[This site of the late Ron Resch was restored by Mitya Miller from the web fetch copy provided by Erik Demaine, with permission from his son Yon Resch and guidance provided by Robert J. Lang. If you spot any missing or broken links or images, please report them.]
The Vegreville Pysanka — Ron Resch Official Website
Home The Egg The Easter Egg The Vegreville Pysanka

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The Easter Egg

A web-friendly version of the original Egg Pamphlet

The Vegreville Pysanka

"Vegreville, a multi-cultural community of 4,000 plus, located 55 miles east of Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway in Eastern Alberta, is home of the world's largest Pysanka - a giant, Ukrainian Easter Egg."

The Ukrainian tradition of decorating eggs with symbolic geometric designs has been handed down from generation to generation, often with regional variation. The Chamber of Commerce of the town of Vegreville, which, with its surrounding farmlands, has the largest Ukrainian settlement in Canada, made application in 1973 to the Alberta Century Celebrations Committee to erect a monument - a giant Pysanka (Ukrainian decorated Easter egg) - to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

It was Town Councilor Pysanky by Mrs. Sembatiuk, Kay McKenzie's suggestion. The Egg would symbolize the harmony and vitality in the multi-cultural settlement and signify the peace and security Edmonton, Alberta brought by the R.CM.P. It would be among a number of monuments funded by the Canadian government in observance of the Centennial, 1974. The uniqueness of the project won the Chamber a $15,000 matching grant for their monument, and they set out looking for a way to build an egg.

After having considered a variety of materials, which were respectively heavier, more costly, less permanent, more vandal able, they settled on aluminum, with permanent anodized color. However, they could find no one to design the geometry for an egg-shaped structure of this scale. Permaloy Enterprises of Ogden, Utah, would do the anodizing, but could only guarantee whites, golds, and bronzes to be colorfast.

It happened that Jack Woods, of Permaloy, knew of the work of University of Utah Computer Science Prof. Ron Resch, who had been experimenting with geometric patterns and folded-plate systems for some 10 years. Prof. Resch has done extensive research using computers and is responsible for the entire development of the concept for the Egg processed by computer. He holds patents for structural domes which can conform to any desired shape, but the Egg posed questions yet unanswered in many areas. This "dome" would have to (1) close back on itself, to form an enclosed shape; (2) maintain symmetry of pattern (an egg's shape is not elliptical, cylindrical or spherical); and (3) be structurally self-supporting. There was no mathematical definition for an egg. In fact, later studies proved that a person's concept of what shape an egg is, is quite different from what shapes eggs really are ... as varied as people.