Instruction and Technique



Tutorials: Old-Style

There are several sites which have good basic tutorials for pysanka-making.  Ann Morash has photos and a lot of information on her site, along with several step-by-step on line pysanka designs (diasporan).  Maggie Tarris Bauer has been working on a pysanka blog, where she passes along pysanka tips and tricks.  It is worth a look here.

There is also some in-depth information at the aptly named “Pysanka” site (much of it taken from the book Pysanka: Icon of the Universe).  That site is no longer active, but the Wayback Machine has archived it. And there is a nice photo tutorial at “Jim’s” anonymous pysanka site here.  And Deirdre has a nice digital book you can download on her site, either as .pdf or in digital form.

Of course, you can find lots and lots of information here on my site, and handouts of all sorts, including ones on making pysanky, symbolism, and traditions.  There are also a large number of pattern sheets available, mostly for simple, traditional patterns.  I’ve gotten quite a few good photos to demonstrate techniques, thanks to my nieces and nephews, and have been uploading them with explanatory text.

If you want to learn about dyes and dyeing, this site is quite good, although it deals with textile dyeing.  (Eggs dye like wool or silk does, except that hot water dyes are out for pysanky–the wax will melt.)

Tutorials: Video

YouTube is now full of pysanka videos; searching for “Pysanka” give you almost 7000 hits. Searching in Ukrainian will give you almost 9000. They vary in quality and usefulness, and many have loud, annoying music.  Narrowing down your search to “Pysanka tutorial” winnows them out a bit, and give 2000 results.  I have not watched very many of them––who has the time–– so you can explore on your own, if you like.  You will see lots of good tips, as well as lot of questionable stuff (e.g. covering the entire egg with wax before blowing it out.  WAY too much work.)

Valentyna of Ottawa created a few basic how-to videos in the early days of YouTube, which you can view on her YouTube site

My friend Lorri Popow also has several instruction videos on her page here. She covers a variety of subjects, and has detailed, step-by-step videos.  They are worth a look, especially for beginners.

All Things Ukrainian has added several instructional videos to their site, with good step-by step instructions, peppy Ukrainian music, and Misha the cat. Look here, at their YouTube page (scroll down a bit), or glance at this video:

A favorite of mine, though , is this Ukrainian video by Oksana Bilous, «Всесвіт у моїх долонах» (“The Universe in the Palms of my Hands”).  I own the DVD, but found this version on line.  It is a slow, methodical, real-time explanation of the pysanka writing Ukrainian.  Oksana has also written a book on the art of pysankarstvo.

Pysanka Classes

If you are interested in taking a class locally, it is worth checking Ann Morash’s “Learn Pysanky” site’s listings here.  Other suggestions would be calling a local Ukrainian church or cultural center; many of them will offer classes in the weeks prior to Easter, or might at least know of someone who does.

Questions and Answers

Lastly, Wiki-Answers, now renamed “,” has a section on pysanky; you can peruse the questions already answered, or you can post/answer questions.  This is not the place to find answers to urgent questions, but most do get answered eventually, if not fairly quickly.  I update answers regularly, along with several other pysankary. (Full disclosure: I am a supervisor of the Pysanka section.)

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