Pysanka Photo Links


These are sites which have nice photos of pysanky. Some are small commercial sites (the owners sell their own pysanky), and the contents may change frequently.  Others are personal sites by pysanka makers who want to share their work and their love of pysanka-making.  I like to look at photos of pysanky made by others, both for inspiration, and sometimes just to have nice patterns to copy. (Read the note at the bottom of this page about copying.)

When you first begin looking through other people’s pysanka 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.

(Note: Since I originally posted this, I haven’t found many more new sites, and some of the old ones have disappeared. Personal web sites, and even blogs, appear to be on the way out, as people find using Flickr, Pinterest and Facebook to be much simpler options.)

Some interesting hobbyist (non-commercial) galleries with mostly modern/diasporan-type pysanky:

  1. BulletBecky: she has several galleries of pysanka photos on her Flickr site.  There are a lot of lovely eggs, both diasporan and non-traditional, as well as photos of her making eggs.

  2. BulletBill Yakowenko: mostly diasporan pysanky.  And older site, but some nice photos.

  3. BulletDandyLion Eggs:  A nice collection of very non-traditional, original eggs, with some diasporan patterns thrown in.  These eggs are original works of art, with truly beautiful motifs and designs. 

  4. BulletIhor Slabicky: some nice, if simple, traditional and modern designs, including a few Trypillian eggs.

  5. BulletJanet Ross:  a dentist who makes pysanky (and a woman after my own heart).  There is just one page with a few eggs, but they are nice, and the ostrich eggs are amazing!

  6. BulletLisa S: a full page of pysanky, nice

  7. BulletNicole Holcombe: a Belgian woman who has mastered the art of pysankarstvo. Nicole takes her designs from books, photos, puzzles, the internet, and elsewhere, often using very non-traditional colors. Click the right arrow for more eggs.

  8. BulletRoz Chast  If you are a reader of the New Yorker, you will recognize her work.  These are absolutely totally non-traditional in any sense of the work pysanky.

  9. BulletTeresa Mihalko Harbert: a pysanka blogger with some lovely eggs and some great photos of them.

  10. BulletTisane: another Flickr gallery.  There aren’t as many eggs here to look at, but there are some interesting patterns

  11. BulletValentyna: Has a blog, as well as this Flickr gallery.  She seems to like modern interpretations of more traditional designs, as well as adaptations of other art forms to pysankarstvo.

Some interesting commercial sites with nice photo galleries:

  1. BulletAdriana: a commercial pysanka artist out of southern California, Adriana creates lovely diasporan pysanky.

  2. BulletEnchanted Hen: a commercial site which used to have nice quilt-patterned eggs to look at, but now it is mostly ostrich egg shell jewelry.

  3. BulletEve Butterly: some very nice original pysanky, including rhea and ostrich pysanky.  Eve’s work is lovely and the site is beautifully done. She has diasporan pysanky as well as eggs with non-traditional quilt patterns.

  4. BulletLorrie Popow: a lot of intricate non-traditional designs, as well as examples of filigree and acid-etching

  5. BulletMark Malachowski creates beautiful, intricate pysanky with non-traditional designs and colors.  The work is exquisite, and his eggs demonstrate the potentials of batik egg art. Mark notes that he uses many of the same symbols and motifs that traditional pysanka artists use, but tries to create a unique interpretation with unusual color combinations and very stylized/abstract traditional symbols.

  6. BulletOlga’s Egg-Files: the graphics are a bit spacey, and the text a bit questionable, but the pysanky are pretty (a few eggs for sale)

  7. BulletPatty’s Pysanky Showcase: Patty Wiszuk-De Angelo not only write beautiful pysanky, but she mixes and sell her own dyes.  Worth a look.

  8. BulletPysanka Collectibles: Helen Badulak’s site, also commercial, used to have some truly amazing pysanky to look at.  It seems quite minimalist at the moment. You can also check out her family’s Etsy shop.

  9. BulletRoman Seniuk: the website of a local Detroit pysankar.  His work is quite good, intricate with nice colors and good lines.  He is also the brother of an artist friend of mine.  You can also see a video about him here.

  10. BulletSo Jeo: some incredibly gorgeous art eggs, all her own designs. So has crossed the line from folk art to fine art. The intricacy and fine detail are absolutely amazing to behold. The motifs are non-traditional for the most, and include Persian rug and Chiyogami patterns, .  There are also complex quilt-like geometric patterns, as well as birds, flowers and butterflies. 

Several large commercial sites are worth having a look at (nice eggs with decent pictures), even if you’re not interested in buying.  They generally sell pysanky imported from Ukraine, and often have a “stable” of their own artists.

  1. BulletAll Things Ukrainian: a commercial site which has hundreds of Ukrainian-made pysanky to peruse

  2. BulletBest Pysanky:  Well, they’re nice enough, and there are a lot to choose from.  Some pretty complex designs are included.

  3. BulletUkrainian Gift Shop:  UGS sell their own designs, as well as pysanky from Ukraine.  Lots of interesting eggs to look at here.

  4. BulletVyshyvanka: another site selling pysanky from Ukraine, of reasonably good quality

  5. BulletYevshan: click on the “Easter Eggs” link to get to their pysanky pages.  They sell Canadian, western Ukrainian and Hutsul pysanky.

Flickr has become a good place to look at pysanky, as many artists use this forum to post their photos, rather than creating their own web sites.  There are at least two pysanky groups, and many of the photos are public.  And there are some nice Lemko pysanky (from a  museum) here. Just go to Flickr and search for “Pysanka.”

And don’t forget to check out e-Bay, which always has a few pysanky for sale, and has lots the month or so before Easter. It can be a surprisingly good place to look for patterns, although, in recent years, it seems to have become dominated by commercial pysanky imported from Ukraine.  The photos are often poor, but sometimes you can find beautiful eggs photographed well.  Just type in “pysanka” and see what pops up.  It is worth it to troll around occasionally.

A relative newcomer is Etsy, which is sort of eBay for artists (but usually with set prices instead of bidding). There are now thousands of pysanky for sale on Etsy, some good, some bad, many indifferent, with lots of designs from the same sources listed above.  The sellers are from around the world, including some quite good Ukrainian pysankary.  

Not to be left out is Facebook, where members post lots of photos.  It is a much more restricted milieu, though–many members limit who can view their photos.  This seems to be less common among pysankary, who often want to show off their work.  Just search for “pysanky” and you’ll find lots of pages to peruse.

More recently, Pinterest has become a thing.  You can find many collections of pysanka photos there; many are linked back to their original sources, which is helpful, but others have been stripped of metadata and then shared.  I have several boards of traditional Ukrainian and other slavic pysanka-type eggs.

From WikiAnswers:

Is it OK to copy pysanka designs from other people?

It depends.

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

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

DIASPORAN (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.

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Pysanka Galleries

An original “Five Rushnyky” design

by So Jeo (turkey egg)