PYSANSKY ARTIST (PA)
I have been writing pysanky — wax resist and dyed eggs — since I was a toddler since it is
part of my heritage as a Polish-American. My parents brought out the wax, dyes, candles and
supplies every year at Ash Wednesday and we would work every night after dinner to make
gifts for family and friends. Most of the designs would be traditional but some would be our own
Without realizing it, the symbols and icons of the pysanky became a part of my artistic identity. When I see ancient art forms and traditional crafts like weaving and pottery, I feel a kinship. Symmetry and process are a natural part of how I create since it is how I learned. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that those two things are not innate or even easy for most people!
Natural history museums, anthropology and archeology museums and exhibitions that cater to Ancient Asia, Islam and Middle East cultures explore the use of symbols and icons that I grew up with on pysanky, wax resist and dyed eggs. I found that the lines and curves on pysanky were so very like the ones I saw on tapestries, tiles, paper and pots. Storytelling across cultures just wasn't that different. Regardless of language and era, we aren't that different.
Pysanky have grown in the past several hundred years and not just because of Karl Faberge. American innovation with European tradition creates a new type of pysanky. Acid etched eggs are a new innovation using wax resist and an acid to etch the surface. It's very American. Sculptural, defining and elevating an old craft that welcomed spring, the sun and all things pagan and eventually became a symbol of Christ into something that is fine art.
I write pysanky on chicken, duck, goose, emu, rhea and ostrich shells. I write traditional designs, original designs using traditional elements and original designs. I frequently acid etch to create a textured surface especially when I use a shell that has natural color. I use dyes and inks to color the shells. When an egg is dyed, it is then varnished to protect the surface. Inked eggs do not need to be varnished since the ink is already lightfast and waterproof.
PURCHASE WORK BY JENNIFER DOMAL AT JAM GALLERY
Email the gallery or call 484-328-3553 (gallery) or 484-433-3571 (cell)