Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen decorating my margu?iai (traditional Lithuanian Easter eggs) this year. Many a morning I could be seen hunched over the Professor Bunson Honeydew style wax melting contraption on my kitchen island, dipping a pin head into hot beeswax and mumbling curses like, “Po šimts pypki?!” (One hundred tobacco pipes!) every time I messed up.
Try as I might, I just couldn’t make my eggs look perfect, and perfection is what I strive for in everything I do. (Trust me, several of my eggs didn’t even make the bowl shot cut this year, and you better believe I arranged them in such a way as to display only the good sides.)
First, there were some issues with the wax not getting hot enough on my homemade wax melting apparatus.
The flame was a bit too far away from the spoon with the wax in it, which I fixed easily enough by sawing off the end of the spoon handle.
Just kidding! I raised the candle up to the wax.
Secondly, I didn’t have any pins with heads sized to my liking, so at first I used a nail as my decorating implement and it just didn’t produce nice markings. In the end, I went with a pin with a gigantic plastic head and this actually worked quite well, though it made thicker lines.
Here are a few more tips:
- Work with warm, or at least room temperature eggs, if possible.
- Keep your pin dipped in the wax for several seconds before transferring the wax to the egg, and use careful measured strokes. Waiting too long causes the hot wax to cool down, but going too fast makes it look like a Jackson Pollock painting.
- Limit your pre-decorating coffee intake to one cup in order to reduce hand tremors.
One commenter on my original egg decorating tutorial said that instead of beeswax, she simply uses the wax from a lit candle to decorate her eggs.
In all my years of making Lithuanian Easter eggs, this thought has never occurred to me.
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