Big Opole painted Easter egg, referred to as kroszonka in Polish, created on basis of goose eggshell. It is hand decorated with application of method based on hand-engraving of decorating motifs on previously one-coloured eggshell. Presented kroszonka is decorated in fairly untypical way – apart from engraved ornament, it was also painted softly and therefore fully 4 colours of eggshell were achieved (instead of typical for kroszonka 2 colours). The author decorated it with traditional vegetable and floral ornaments: flowers, leaves and palms, which can be often found in Opole folk works of art – for example on embroidered tablecloths. It is well worth to pay special attention to precision and thickness of ornament. Masterful work can be recognized owing to equal sizes of particular elements of engraved ornament. Preparation of such sophisticated decoration for one kroszonka takes few hours of work. At present, painted eggs are connected first of all with Easter Season, but formerly their symbolism and practical application had greater context. Formerly i.a. newlyweds and householders were presented with kroszonkas in order they had fortune at their side. According to the old custom, young girls prepared kroszonkas for boys. Colours of kroszonkas had symbolic meaning – red colour expressed love, green – symbolized hope, whereas black and brownish kroszonkas were given to respectable people. Black kroszonkas were also given by maidens to boys from spite - in order “boys knew their place”: it symbolized refusal. Each of kroszonkas presented by us has its own, unique ornament.
An egg is a symbol present in numerous world cultures and religions. It symbolizes life, fertility and nature revitalization. A similar meaning was carried by an egg in folk culture and tradition. Eggs used to be put underneath a hut under construction or buried in the field ‘for good luck’. As Christianity was spreading, the stained-egg symbolism became connected with the Easter tradition. The egg decorating habit was already known in ancient times.The oldest stained eggs were found in the area of Sumerian Mesopotamia. Information about an egg staining habit can also be found in historical sources and the Roman Empire works of art – among others Ovid and Pinius Younger. In Poland the oldest decorated eggs were discovered during archeological excavations works on Ostr
Mrs Małgorzata has occupied herself with Opole region ‘kroszonka’ with the use of a carving method since her childhood. She used her precision for both, egg-staining and china decorating with floral and vegetable motifs. She has occupied herself with it for nearly 30 years. Mrs Małgorzata is a licenced folk artist. She is a member of the Opole Affiliate of Folk Artists Association. She actively supports folk art development by running workshops and courses.
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