Candles were probably not used very much in the more distant past in pysankarstvo–they were a luxury item for most people, and not something that would be found in any quantity in a peasant’s house.  Rather, wax was kept in a molten state traditionally with coals or embers form a stove (“peech”):

(Note the small bowl on the left, on the stove, and filed with styluses.  It is sitting in a pile of embers, which heat the earthenware bowl and keep the wax molten.)  This technique is still used to this day, with some modifications, by Hutsuls:


In more recent times, this has transmogrified into some quite ingenious lamp-based wax heating apparatuses.  Many now use electrical light bulbs, but oil lamps work, too:

But candles have now become an integral part of traditional pysankarstvo, especially in the diaspora, where other methods have become abandoned and forgotten.  Most houses no longer have a піч (peech), the large stove that was a ready source of embers, nor do most people own oil lamps of any sort.  The candle has become the safe, convenient and popular alternative. Belo w is a photo fo Anastasia Fomina of Vinnytsia writing a pysanka, using a candle to heat her wax.

and below are students in Zhytomyr learning to write pysanky:

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