Many of the ladies wanted him to come and take a workshop, but moi??   I prefer my hands to be their natural lily white, unstained by blue, yellow, red or any other colour dye.  
And as for stitching..... well I have completed the stitching on the Dutch Hussif, Dorset button fastenings included, and now have only the construction of that page to go.    Photos to follow.
The Naxos Necessaire progress report is  Cover 1 and 2 completed, Scissor keep completed, Needlebook cover half done.   Excellent progress Margaret.  Keep up the good work.


  1. I'm with you - I don't need to add one more thing to the many things I already like to do! I usually end up liking every new thing I try and there just aren't enough hours in the day.
    I look forward to seeing the photos of your progress. Keep up the good work!

  2. So beautiful...
    Sending you hugs x

  3. Very interesting Margaret, I know what you mean about clean hands - I'm not into messy crafts either:-)

  4. Wow. Those eggs are amazing.

  5. Chose eggs are stunning, I bet it was a fascinating afternoon