I have exactly 11 pysanky eggs from Our Traditions 716 at the Broadway Market. They are gorgeous!
I know that I have 11 without even looking because my mother-in-law has given me one every Easter since I started dating Scott. So in a few weeks, I will get my lucky number 12 – I hope, anyway!
The eggs are incredibly beautiful. And such a tradition. Not only for me, but for many others as well.
I talked with Jennifer Glenn from Our Traditions about those beautiful eggs and the history of her family business at the Broadway Market.
It’s certainly a delicate process, “In order to do this you began with a white egg and a straight pin stuck in the back of a pencil eraser which is your tool,” Jennifer explained, “You then begin dipping that pin into hot beeswax and one stroke at a time create a design on the eggshell. After you have a basic design you dip the egg into dye usually moving from lightest to darkest. After each Dye you add to the design with more wax. The wax preserves the color underneath. Finally, you remove all the wax and blow the egg out.”
That’s the process. Depending on the design, each egg takes about 45-60 minutes to create. They are all done by hand.
“Over the years we have added to our collection bringing new styles and designs. About half our collection is made by family and very close friends we have met over the years. The other half of our collection are “painted” eggs which we import from Austria and Poland.”
The Broadway Market has always been a special place for Jennifer, “My mom would dress me up in my Polish costume. This always brought lots of smiles from customers and visitors to the market! Broadway market time, Easter time, but family time. My aunt and uncle would always travel from New Jersey bringing my grandmother and grandfather to see this unique place in Buffalo. They always enjoyed coming for a few days to watch the people, taking in the sounds and of course the smells of this historic place.”
“My dad, Michael Hnat was the brains and heart behind this production,” Jennifer said, “This is our second year carrying on this Easter tradition without him since his sudden passing in 2017. He always loved talking and visiting with customers who returned to see us every single year, adding an egg to their collection or simply just stopping by to chat. We have met so many people over the years and learned so much about them and their lives we consider them family.”
Now, Jennifer is left to carry on this important and special tradition, “As I carry this tradition on with my family now, the Broadway market seems to mean something new. In this technological age with everyone so fast-paced and moving all the time I find it awe inspiring, that an art form which has been carried out for hundreds and thousands of years is still interesting and fascinating to people today. I find it amazing that I can still share a tradition given to me by my grandfather and my dad with so many people.”
It seems with the egg decorating tradition, comes another tradition; that of storytelling, “Over the years so many people came to share in telling and hearing stories from my father. Now they’re coming to tell me. This is what the Broadway market encompasses. A place where people can come to share stories, create memories, meet friends and remember the past. For as we move forward, our traditions should always be something that we can look back on and hold dear in our hearts, but continue to carry on.”
Jennifer’s daughter, Maggie
That’s a wonderful thing to remember and certainly deserves repeating, “For as we move forward, our traditions should always be something that we can look back on and hold dear in our hears, but continue to carry on.”
There is nothing better than family traditions that bring us all together!