Non-Traditional Designs


These are a wealth of pysanky online, on blogs, personal websites, and Pinterest.  When you first begin looking through these sites, you begin to notice a lot of very similar designs.  Are they all copying from each other?  Probably not.  A lot of beginning (and even experienced) pysanka makers turn to design books for ideas and patterns.  The Ukrainian Gift Shop books are a very commonly used source of designs.  Zenon Elyjiw’s 60 Score of Ukrainian Easter Eggs and Vira Manko’s books also have beautiful patterns worth writing.

There are also commercial sites, including eBay and Etsy, as well as online stores which sell pysanky: UGS, All Things Ukrainian, and Yevshan.  These have hundreds of beautiful pysanky displayed

Additionally, there and dozens of books about pysanky, most with lots of color pictures, in both English and Ukrainian. Some are design books, or books of traditional pysanky, meant to be copied.  Others are meant to showcase the original works of pysankary, and may be copyrighted.

How do you know when it is OK to copy, and when it is not?  I use the guidelines below.

From WikiAnswers:

Is it OK to copy pysanka designs from other people?

It depends.

There are three types of pysanka designs: traditional, diasporan/modern and art eggs.

TRADITIONAL pysanka designs have been around for centuries, and are in the public domain. Anyone can copy them.

DIASPORAN/MODERN (or quasi-traditional) designs use traditional motifs, but have been created in recent years. These may or may not be in the public domain, depending on how long ago the design was created.

ART EGGS are modern designs created using pysanka techniques. These are usually not in the public domain unless they are very old.

If the design is found in a book, unless otherwise specified, one would assume that the designs are there to be shared and copied.

If it is an egg you've seen, it is best to ask. Most (but not all) pysanka artists are complimented if you ask to be allowed to copy one of their original designs.

If you see the pysanka on a web site, you could ask the web site owner (if there is a link for contacts) for permission. If it is a hobby site, it's not usually a problem. If it is a commercial site, they artist may not want people copying, and will usually state so on the site.

Most people don't mind copies being made unless the design is an original work of art and they are a professional artist. As long as you DON'T claim the design as your own, and you DON’T market your work to the same audience, most are happy to share.

But DO NOT ASSUME that copying an original design is OK.  And DO NOT copy if you have been rebuffed by the original artist.

And, despite what some people may try and tell you, original pysanka designs can be and are copyrighted. The Berne convention allows for automatic copyright of creative works.  Truly original designs are therefor copyrighted.  Designs which are modifications of traditional designs may be; it would depend on how much original content there is.

And do not believe anyone claiming that if there is even a single traditional dot or dash on a pysanka, that makes it not copyrightable.  That is balderdash, pure and simple.

Back to Main Preparations page

Back to Main Pysankarstvo page

Search my site with Google


Pysanky Online or in Books

An original “Five Rushnyky” design

by So Jeo (turkey egg)