Thursday, March 28, 2013


By Maxcyne Mott Yaworsky

Maxcyne's Pysanky Tree
     Each Easter my family gathers at my house to feast after Easter services at church. After an early dinner, everyone creates new pysanky to add to my collection, and I choose a few to hang on the tree for the following year.

 My house is filled to overflowing with my four offspring, their spouses, and ten grand-children, but you could hear a pin drop while they are working on pysanky. 

 It takes hours to go through the process of heating wax, creating a design, dipping it in one color, then drying the egg.  You keep drawing with wax, dying the egg another color, drying it again. 

 When you are all finished you melt off the wax, and there emerges beautifully colored Easter eggs.

 As a young bride in Canada,  I was fascinated by this art, which was taught to me by my mother-in-law,Julia Kazamira Martyniuk Yaworsky.  She was a native of Ukraine, and very skilled in this art.   I spent many Easter holidays in her home during the 16 years that I made my home in Canada, and always enjoyed sharing this time with her. 

Each year she would make a gift to me from her own collection of pysanky, by allowing me to choose one of my favorites. It was a wonderful treat, and many of those pysanky have survived to this day.  Two of them (on the right) are over 50 years old. 

     You might say that my collection of pysanky are like a small family record.  Some are initialed and dated. Others contain objects that are special to the children that made them.  Others I can recognize by the style of their creator.  All are precious to me.
Some of Maxcyne's masterpieces

     I hope you enjoy seeing them,


( From WIKIPEDIA....A pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated using a wax-resist (batik) method. The word comes from the verb pysaty, "to write", as the designs are not painted on, but written withbeeswax. Pysanky are typically made to be given to family members and respected outsiders. To give a pysanka is to give a symbolic gift of life, which is why the egg must remain whole. Furthermore, each of the designs and colors on the pysanka is likely to have a deep, symbolic meaning. Traditionally, the designs are chosen to match the character of the person to whom the pysanka is to be given )