It’s been 30 years since Sandra Shepp last painted Ukrainian Easter eggs, but now that she’s spending more time at home, the Nanaimo resident has returned to the cultural art form.
Shepp said she started painting the eggs, called pysanky in Ukrainian, a few weeks ago, meaning she’ll have a batch ready for Ukrainian Easter, which takes place this Sunday, May 2.
“I had all the equipment and I just discovered it a little while ago and I thought I should either get rid of it or do something with it,” she said. “So I pulled it out and with COVID it’s kept me busy for a while.”
Shepp said “you’ve got to have a really steady hand” to paint the intricate designs on the delicate eggshell. She said it can take up to five hours to paint a single egg.
Among her tools are a special stylus and little pans used to heat up coloured dyes. She said elastic bands can be used to keep the lines straight.
“I’ve given a number away to my granddaughters and my daughter,” Shepp said. “They call it their ‘forever gift’ because they never deteriorate, they keep for years and years.”
Once gatherings are permitted, Shepp said she’ll be teaching her granddaughters how to make their own pysanky.