Creating a Pysanka


Oksana creates a beautiful pysanka

Creating a pysanka can be as simple or as complex a process and you wish.  A beautiful egg can be created using only rudimentary techniques and tools; complex patterns can be created with more sophisticated techniques and tools.

On the following pages are in-depth descriptions of all the stages of creating a pysanka, from selecting eggs and setting up a workspace, to dyeing, wax removal and storage and display of pysanky.

This is a large section, and is basically “Advanced Pysankarstvo.”  I have taken the step-by step instructions from “The Basic Steps” and expanded them, expounding at length on the minutiae of the process.  I not only discuss the way that I make pysanky, but add information that has been passed on to me by other pysanka makers.   It is advanced not in the sense of being difficult, but more detailed.

There are many subsections with  lots of pages.  Many of the pages are just stubs or placeholders. I will  eventually have lots of text on all of them, but, for now, I write when I can, and post when I am able.



What you need to do before you start writing pysanky.

                    Gather Supplies

                    Prepare a Work Space

                    Work Surface              

                    Selecting and Preparing Eggs

                            Inspecting Eggs

                            Cleaning Eggs

                            Storing Eggs

                            Emptying Eggs

                            Sealing Eggs

                            Handling Eggs

                    Select a Design

                            Traditional Designs

                            Non-Traditional Designs

                    Fire Safety   


Applying the Design in Pencil

Transferring your design from your mind to the egg–in pencil

                    Choosing and Using Pencils

                    Choosing and Using Erasers

                    Finding the Top and Bottom of an Egg

                    Drawing Simple Divisions

                    Using a Craft Lathe

                    Using Templates

                    Using a Measuring Tape

                    Removing Pencil Lines

Applying the Design in Wax

How to turn ideas and pencil lines in batiked wax lines.

                    Before Applying the Wax

                    Selecting a Stylus

                    Using a Traditional Stylus

                    Using an Electric Stylus

                    Clearing a Clogged Tip

                    Tips and Techniques of Wax Application

                    Drop-Pull Pysanky


                    Working with Brown Eggs

                    Spot Removal


Dyeing Pysanky

The ins and outs of dye theory and more practical aspects of dyeing.

                    The Dye Table

                    The Vinegar Rinse

                    Dyeing a Pysanka

                    Dyeing Emptied Eggs

                    Dyeing Brown Eggs

                    Dye and Color Sequences

                    Spot Dyeing

                    The Rules of Dyeing

                    Touching Up

                    Pastel Dyes

                    Dye Removal

                    The Orange Rinse

                    The Water Rinse

                    Bleaching Pysanky

Removing the Wax

How to get the wax off after you’re done writing your pysanka.

                    Heat Removal


                        Oil Lamp


                        Microwave Oven

                        Toaster Oven

                        Heat Gun

                        Hair Dryer

                        Hot Oil


                   Chemical Dissolution



                        Residual Wax


Finishing Up a Pysanka

What to do after the wax comes off.

                    Touching Up




                    Emptying Out

                    Rinsing Out

                    Draining and Drying Out



Troubleshooting and Repairs

Some common problems and what to do about them.

                    Common Problems                   

                    Repairing a Cracked Egg

                    Touching Up


Storing and Displaying Pysanky

How to share your pysanky with the world

                    How to Store  Pysanky

                    How to Display Pysanky

                    How to Package and Ship Pysanky


Photographing Pysanky

Taking photos of your pysanky

                    General Pysanka Photography Tips

                    Gray Card

                    Gray Scale

                    White Balance

                    White Card

                    Light Box           

This section is a still a work in progress.

Special thanks to Nick, Kalyna and Fuzz, who were kind enough to spend hours in strange positions posing for their aunt.

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