Gifted 

For holiday shoppers who think outside the big-box stores, there's Winter Arts, the annual sale featuring the works of some 30 area artists. There are paintings, sculptures, woodworking, jewelry, glassworks, and on and on — pieces that are unique and meant to be treasured. Among those treasures are the Pysanky eggs by Ansley Larsson. The creation of these beautifully intricate objects follows a centuries-old art form using a stylus to write designs with wax that are then filled out with a color wash. Larsson's eggs at Winter Arts range from $20 for a quail-egg ornament with a simple two-color design to $1,200 for an etched ostrich egg. Larsson recently answered some questions about her work.

Flyer: How did you get into Pysanky Writing?
Ansley Larsson: In 1980, I saw a demonstration of Pysanky Writing and was fascinated. I bought all the books and supplies and went home to teach myself how to do it. I've been doing it ever since.

How long does each piece take?
That question is impossible for me to answer. Some pieces take mere hours, but some take days and even weeks. I have done whole ostrich eggs that have taken two to three weeks and some of the quail eggs have taken only a couple of hours.

In addition to the eggs, you've recently started making jewelry. What sort of pieces do you make?
Right now, I only make earrings and pendants, but I'm working toward pins, too. I am new at jewelry making, so I am still learning.

The eggs have all sorts of symbolism and superstitions associated with them. What's your take?
Pysanky Writing originated well over 2,000 years ago. That was a very superstitious time and the traditional designs incorporate many superstitious symbols. I sometimes incorporate those symbols in my designs but only out of respect for the history and tradition of the art. I'm not particularly superstitious, although I did pick up a penny off the ground the other day.

Winter Arts at the Shops of Saddle Creek South in Germantown, through December 24th. winterartsmemphis.com

Related Locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Speaking of Shops Of Saddle Creek

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Tigers 28, SMU 18

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Defeat Kings 112-104

Hungry Memphis

Zopita's on the Square to open Nov. 19

We Saw You

Indie Film Fest, Grilled Cheese Fest, Adapt-A-Door and more!

Hungry Memphis

Little Italy Opening Downtown

News Blog

Seven Vie for Vacant District 1 Council Seat

News Blog

Group of White Women Test Mall’s No Hoodie Policy

Hungry Memphis

The Nine Now Open

Fly On The Wall Blog

What’s Kids in the Hall Co-Founder Kevin McDonald Doing in Memphis?

Hungry Memphis

Gordon Ramsay's in Memphis to Save a Restaurant!

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Susan Ellis

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation