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Scott Sayward's Egg-cellent Ukranian decorating project

WILLSBORO-Every year, when people come for Easter dinner at Scott Sayward's home, they don't want to leave empty-handed.

"Everyone that comes for Easter expects to go home with an egg," Sayward said.

But not just any egg. The eggs that Sayward has are Ukranian Easter Eggs, a technique of egg painting-artistry that was popularized in Poland, Russia and - of course - the Ukraine.

"I started in 1997, but I did not have all of the proper tools so I used melted crayons and hot nails," Sayward said. "I soon found out it works much better with tools."

Sayward said that, each year, he will decorate hundreds of eggs using the Ukranian technique, which calls for a near-perfect symmetry in the designs and patterns that are used to decorate the egg.

"That is the tough part because when you get started on an egg, you quickly realize that they are not perfect circles," Sayward said. "They are supposed to be geometrical and repeating patterns. I can spend several hours on just one egg."

Sayward said that he starts creating the eggs for the spring season each February.

"I get into it and I can't stop - I just go and go and go," Sayward said. "I enjoy the whole process because it is artistic and you have to sit down and be quiet and focus. It is a good time to relax and put everything out of your head."

Sayward said that he has taught several people about Ukranian Egg decorating, and that he discovered the process through a newspaper article.

"I saw the pictures with the article and thought, wow, those are so beautiful," Sayward said. "I also thought that it looked like a challenging process. I walked into MJ Designs in Plattsburgh one day and they had a starter kit."

Since, Sayward has decorated a variety of eggs, including an emu egg.

"That's the biggest one I have done," he said.

Overall, Sayward said that he will give out between 60-70 decorated eggs each year, while keeping some for his personal collection.

"I guess people must like them," he said.

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