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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1978
Page 16
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1978 - Page 16. March 1978. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 18, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1189/show/1179.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(March 1978). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1978 - Page 16. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1189/show/1179

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1978 - Page 16, March 1978, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 18, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1189/show/1179.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1978
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date March 1978
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 16
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_538o.jpg
Transcript % f How do you like your eggs? Janis Fowles By Anita Davidson Dorothy Sawyer Williams sits at a long table, before a burning candle and a block of beeswax. A handcrafted compartmen- ted box filled with jars of aniline dyes is at her left/Along the length of the table are clusters of eggs in various stages of decoration. She heats an instrument called a kistka, a "funnel on a stick." With the hot tip of the kistka she picks up a small quantity of beeswax and draws a botonee cross on the shell of a raw egg. She draws free-hand, using as placement guides the wax lines drawn around the egg- the first step in the creation of Pysanky decorated eggs. "I was in the second grade when I saw my first Pysanky — someone had brought it to show the class." Intrigued with the delicate beauty of the.Ukrainian Easter egg, Williams wanted to learn the technique, but could not find the necessary tools and dyes. "It took me thirty years to find out where to get the kits." In the meantime, she tried to make her own kistka, but could not make one small enough. Finally, in 1972, a St. Louis newspaper did a story on a member of the Ukrainian Society who created Pysanky and sold the kits. Williams called the woman long-distance and ordered one. Learning to use the kistka took some practice, but was not difficult for her. The dyes, however, were too pale. "I tried boiling crepe paper, and I tried Rit dyes. I even tried India inks, but was not happy with any of these. Then I tried the aniline dyes and they work best for me; they come out clear and bright no matter what kind of eggs I use." Completing the cross, she turns the egg and begins a duplicate cross on the opposite side. A young girl stops to watch. "Have you ever done Batik?" Williams asks her. No, her brother had but she hadn't. "Have you ever used crayons and Paas dyes to decorate Easter eggs?" Yes, she had done that. "Well, this is the same thing, except that kistka makes it possible to draw a finer line and put in more details." She picks up a completely colored, but still wax-covered egg, and after holding it in the flame for a moment, wipes the wax from a small area. "A-h-h-h's" from everyone as the colors pop out like tiny jewels. Pysanky eggs make unique gifts, and are unusual Christmas tree ornaments. Williams ! eggs are sold at Craft Industries, where she also holds workshops and demonstrations. "A person who has trouble using her bifocals will have a problem making Pysanky. The funnel becomes clogged with wax and must be cleaned often by threading a thin wire through the tip; if you can't thread a needle, you can't do it." Dottie Williams has no trouble using her bifocals, and she has a rock-steady hand as well. Her designs are precise and intricately detailed. She works on Pysanky every day; a fact that does not impress her husband. He objects to the eggs and dyes all over the kitchen. In fact he built the lovely wood box that holds her jars of dyes in an effort to contain the clutter and get the dyes out of the kitchen cabinets. About the ancient tradition of decorating eggs, Williams says, "The egg was a pagan fertility symbol before it became a Christian symbol of rebirth. In the Ukraine, the decorated Easter eggs became an important symbol in the rituals of the newly-accepted Christian religion. They were usually prepared in secret and exchanged on Easter morning in a special ichurch ritual." Traditionally they are given raw;however, Williams blows her eggs, having found that they sometimes explode. "After receiving from a friend to whom I had sent a Pysanky a letter that began 'Dear Dottie, ha ha, guess what happened?' I have since blown all my eggs for safety, unless I'm trying to get even with somebody." "How long does it take to make one of these eggs?" someone asks. "It can take four or five hours. Surprisingly, those with fewer details and large areas of solid color may take the longest because the solid areas must be completely covered with wax to prevent the succeeding colors from seeping through and causing a blotchy effect." The Ukrainian custom of making Pysanky, traditionally passed from mother to daughter, was almost a lost art when members of the Ukrainian Society began efforts to revive the custom by selling the kits through the mail order and hobby :stores. Williams is not Ukrainian, but believes that "Pysanky is an art to be shared; if you don't share it, you lose it." Dorothy Sawyer Williams will give demonstrations at the Upstairs Gallery at Craft Industries, Artisan's Way, Woodlake Square, Westheimer at Gessner on March 18 and 25 between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. For more information call the Gallery at 789-8170. By Kathleen Williamson An insolent egg protrudes a pink tongue as an exhausted egg does push-ups with one arm. Haughty champagne-sipping eggs turn away from more amiable beer drinkers. An impatient egg cracks itself with a hammer while a contentious couple arm- wrestles. The deft touch and unbounded imagination of sculptor Nita Estes Parker have transformed the banal ovoid into a whole cast of engaging "Eggcentrics". Complementing the playful miniatures are other, more enigmatic works: a lace- cuffed hand lies in a plate, a translucent egg in its palm. A golden egg is partly concealed within a finely textured handkerchief. These small sculptures, with their careful attention to detail, evoke a sense of the mystery underlying everyday occur rences. For this series, Parker has used white porcelain that has been salt-glazed for a natural sheen and accented with metallic lustres. An accomplished artist, Parker left painting for pottery five years ago. After mastering functional claywork, she ventured into sculpture to shape her provocative images. In 1976, her series of flying breasts, titled "Amazon Airways", received an award from the Houston Designer Craftsmen. "My work with eggs evolved from the breast form about a year ago," Parker states. "Now, I'm building more elaborate stage settings for different kinds of egg activities." Parker's "Eggcentrics" are on display at the South Shepherd Potworks, Houston's first potters' co-op, at 5218 South Shepherd (at Bissonnet). The Potworks was opened last October by Ethel Bilyeu and Sue and Tom Verso, all practicing ceramicists. The shelves have works of 25 Houston potters. Everything from mugs to objets d'art is sold at prices lower than at conventional craft outlets. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Nita Estes Parker's sculpture may be seen through March. Arti'san \. FAshioiNs Imported Clothing from around the world at very moderate prices Selected Antiques On Sale $10.00, originally $18.00 r I73I Westheimer, 523-0809 March 1978 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH Page 15