Surma bookstore in New York, NY, owned and run by the Surmach family, was one of the earliest and best known producers of pysanka supplies, including dyes and styluses. Yaroslava (aka Gloria) Surmach wrote the chapter on pysanky for the “Ukrainian Arts” book; it was later reprinted as a booklet which is still available and quite useful. 

Surma also produced the oldest pysanka post cards in my collection, four series of cards that were printed in the 1960s and 1970s.  Each card has six pysanky, a mix of fairly simple to quite complex patterns. This was quite useful for beginning pysankarky like myself.  Some of the simple patterns are traditional ones, which I didn’t know at the time.  Most (but not all) of the more complex ones are diasporan designs.

The cards were available in both regular postcard size, and in a large 6” by 9” format.  My collection is a mix of the two; I have all the small format cards, and some of the large format cards.

If you compare the cards pictured here to those in the albums of my “Modern” pysanky, you’ll recognize quite a few–these cards were my “design book” when I was learning the art of pysankarstvo.

If you can find copies of these cards tucked away in some old Ukrainian shop or on eBay, I would urge you to buy them–the patterns are lovely and well worth making.  Surma is no longer in business, so no longer produces or sells them.


Authentic miniature masterpieces hand decorated in an

age-old process passed down from mother to daughter...

designed with the symbols of Health, Happiness, Prosperity and Love.

BLUE Cards: "Series I"

(a set of 4 design cards)

Copyright MCMLXXIV (1974)

Surma Book and Music Store New York, Made in U.S.A.

(Printed In Color)

YELLOW Cards:“Series II”

(A set of 5 design cards)

Surma Book And Music Co., New York


(Printed In Color)

GREEN Cards: “Series III”

(A set of 4 design cards)

Surma Book and Music Co., New York


(Printed In Color)

PURPLE cards: “Series IV”

(A set of 5 design cards)

Surma Book and Music Co., New York


(Printed In Color)

(To get a better view of any card, double-click on it.)


Pysanka Postcards:


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