My Pysanky


On these pages you will find photos of pysanky that I have created. They are sorted into these sections:

My Old Pysanky: Pysanky with a mix of traditional and modern patterns that I made in the 1970s and early 1980s (there may be a few from the 1960s, but I can’t be certain). These are pysanky that I wrote in my youth, before I left home.  My mother saved these eggs, and recently gave them back to me.

The pysanky in this collection are not quite antiques, but the faded, yellowing varnish and unemptied shells give away their age. These pysanky are the survivors, those that didn't leak or explode. (they are now included with my annual collections.)

Modern (Diasporan) Pysanky:  These are pysanky which are done in the traditional manner, and use some traditional motifs, but may use modern colors and have some nontraditional design elements. They are often referred to as “diasporan” pysanky. In other words, they are modern inventions of an ancient art.

I’ve organized these pysanky by their design themes/motifs.  These pysanky are shown in these sections as well:


Annual Collections: Each year I will add the new patterns I have created that year. These may be copies or variations on other people’s pysanky, or may be my own patterns.

Screensavers and Posters: Each year I send out a poster of that year’s pysanky as a spring greeting. They’re nice to look at, and make great wallpaper for your computer desktop.

Baskets and Bowls: Some of these photos were purposeful, and others were taken in the course of photographing my pysanky in order to keep track of them.  But I liked how they all turned out, so here they are.

There are several special categories of diasporan pysanky with their own sections:

White Pysanky: This was an ancient traditional technique, and is beautifully adapted to creating beautiful modern designs on a white (or light) background.

Brown Egg Pysanky:  Pysanky were traditionally written only on white eggs, so that the colors would be bright and vivid.  Writing on brown eggs gives interesting–and quite gorgeous–effects.

Trypillian Pysanky: This is a diasporan style which has become quite popular.  It adapts Ukrainian neolithic pottery designs to eggs.

Traditional Pysanky: In this section I have placed the copies I have made of traditional patterns which I have found in books and in private and museum collections.  I try to stick as closely as possible to the original colors and designs, although my line width is not always what it should (I’m getting better). 

These pysanky are organized for the most part by the ethnographic regions they come from.  I have also included two fairly distinct types of traditional pysanky: those with the “40 triangle” division (sorokoklyn) and those created using the drop-pull method of applying wax.  I’ve tried to include historical and ethnographic background information where possible.

Nontraditional Pysanky:  The eggs in this section were made using the traditional wax resist method, but with absolutely non-traditional designs.  I’ve created jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, snowflake eggs for winter, and penguin eggs for fun.  I’ve also made some very tiny pysanky on cockatiel and parrot eggs.

These eggs could be described as “novelty” pysanky, but most of them are much more than that.  (The snowflake and pumpkin eggs now have their own sections here and here.)

Goose Egg Pysanky:  These super-sized pysanky are a mix of styles, most of them made by me, and mostly with my own designs.  There are diasporan designs, traditional designs, sorokoklyn designs, copies of art (avtorsky) eggs, and thoroughly non-traditional eggs (frogs, autumn leaves, snowflakes), as well as a few written by friends.

Pysanka Galleries:  These contain a mix of my pysanky, and those made by my friends and family. Baba’s and Laurie’s eggs are mostly mine, and the first of Mary’s pages is also.

Click on any underlined words or phrases to go to the corresponding pages.

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Please note that, while the designs may not be my originals, the photos and many of the eggs are my own work.  If you wish to download them to use them for your own purposes – as computer wallpaper, to copy the designs, just to enjoy – feel free to do so.  If you wish to republish them anywhere, please ask my permission and give me credit . Thanks.

And if I have made a copy of one of your original pysanka designs, and you would like credit, please let me know.  I’ve accumulated a huge library of designs (several thousand scanned and downloaded photos in my private collection) and am not always sure who I am borrowing from.