The Egg Painter, a beautiful profile of Elena Craciunescu and the traditional Easter egg painting that she skillfully enjoys in a small village in Romania’s northern region of Bukovina. The film is by Prague-based Titus-Armand Napirlica.
Craciunescu is one of a dozen egg painters in the small village of Ciocăneşti. The town’s buildings feature elaborate motifs, which are reflected in the decorated eggs. Using a process similar to batik, Craciunescu uses an iron-tipped stick, called a kishitze, to apply a wax design onto a clean and drained egg. She then dips the egg into a dye bath and repeats the process of “painting” with wax and submerging it into other dyes to create a layering effect. The wax acts as a shield between each dye bath, allowing the egg to retain color from the previous dip. In the final stage, the egg is held up to a heat source that melts the wax and leaves behind a stunning pattern.
In Ukrainian, the folk art is called Pysanky, from the word pysanka and the verb pysaty, meaning to write. In this case, the writing is in beeswax, similar to batik. It’s a traditional art form in many countries across Eastern Europe.
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