From the archive
GEHR: You’ve adapted the Ukrainian pysanka egg-decorating tradition to your own style by painting Chast-ian characters on them. How do you make those things?
CHAST: I always wanted to learn how to do it, and somebody up here showed me how. It’s a wax-resist kind of thing, like batik. You melt a little wax in these things called a kistka and draw on the egg with the melted wax, then you dip it into different dyes, which don’t color the part you’ve drawn on. You start with the lightest colors and build up to the darker, like batik. At the end, after you’ve worked on it for hours and hours, you sickeningly punch a hole in the egg and use the kistka to blow out the yolk and stuff. Then you carefully melt all the wax off the egg, so only the colors remain. I’ve had them break at every stage of the game. I haven’t done it in more than a year. I go through phases. I went through one big phase, and then I didn’t do it again for a couple of years. Then I went through another big phase, and now I’m on hiatus. I went through a big origami phase, too. I make kusudamas, which are Japanese floral globes.