babasbeeswax.com

Everything you need to make beautiful pysanky the traditional way!   
Pysanky Supplies and Workshops

 Online Catalog

   . . . . Pysanky Kits and Supplies
   . . . . Teaching Aids
   . . . . Books and Pamphlets
           Unique Bibliography
           Children's Activity Book
           Birthday Party Ideas
           eBook
           Newsletter about Pysanky
   . . . . Eggs-cessories and Gifts
   . . . .
In Baba's Art Room
   . . . .
free stuff and much more . . . .

 Learn to Make Pysanky

   . . . . What are Pysanky?
   . . . . Upcoming Workshops
   . . . . Studio Workshops with Joan Brander

   . . . . Enrichment Programs
   . . . . Visual Arts in the Community
   . . . . Birthday Parties
  
 . . . . Demonstrations, Displays, Lectures

 Workshops in Schools

   . . . . Book Joan Brander for a Workshop
   . . . . Classroom Supplies for Teachers

 Ordering

   . . . . 7 Ways to Order
   . . . . Our Shipping Policy
 
  . . . . Printer-Friendly Order Form

 About Us

   . . . . The Story of Baba's Beeswax
   . . . . Pysanky Expert Joan Brander
           Artist, Author, Instructor, Lecturer
           Accomplishments and Media Attention
   . . . . What Our Fans Are Saying

 Photo Gallery

 Archives

 Contact and Connect

 FAQs and Help

 Links and Resources

Pysanky FAQs and Help 

We are committed to sharing useful information, knowledge, hints and money-saving tips with you in many ways:

  • throughout the pages of our website, including this page of FAQs
  • on Facebook as "Discover the Magic of Pysanky"
  • Joan Brander's blog at www.iluvpysanky.blogspot.com
  • Pysanka Power video clips on Baba's Beeswax Channel on YouTube
  • free newsletters distributed twice yearly
  • back issues of EGGS-aminer Newsletter
  • on Twitter

We hope you will find the information helpful. Let us know what's on your mind.

Please email us with any other questions you have about our supplies and products.

Your Questions

1. I would like to learn how to make Pysanky. What supplies do I need to get started?
2. I see that the Basic Kit is really affordable. Is there anything else I need?
3. What books do you suggest for beginners?
4. What is the drying board used for?
5. Do I need to buy new dyes every year?
6. My older Pysanky have turned yellow. Why?
7. What do your tee-shirts look like?
8. What are templates and how are they used?
9. The only eggs available here are brown! Although it works ok (gives the final egg sort of an "antique" look), we would like to have some white in the design on occasion. Only the lighter colors seem to be affected. Any suggestions?(from Jon, Quito)
10. My dyes don't go on smoothly. Why do they look blotchy and streaked? (from Barb)
   

Answers

Q1.

I would like to learn how to make Pysanky. What supplies do I need to get started?
We suggest beginners get started by purchasing a "Basic Kit" and expanding from there. The Basic Kit contains all the supplies you need to make Pysanky in the traditional way:

  • the kistka is sturdy and will last indefinitely if used properly
  • the dyes can be used from year to year if stored properly to avoid evaporation (simply add a tablespoon of vinegar every couple of months to rejuvenate them)
  • there is enough beeswax to make many Pysanky of a basic design
  • the cleaning wire is a useful tool that removes unwanted debris from the funnel of the kistka
  • all kits include step-by-step instructions, colored diagrams, helpful hints, important information, a description of the history and tradition of Pysanky, symbols and their meanings and sample designs

TIP: if you're making Pysanky with your friends or family, with kids for example, rather than purchase 2 Basic Kits, just buy one, add a kistka for each additional person and easily share all the other things!

 
Q2. I see that the Basic Kit is really affordable. Is there anything else I need?
If you want to expand the Basic Kit, we suggest that you purchase any of the following additional items, depending on your budget (all are optional, of course!)
  • Baba's Super Sheen
  • drying board
  • books
  • extra kistka (start with size fine, then heavy)
  • extra dye colors (make sure you have enough jars)
  • extra beeswax
 
Q3. What books do you suggest for beginners?
In addition to the excellent pamphlet included with all the kits we also recommend the following reading for beginners:
 
Excellent source of useful and timely information on Pysanky:

EGGS-aminer published by Bluenose Press

For children aged 2 to 12:

Pysanky on Paper: An Activity Book for Children

Excellent source of information on technique:

Ukrainian Egg Design - Book 1 (1984)
Ukrainian Egg Design - Book 2 (1986)
Ukrainian Egg Design - Book 3 (1995)

Excellent source of information on tradition and history:

Pysanka: Icon of the Universe (1977)
Eggs Beautiful (1975)
Ukrainian Easter Eggs & How We Make Them (1979)

New and exciting designs:

Decorating Eggs: Exquisite Designs with Wax & Dye (1996)

 
Q4. What is the drying board used for?
The drying board is a sturdy wooden board that has stainless steel nails arranged in tripod configurations to hold 15 eggs at a time. It is:
  • essential for removing beeswax using the oven method
  • provides a safe place for drying your varnished eggs
  • protects eggshells while they are draining
  • convenient place for resting your eggs while decorating
 
Q5. Do I need to buy new dyes every year?
No, eggshell dyes are aniline, non-edible and come in a powdered form. They are prepared with water and vinegar (all except the orange dye which requires no vinegar!). The vinegar acts as a setting agent and allows the color to adhere to the eggshell. Once prepared, the dyes will last indefinitely. Two enemies are:
  • evaporation - therefore, store dyes in air-tight jars
  • bacteria from eggs contaminating the dyes - when this happens the dyes become cloudy and show evidence of bacteria growth, but can still be used successfully. Simply strain the dye through cheesecloth, bring to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar. From time to time (ie. every couple of weeks) add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to the dyes to rejuvenate their dyeing power
 
Q6. My older Pysanky have turned yellow. Why?
Until now, most varnishes and urethanes have had yellowing effects on Pysanky. Worse yet, some are water-based and wash off the dyes! You can now use a brand new product to protect and preserve your beautiful Pysanky without the effects of yellowing. Baba's Super Sheen is clear, glossy and non-yellowing. It produces dramatic results on Pysanky and is very easy to use. It can safely be used on all types of water-based colors, including Pysanky dyes.
 
Q7. What do your tee-shirts look like?
Our Tee-Shirts are of excellent quality (Hanes, made in USA), 100% cotton, short-sleeved and generous in length. They are teal-green in color Their design is black line-art. The design is a 9"x13" rectangle that contains a kistka resting atop an egg that has a few wax lines written on it in the motif of a star rosette. Under the rectangle are the words "Baba's Beeswax".
 
Q8. What are templates and how are they used?
The construction of our templates is somewhat between heavy paper and light cardboard. There are 16 pysanka templates in a package ranging from 1/4" to 4-7/8". They are designed to divide all sizes of eggs into equal parts of 2, 4, 6 or 8 or for circles.
 
Q9. The only eggs available here are brown! Although it works ok (gives the final egg sort of an "antique" look), we would like to have some white in the design on occasion. Only the lighter colors seem to be affected. Any suggestions?
The only way to get "white" in your design is to start with white eggs. Brown eggs produce very nice results, don't they?
 
Q10. Why do my dyes not go on smoothly, but rather in a blotchy and streaked manner?
This sounds like it's because of the egg surface itself and not the dyes. Every eggshell reacts differently to the dyes and there is no guarantee that the color will come out "smooth" and "consistent"
 
Top   •   Discover the Magic of Pysanky on Facebook   •   Home   •   Contact Us
©1997 - 2017