Students Learn To Paint Ukrainian Eggs - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Students Learn To Paint Ukrainian Eggs

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Chocolate, candy and coloring Easter eggs. It's one of the many family traditions this time of year. Some children in South Heart are learning a more intricate way to decorate eggs; one that finds its roots in the Ukrainian culture.

It's not quite as hard as walking on eggshells, but painting a fragile eggshell isn't an easy job. However, it's something that Shannon Binstock has enjoyed doing for the past 20 years. 

"Each symbol means something and each color also means something, so you're telling a story about whatever part of your life that's important," Binstock explains.

Binstock delicately extracts the inside of the egg first. Then, she draws her design with beeswax. 

"Everything you want to stay white, you cover with wax," Binstock says. "Then it's lightest to darkest color."

Once it's dry, she melts the wax off to reveal a one-of-a-kind Easter egg. The process is a Ukrainian tradition. Binstock isn't Ukrainian, she's just embracing her husband's roots. 

"For me, it's a way to show love through art," she says.

She's sharing that love with students in South Heart. 

"I'm happy that I was able to make it here, and be able to do this project because this is a kind of art that I've never been able to do. I think it's a cool experience in my life," says Douglas Holland, one of the sixth-graders making his own egg.

Binstock teaches Mrs. Meduna's sixth-grade class the Ukrainian pastime, as well as the importance of the different symbols. 

"I put doves carrying wheat in their mouth, and I put a cross," Holland says.

She lets them throw some modern designs in, but she says the focus always comes back to the historical and religious meanings. 

"I think it's important because it's a big part of the Ukrainian culture, and lots of people in North Dakota are part Ukrainian, so it's a bigger thing here," says Avery Hodell, another student in the class. 

Binstock says the eggs take anywhere from two to 15 hours to complete. Many of the eggs are on sale at the Ukrainian Cultural Institute in Dickinson. Binstock also does special orders, and has sent personalized eggs as far as California.

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