In the art of pysanky, the finished eggshell is defined by the eggshell you start with. A variety of effects can be created by beginning with an eggshell from different bird breeds, or using different techniques to preserve different colors of the natural eggshell, if it has not been bleached prior to beginning work. Beginning with brown chicken eggshells instead of white, for instance, can create opportunities to design eggshells with earthy, leathery tones, or acid-etched shells that progress from brown to ivory, to white, depending on the degree of etching. The distinctive look of batik on brown eggshells is striking, emphasizing the richness of the dyes, and the depth of color of the natural shell.

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