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Delicate art, on an egg

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Rev. Bob Bipes works on some of the smaller details of his egg at his class on Ukrainian egg coloring on Friday, Feb. 1 at Bethel Lutheran. Bipes will be teaching classes on the technique through February. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 7
An egg is dyed a bright red after finishing one of many dye steps in the Ukrainian egg coloring process. The process requires patterns to be drawn in wax before egg step of color. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 7
The final product is complete. Once the wax is burned off a polyurethane coats is rubbed on the egg. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 7
A participant melts the beeswax off of the egg after all the steps of patterns and dyes are done. Melting the wax reveals the layers and patterns of color underneath. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia 5 / 7
Bipes draws a new pattern in beeswax on his egg during the coloring class. The beeswax is melted in a Kistka to apply on the egg. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 7
A participant lights a Kistka, a tiny metal funnel used to hold beeswax, on a candle during an egg coloring lesson at Bethel. The lessons follow the traditional steps of the Ukrainian technique. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 7

A delicate hand and a bit of patience can lead to some real beauty.

Rev. Bob Bipes demonstrated that concept to students of his Ukranian egg coloring class on Friday, Feb. 1 at Bethel Lutheran Church.

Bipes first learned the technique in the 1980s in Menomonie. A teacher took a class on the form, and then in turn taught classes in the congregation.

As someone who's always been interested in art, he thought the technique looked interesting.

"I've always liked to draw and do things, artistic things," Bipes said.

Ukrainian style egg coloring uses raw eggs, a candle, beeswax, a Kistka (a tiny metal funnel) and several rounds of dye, not the edible kind found in most egg dying kits.

Melted wax is used to make different designs on the egg in different colors. Any part of the egg colored by wax will not take on the color of the dye it's dipped in.

The process starts by scooping wax into the Kistka and melting it with the candle. The melted wax in the Kistka is used to draw the designs. In between each step the egg is placed in dye, first yellow, then, orange, then red, then ending with a dark color like blue, purple or black. Green is used to paint on additional designs at the beginning of the process.

The candle is then used again to melt the wax off of the egg. As the wax melts, all of the colors are revealed.

"So you see what you really did," Bipes said.

The egg is finished with a coat of polyurethane. The egg will keep, Bipes said. He has some that are 40 years old.

"You can start a collection and keep building on it year after year," he said.

The process typically uses traditional patterns, though Bipes has played around before with his own designs, including a butterfly.

Though the process seems complicated, Bipes said the eggs don't have to be perfect.

"Even if the lines aren't straight, they're still good looking," he said.

The classes are open through February. To take the class, register online at

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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