Well, as promised, here are more photos from the egg dying weekend. To me, the whole thing was about the stages the egg goes through. As you can see, the egg starts white, and as you cover various parts of your design with wax, dying after each application of wax, the whole thing gets very dark and muddy looking. At the end, using the heat from the candle flame, the wax is melted off revealing what you hope is a perfectly executed design, but there is a lot of suspense! The wax is regular beeswax. It starts out lightly colored, but becomes black due to the carbonization from the candle flame. (Does that make sense? There are lots of good tutorials on how you actually dye eggs this way. Here is a good one.)
I've got two "beginning to end" galleries set up here with two of the traditional style eggs that I dyed.
This egg, made following directions from one of the pattern books, is pretty simple as far as these eggs go. The first photo is of the pencil lines, then the first wax, then with the yellow dye and the second wax layer, then the light green dye and third layer, then the dark green dye, and then with all the wax melted off.
This egg is a lot more complicated than the others I did, and was by far the most fun. It took hours, but I totally didn't notice. Picture here are the first wax layer, then with the yellow dye and the second wax layer, then using a cotton swab to add green dye just to select places and then a third wax layer, then the orange dye and a fourth wax layer, also a photo of the bottom, the top looked the same, then after the red dye and fifth wax layer, then after the blue dye, and then with all the wax melted off.
A few educational shots, here are photos of the kistky, the wax being melted off an egg, and what a partially clean egg looks like.
Here is a shot of an egg that one of the other little egg dyers did:
And here is the one I did for my husband the fisherman. It actually only took about two hours, the blink of an eye compared to the other one.
At some point I am supposed to varnish these eggs, but I'm waiting to do that right now until they have dried out a little bit (because we didn't empty them before dying). One website I read discussed emptying the egg, putting a little water inside of it so it won't float in the dye, and then sealing up the hole with wax. I'm not sure how that would work, but I think I might try it the next time I dye eggs just to see how the experience differs. In truth, I also feel a little mixed about the whole craft, because I definitely like the look of the designs I copied out of the book better than my own free hand ones, that that seems a little false or something. I'm not sure how copying a pattern on an egg differs from following a pattern for a blanket or cross-stitch, except that for some reason I just feel like drawing should be more personally unique, not just rote copying. I did play around with the colors a little, and I would expect that with more experience I would also get more comfortable making up my own designs, or at least riffing more on the traditional designs, and that might make me feel better about it. I'm also interested in the bleaching method, where you use bleach as the last step, taking what ever isn't covered in wax back down to the original white, so I would expect that you might see more egg photos here sometime in the future.
PS: While running today I was dreaming of an egg with a rocket ship on it, so I'm certainly not finished.