Behind The Design : Easter Collection

With our new Easter cards filling the shop, and Easter egg hunts just around the corner - we’re bringing you a sneak peak of where our owner and designer Becca, found her inspiration for these beautiful illustrations.

Over the holidays I spent five days exploring Krakow and Warsaw, Poland. With a Polish heritage, and a childhood steeped in age-old traditions and ethnic holiday food, it was incredibly special to finally be able to experience some of these things in Poland. We spent a lot of time exploring the Christmas markets that were set up in each of the city’s main squares. Tasting local pastries, sausages, pierogis, and admiring all the colorful, floral, graphic folk art that was painted on pottery, Christmas decorations, stitched into linens, and my favorite - painted on the colorful Easter eggs that were everywhere, despite the Christmas season. I bought a handful of wooden, hand-painted eggs to bring home with me as souvenirs.

Photo of Warsaw, Poland by Becca Kudela

Photo of Warsaw, Poland by Becca Kudela

These eggs sparked an interest in the story behind the hand-painted treasures. My Aunt Marcia dug up some old Polish magazines, which were a wealth of information about the history of the Easter Egg.

“Eggs are a symbol of spring and rebirth all around the world, and they have also become the most enduring symbol of Easter and the Resurrection. In Poland, Easter egg-making has developed into a true art form and there are as many methods of making them as there are traditions and rituals associated with them. Easter eggs are called pisanki in Polish, which comes from the word pisac, which means to write. Designs are drawn or words are written on a hardboiled egg with a wax stylus, then placed in a dye. When the wax is scraped off, a white pattern is revealed on the colored egg.

Although pisanka has come to mean Easter Egg in Polish, it represents only one of the methods used to decorate eggs in Poland. Here are some of the most popular types of Polish Easter Eggs:

Pisanki: Eggs with wax patterns “written” or drawn on them, then dyed

Kraszanki: Solid-colored eggs, dyed with plant material such as beets, onion skins, and leaves

Malowank: Hand-painted eggs

Drapanki: Solid-colored eggs with a design scratched onto the surface

Wyklejanki: Eggs decorated with colored yarn

Nalepianki: Eggs decorated with paper cut-outs or straw

Sometimes, hollow eggs are used instead of hardboiled. The eggs can then be displayed all year long, ensuring good health and prosperity. The solid-color eggs were used for consumption; the decorated and hollow eggs would be saved from year to year. Once blessed in church on Holy Saturday, eggs were never thrown out, nor were the eggshells. Instead they would be buried in the garden or field as crops were sown, bringing good fortune and ensuring a good harvest. The water used in cooking Easter eggs was also saved and used to water fruit trees and to wash beehives. This was believed to result in sweet-tasting fruit and delicious golden honey.

Before Swiecone, the traditional Polish Easter Brunch, a blessed Easter egg is shared by the family, as Easter wishes are exchanged.”

Hand painted eggs from Krakow, Poland. Photo by Rebecca Kudela

Hand painted eggs from Krakow, Poland. Photo by Rebecca Kudela

And it wasn’t the hand-painted wooden eggs alone. I found graphic inspiration everywhere we went. We ate dinner one night at a small Pierogi restaurant where  hand-painted flowers decorated the interior, colorfully climbing the walls and blooming on the ceiling. The buildings in the old centers of Krakow and Warsaw were painted in a rainbow of pastels, doors were ornate, and bright hand-painted patterns covered the weathered old walls of buildings. It was these colors, textures, and especially the hand-painted florals I saw everywhere that inspired our Easter card collection.

Warsaw, Poland by Becca Kudela

Warsaw, Poland by Becca Kudela

We hope you’re enjoying our new Easter Collection! Wishing you and yours a blessed Easter!