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Vol. 70, No. 4
ISSN: 1488-2159
April 2004

Cover Artist: Dr. Janet Ross

The cover art for this issue is a photo of Ukrainian Easter eggs (Pysanky) created by Dr. Janet Ross of Amherstview, Ont. “My heritage is half-Ukrainian and I always found this art form fascinating,” Dr. Ross told JCDA. “I guess being a type-A personality made doing these detailed pieces a form of relaxation instead of a lesson in frustration.”

Dr. Ross challenged herself by doing goose and ostrich eggs. “Because ostrich eggs have a very glossy, non-absorbing surface, I didn't know how to tackle the egg taking on the dye,” she explained. “Eventually, common sense prevailed and I thought about how we as dentists do bonded fillings. I figured that if tooth enamel would acid etch, so would a thick egg shell. It was a resourceful but expensive technique!”

This ancient and beautiful folk art uses a technique akin to batik. A heated writing instrument (kistka) flows melted beeswax onto the surface of the egg, after which there ensues a succession of designs in wax and dippings in ever-darker dyes. Finally, after the wax is all wiped off, the intricate decoration is revealed by holding the egg over a candle's flame.

Dr. Ross graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1985. She lives in Kingston with her husband, John, and their Labrador retrievers Sam and Maggie.

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