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Mask Up #3 Pysanky Eggshell Ornament


Mask Up, we’re living history! 

Elegance, joy, and vibrant colors lift Mask Up #3’s patterns right off the eggshell. 

Mask Up #3 features bold sunflowers, and stars set in a deep blue sky on two opposing masks. The water that separates them symbolizes purification, the sunflowers hint at wisdom, faith or hope, and the stars, ambition and a wish for fortune to come, or eternal life, for those who are no longer with us. Painstakingly dyed into this chicken eggshell the viewer can see minute, intricate shading of petals, and loosely flowing, abstract constellations among the stars. Some of the symbolism is derived from traditional pysanky themes dating back centuries, whereas the rest is all Nolie Marie Wilson’s unique eye for florals,. Nolie has found still life to be a refuge into symbiosis as many artists who came before, such as Jewish artist Dita Kraus, who chooses to paint primarily flowers, after suffering harrowing experiences in Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, during World War II. Flowers’ natural connection with rebirth, new life, the emergence of spring perhaps makes them a natural magnet for those seeking hope, or a spiritual connection, and Nolie Marie Wilson is no stranger to this calling. It seems fitting that generations of pysanka artists, too, felt this pull, symbolizing their devotion to a sense of purpose, love, divine kindness, in the sunflower’s spread petals, turned towards the sun, as people toward faith turn toward their beliefs and practices in times of hardship. 

Brighten up your home with whirls of yellow blossoms and green tiles, clouds of clustered stars, all packed into a tiny, chicken eggshell. Perhaps the beauty of pysanky is in the resilience of the canvas, despite its apparent fragility; we often say “walking on eggshells” to describe a state of fragility, yet an eggshell must be strong to endure the batik process, using acidic aniline dyes, or even stronger acid baths, for some (Check out Mask Up #5 for an example of an Acid-Etched pysanka). So too, your family has been strong, despite how the Covid-19 has tested your bonds. It is Nolie’s hope that when you display this pysanka you will have a moment where you, too, can feel the weight of the passage of time, the generations it took to make the present day happen, even as you in turn are striving and helping to bring new, historic moments to the generations to come, in turn. 

Hanging stand not included. Visit our FAQ for suggestions on display stands, if you desire to purchase one separately.

1 in stock

For centuries, people have used the art of pysanka to document life cycle events, or well wishes for loved ones. In keeping with this talismanic intent, Nolie Marie Wilson designed the “Mask Up” psanky series, to enable people to contextualize their own family’s experiences during the Covid-19 Pandemic with larger historical events, and offer wishes for the future, or talk about continuing fears.

Cunningly designed to adapt a traditional pysanky division (method of laying out large spaces on the egg to be filled with smaller patterns or shapes) into stylized facial masks, each of the two masks and backdrop dimensionally laid out on the egg is filled with modern motifs based on traditional Pysanky symbolism designed to describe various aspects of the things people have endured during the Covid-19 Pandemic, or wishes for the future. With the eggs designed to be both exquisite, one-of-a-kind conversation starters, and therapeutic tools to enable families to discuss painful topics with young children, such as which memories are most important, and which emotions left the deepest impressions on them, it is Nolie’s hope that whether you aim to acquire your Mask Up egg from the ready-made collection based on symbolism they combined in awareness of many of their own loved ones’ paths during the Pandemic, or whether you are seeking to acquire a custom-made Mask Up psanka with further customization, perhaps a loved one’s birthday or Yahrzeit worked into the designwork, these eggs will foster a sense of peace, perspective, history, and understanding among those you share it with. Mask Up Psanky are available as hanging ornaments, with the drain hole on top covered by the ornament mounting, or as a stand egg, with the drain hole on the bottom, where it will be concealed by the stand. They will be shipped with either a protective varnish finish, or a UV resistant, impact-resistant, resin coating ($35 extra per psanka, and requires additional time to prepare the pysanka for shipping, so that resin can be cured.) Each ready-made egg will state in the description which type of egg construction it is; where the drain hole is placed, if it has already been mounted on hardware for hanging, if it may have structural flaws that make it more likely to crack during curing if a resin topcoat is added. Please be sure you are aware of this when ordering, as well as the necessity of requesting the resin coating as an add-on, as we cannot accept returns, owing to the highly fragile and unique nature of the pysanky. It simply would not be possible to produce ready-to-ship variants of every display construction, every durability finish, without drastically reducing the options available to pick from. If a particular display method is more convenient for you, it still may be possible to adapt the egg to suit it, mounting an ornament top, in addition to a covered drainage hole on the bottom, for instance.

Each psanky egg comes packaged with material explaining the symbolism in the designwork of the series, so that you can see how many motifs you can spot in your egg’s minute details, some so fine that they require application under a magnifying glass for precision. While each egg is priced based on the amount of time and colorwork that goes into it, they are aimed to include a variety of price levels across restocks. Not included: Your display stand of choice. The one in the picture is this one, from Amazon. Affiliate links may be used. We suggest applying a tacky wax designed for use with pysanky eggshells, to aid in gripping the egg, if your area of display is one that may have heavy traffic, such as a low table, instead of a raised shelf. If you do not see a Mask Up egg with your story in mind, please visit the Custom Ordering FAQ for information about what questions to ask, inspiration to send, when contacting Nolie about a potential custom order.


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