CW2016 Lecture: Pysanka, the Ukrainian Egg

Bill Davis considers himself a driven collector.  Among other things he collects postcards, Christmas ornaments and egg-shaped things.  His egg collection contains examples made from glass, wood, chalkware, ceramic, hardstone and numerous decorated natural eggs.  Many years ago he was attending the arts and crafts festival in State College, Pennsylvania where he met a woman who when she was a child was taught how to make pysanky by her Ukrainian grandmother.  A grown woman, her well-practiced craftsmanship was superb.  Mr. Davis bought a number of her eggs and then continued to contact her to commission more for his growing collection.  After a while the artist gently suggested that Mr. Davis might want to try his own hand at decorating a pysanka.  That was 1992.  His early attempts were quite crude but after lots of practice he became satisfied with the pysanky he was making.  As part of his self-education he studied any literature he could find and became fascinated with how the designs were drawn and the symbolism they contained.  Even the colors have meaning.  At the 2016 Collectors Weekend Mr. Davis hopes to share this symbolism and a description of the technique used to decorate pysanky.