Nakleyanky

Наклеянки

 
 



                  


 

Appliqué Eggs

The word “nakleyanka” comes from Ukrainian word kleyaty/ клеяти, “to glue, to paste.”  Nakleyanky are simply eggs which have been decorated by glueing things to them.  They were traditionally made with ordinary eggs, but, in modern times, are more often created using wooden eggs or emptied chicken and goose eggshells.

Various items can be glued to an egg shell.  In Poland, where these sorts of eggs are much more commonly made, there are several styes of appliqué used on eggs.  Naklejanki or nalepianki are decorated with petals of elderberry, scraps of colorful paper (including wycinanki) or with patches of cloth (Łowicz and the surrounding area). 


Examples of Polish naklejani decorated with wycinanki

Oklejanki or wyklejanki are eggs which have been decorated with bulrush pith or yarn, and are found in the Podlasie region.


A bulrush oklejanka from the Polish Art Center (Hamtramck, MI)


In Ukraine there is less of a tradition, and less formal classification.  The most traditional sorts of nakleyanky utilize grain, ground up into fine particles (like uncooked cream of wheat).  It is glued to either a white or colored egg, and can be natural or dyed.  The two eggs pictured here were bought in western Ukraine several years ago, and are made with real eggs; I haven’t cropped them down too far, so that you can appreciate the texture of the surface.

     

Nakleyanky made with grain

Below are two views of a single nakleyanka made by a friend of mine from Rivne.  Olenka used not just grain, but also some beads, with which she spelled out «Христос Воскрес» (“Christ is Risen,” the traditional Ukrainian Easter greeting).

     

Nakleyanky made with grain and beads

Another traditional form or nakleyanka is a different sort of  “mosaic” type, one made by glueing dyed eggshell fragments onto an egg.  It is a simple but reasonably attractive variation, and was also made by Olenka.



I have seen photos of eggs covered with a mosaic of different grains, but don’t actually own any. I suspect these are a modern variant, but could be wrong.  The eggs below are an example of this style of nakleyanka:


Nakleyanky made with various types of grain

Another traditional type of nakleyanka is made by glueing straw to an egg.  Straw art itself is a fairly widespread handcraft in Ukraine; small pieces of straw can be glued to all sorts of objects (plates, wooden boxes) to create decorative patterns, and straw itself can be woven (flowers, baskets, shoes) or strung (stars and other hangings) into many shapes. I learned to weave straw into flowers and leaves at summer camp in 2009, albeit poorly.  Below are some more skillfully made straw objects, an oberih (with pysanky), and a lovely star made by my goddaughter, Daryna.

          

A straw oberih with pysanky (left), and a straw star ornament (right)

Eggs decorated with straw appears to be a recent phenomenon in Ukraine, rather than a traditional folk art. Straw can be glued onto real eggs or wooden eggs.  Below are two straw appliqué eggs, one made professionally, and the other by Daryna (right):


          

Straw nakleyanky, made on wooden eggs


More modern (and commercial) nakleyanky tend to be made of wood, like the straw ones above, and to sport less fragile adornments: sequins, braid, beads.  These are a few of the ones I bought in L’viv, at a small art gallery:

   
   


The most interesting nakleyanka I have purchased to date is the one below.  It is covered in its entirety with metallic cords and beads, and is quite large, bigger than a large goose egg..  I purchased it in the markets on Andriyivs’kyi Uzyizd, in Kyiv, and haven’t seen another one anything like it since.


Today there are many such variations on the pysanka, with new forms emerging all the time.  I have heard of nakleyanky made from all sorts of things: feathers, colored papers, flowers.  And if I come across any, I will post them here.


      

Веснянка (Spring Song), Воскресіння (Resurrection) by Vira Spiryakina




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