The art and craft of pysanky

My People

Pysanky artists seem to be few and far between here on the West Coast.  This art originated in the Eastern European area of Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Lithuania etc. and immigrants brought it to this country.  Like my dad’s family, most of them settled on the East Coast or across Canada and not so many came to central California where I live now.  As a result it is rare for me to meet others who share my love for creating this type of egg art.

Thankfully the internet has put other artists within my reach.  Just over a year ago I joined an online pysanky chat group and began learning new techniques and tips from our discussions.  I thought I knew a lot about creating these eggs already, but found a whole new world of fun to explore.  These new-found friends willingly shared knowledge and sparked a renewed excitement in me and my work.

A couple of weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to meet some of these people face to face at a pysanky retreat.  Forty of us spent time hanging out together at a beautiful retreat center in Dalton, Pennsylvania.  I walked into that place never having met anyone but immediately I felt like I was among “my people.”  The names I knew became faces as we all spoke the same language and got excited about the same things.  Together we took classes, admired each others’ work, freely shared ideas, and continued our own projects.



 In short, I lived and breathed pysanky.

I think I just got a taste of heaven.

10 responses

  1. s.

    so glad you had the opportunity to be a part of the egg retreat. I would someday love to join that egg retreat. Maybe next year! 🙂

    August 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

  2. Although the art of pysankarstvo in its many forms is well represented throughout Eastern Europe (among the Slavs), there is no Russian tradition of wax resist egg decoration. Russians do make krashanky (single color Easter eggs), but they do not write pysanky. Ethnic Ukrainians throughout modern-day Russia do, however.

    August 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

  3. Melanie Harding

    How wonderful! I’m so happy you had such a great time! 🙂

    August 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm

  4. Jeanne

    Dear Teresa in sunny California and Ann-Marie, too, I agree completely with your reactions!! Unreal how fast the time went and all that we learned! The variety and styles of eggs amazes me! I can’t wait until next year, too! Just wish the retreat lasted longer! Jeanne

    July 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    • We all stayed up way too late and got up way too early to do too many days of retreat. I don’t know about you, but I came home tired! It was great though. And you were the best “greeter” ever. Thanks for all your hard work and especially for making this California girl feel at home right away.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  5. Ann-Marie

    Yeah, I felt the same way. And you were one of the Angels! I feel so privileged that we got to meet and speak face to face. Looking forward to 2013! Ann-Marie

    July 31, 2012 at 10:45 am

    • I felt the same way about you Ann-Marie. What a blessing to have unhurried time together. I’ve already marked my calendar for next year!

      July 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

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