Pysanky Expert Joan Brander

artist • author • instructor • lecturer

Saving the world one pysanka at a time . . . . ™

proudly presented by Baba's Beeswax – Discover the Magic of Pysanky

Traditional Easter Pysanky by Joan Brander
Traditional Easter pysanky
Joan Ivanka Brander
Joan "Ivanka" Brander
Hangjing Christmas ornament
Hanging Christmas ornaments
Saving the world one pysanka at a time trademark
Joan's Logo©
Logo celebrating 30 years
Celebrating 30 years!
On this page:
  1. About Joan Brander – her passion, vision, mission, accomplishments, charities, media attention, and more
  2. Examples of Work – Joan's talent shines through in this visual feast
  3. Social Media Profile
  4. How to Contact Joan Brander

  5. Links that take you to a new page on this website

Pysanky expert Joan Brander saving the world one pysanka at a time1. About Joan Brander

Listen to an interview on CBC The Early Edition by host Stephen Quinn on April 18, 2019.
Watch a video on BabasBeeswax.comWatch an interview on Shaw TV on March 23, 2016.
Link to CBC.ca to watch videoWatch the video to the right of an interview on CBC Vancouver by Gloria Macarenko on March 27, 2016 (our Vancouver: Easter eggs, the eastern European way). Easter eggs, the eastern European way video
Link to Baba's Pysanky BoutiqueLink to see Collections of her inspirational, whimsical, and cute pysanky-themed designs and slogans in Baba's Pysanky Boutique where you'll discover:
  • Face Masks - we're all in this together
  • T-Shirts and Apparel - only the nicest people wear her T-shirts, sweatshirts and more . . . .
  • Novelties and Gifts - greeting cards, mugs, other home/office decor items, and much more . . . .

Pysanka expert Joan Brander (who sometimes goes by her Ukrainian name Ivanka) is a Canadian artist, author, instructor and lecturer. She has been immersed in the cultural activity of using beeswax and dyes to make batik-style decorated eggs known as pysanky (pronounced PIH-sahn-kih) her entire life, having learned the tradition as a child from her grandmother whom she called "Baba". She was born and raised in Saskatchewan and now lives in Vancouver.

Her enrichment programs are multi-generational and suitable for Easter, Christmas or any time of year. They include hands-on interactive workshops, demonstrations, displays and lectures for people from all walks of life and age groups.

Her published works include a children's activity book, newsletter, bibliography, birthday party planner, instructional guide and countless articles and teaching aids. In 2008 one of her books garnered a place in the bibliography class of the Library of Congress headings—a precedent-setting development. In 2014 she was selected as a finalist for the Arts Education Award from the City of Richmond.

Joan keeps herself busy advancing her goals and ensuring a thriving future for pysanky. Her reputation continues to grow and she is highly sought after by program coordinators to share more than 60 years of knowledge.

Many traditions have been lost over the years, but Joan is doing her part to make sure that the unique art of pysanky egg decorating endures.

Preserving one of the great traditions of all time!

Joan affectionately recalls the time when, as a little girl, she was introduced to the art of Pysanka by her grandmother whom she called "Baba".

"I will always remember Baba as being plump and jolly. Her belly jiggled when she laughed. Her garden of beautiful flowers and bountiful vegetables was lovingly tended to and fun to play in. I remember jumping on her bed of feather quilts with my cousins when we visited her. And I remember with fondness the big wood stove where she baked bread, the scent of melting beeswax, the kitchen table where we worked."

     
Joan in 1962 In Baba's garden Baba
Ivanka Chyrski in 1962 Baba's Garden Baba (Rosalia Stan) in 1962

Joan's first eggs were created without the special dyes and tools she uses today. Back then she made her dyes by soaking sheets of colored crepe paper in boiling water. She made her kistka from metal recycled from a wall calendar. Her first lines of beeswax looked like noodles. She persevered. In her teens she began giving away her Pysanky as "gifts from the heart" to friends people who touched her life, a practice she continues to this day. According to Joan "nothing is more rewarding or pleasurable than to create a lasting gift for a friend."

Even with Easter several months away, Joan has everything ready for her annual ritual. It starts right after Christmas. Before her is a lighted candle, a block of beeswax and a kistka. Jars of brilliant dyes stand at one side. In a bowl rest pagan symbols of the life force—freshly laid eggs, white and smooth. In the same way that the people who originated the pysanka believed in its power, Joan writes symbols on the curved surface of the egg. Her basic design emerges and she bathes the egg in a succession of dyes in the technique akin to batik. Finally she wipes off all the beeswax--and behold! A breathtaking delight.

Passionate about pysanky

Joan began demonstrating and lecturing in the community where educators and program directors took notice of her teaching skills and friendly manner. It wasn't long before they asked her to conduct workshops for them.

Over time Joan amassed a huge collection of her unique works of art and a one of-a-kind library of books. She developed an interest in writing and sharing her knowledge about pysanky.

In the busy weeks prior to Easter, thousands of children and adults, families and seniors, will try their hand at pysanky under the skilled direction of Joan as she shares her knowledge and expertise. It means a lot to her when people exclaim how fun and easy she makes it for them.

Her Vision | Her Trademark Saving the World . . . . one pysanka at a time . . . . ™

The increasing demand for Joan's knowedge and for affordable and accessible supplies motivated her to do more with her egg decorating hobby. As her early years were spent in her parents' hardware store, starting her own pysanka enterprise was a logical next step. In 1991 she started a business, giving it the whimsical name "Baba's Beeswax". She didn' look far to find the ideal name: Baba because she was her inspiration and teacher—Beeswax because of its significance to the technique.

An ancient legend says that as long as pysanky are being made, evil shall not prevail over good in the world.

Joan is committed to saving the world . . . . one pysanka at a time ™ by:

  • creating greater public awareness of the fascinating art of decorated eggs known as "pysanky" in Ukrainian folk-art
  • writing books and resources for teachers, community leaders, and anyone interested in pysanky

Her Mission

Joan is proud to be at the forefront of preserving one of the great traditions of all time. She loves sharing pysanky from workshops and displays to demonstrations and lectures. She enjoys writing books, publishing articles, and connecting through social media. If you think that egg decorating is just for Easter, think again!

Her Accomplishments

Author / Creator

Books, eBooks and Teaching Aids

  • About the Pysanka – It Is Written! A Bibliography by Joan Brander – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2007. (ISBN 978-1-897253-14-4)
  • Lesson Plan - How to Make A Star Rosette – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2006. (ISBN 978-1-897253-10-6)
  • My First Pysanka – Symbols my Baba taught me – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2018. (ISBN 978-1-897253-45-8)
  • Pysanka Power! Birthday Party Ideas & Planner – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 1-897253-24-9)
  • Pysanka Power – Writing Eggs with Beeswax and Dyes: Instructions, information, and money saving tips for all levels of experience – by J. Brander. eBook, 2014. (ISBN 978-1-8972553-34-2)
  • Pysanky 4 Fun – A Collection of Trilingual Activities 4 Kids – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2018. (ISBN 978-1-897253-11-3)
    • Student Practice Sheet Pysanky for Fun Symbols and Their Meanings – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2006. (ISBN 978-1-897253-11-3) in English
    • Student Practice Sheet On s'amuse avec Pysanky Les symboles et leurs significations – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2014. (ISBN 978-1-897253-31-1) in French
    • Student Practice Sheet Pihsahnkih dlya Zadovolennya Symvoly ta yikh Znachennya – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2017. (ISBN 978-1-897253-43-4) in Ukrainian
    • Pysanky Party Hey Kids! It's a pysanky party with Guy Kistka, Katie Kandle, the Dye Guys, and Baby Beeswax– by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2014. (ISBN 978-1-897253-41-0)
    • Activity Sheet Pysanky Egg-tivity Scrambled Pysanky Egg Words – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 1997. (ISBN 978-1-897253-40-3)
    • Activity Sheet What would Guy Kistka Say? – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2014. (ISBN 978-1-897253-42-7)
    • Activity Sheet Pysanky 4 Fun Crossword Puzzle – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 1997. (ISBN 978-1-8997253-39-7)
  • Pysanky Color Sequence Chart – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2015. (ISBN 978-1-897253-37-3)
  • Pysanky on Paper: An Activity Book for Children – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 1997. (ISBN 0-9681922-0-3, formerly published by Bluenose Press
  • Pysanka Power Pamphlets
    • Pysanka Power #2 Trypillian Designs – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-23-6)
    • Pysanka Power #4 Hanging Pysanky – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-22-9)
    • Pysanka Power #5 Holiday Ornaments – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-21-2)
    • Pysanka Power #6 Bleached Pysanky – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-20-5)
    • Pysanka Power #7 Traditional Egg Division – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-19-9)
    • Pysanka Power #8 Colors and Their Meanings – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-18-2)
    • Pysanka Power #9 How to Get Beautiful Results the Very First Time – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-17-5)
    • Pysanka Power #10 How to Empty Your Pysanky – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-16-8)
    • Pysanka Power #12 More than 80 Pysanky Tips – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2012. (ISBN 978-1-897253-15-1)
  • Snowflake Eggs – How to Make Christmas Ornaments the Batik Way – by J. Brander. Richmond, BC: Baba's Beeswax, 2019. (ISBN 978-1-897253-50-2)

Listen audio files on BabasBeeswax.comPysanka Power Podcast

  • Episode 1 – The Essentials of Pysanky Ukrainian Easter Eggs
  • Episode 2 – The Ancient Origins of Pysanky and Stories Told About Them
  • Episode 3 – All About Pysanky Dyes
  • Episode 4 –Traditional Pysanky Symbols – Geometric Patterns
  • Episode 5 –The Technique of Using Pencil Guidelines for Pysanky
  • Episode 6 – Types of Ukrainian Decorated Eggs

Watch a video on Baba's Beeswax YouTube channelPysanka Power Videos on YouTube Playlists

Designs and Slogans that are Inspirational, Whimsical and Cute

Visual Artist

  • Presenter, 2008 Pysanka Symposium, Washington, DC 2008
  • Visual Artist, Art Starts in Schools, Vancouver
  • Hidden Passions - British Columbia Institute of Technology (2013, 2018)
  • Richmond Museum
  • Moncton Museum - Eggfest '97 (July 28 to August 10, 1997)
  • Richmond Art Centre – 2013
  • Richmond Art Gallery – 1980
  • Richmond Art Gallery/Richmond School Board "Arts for Life" – 2001
  • Shadbolt Centre Seasonal Celebration – 2010
  • Surrey Museum "Ukrainian Spirit" – 2013
  • Surrey Musuem "Making a New Home: 125 Years of Ukrainians in Canada" – 2016

Editor

  • 1995 to 2001 EGGS-aminer, a newsletter dedicated to the art of Pysanky

Awards and Mark of Distinction

  • Arts Education Award, Richmond – Finalist 2014
  • First of-a-kind place in Library of Congress headings in bibliography classification for About the Pysanka—It Is Written!

Committees

  • British Columbia Ukrainian Arts Council, Vancouver
  • British Columbia Ukrainian Cultural Festival, Langley
  • Ukrainian Centennial Days, Plaza of Nations, Vancouver 1991 and 2000
  • Canada Day at Canada Place, Vancouver 1992
  • Ukrainian Showcase, Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver 1992
  • Ukrainian Canadian Congress, BC Branch 2011
  • 120th Anniversary of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada Celebration 2011

Director

  • Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko, Richmond

Charities she Supports

Media Attention

Digital Media Television
  • CBC Vancouver: our Vancouver, Easter eggs, the eastern European way, March 27, 2016
  • Shaw TV Vancouver: go! March 23, 2016
  • Delta Cable Communications: "Plugged IN! Pysanka with Joan Brander", Delta 2008
  • Voice of America, March 19, 2008
  • CityTV, Breakfast TV, Vancouver, March 22, 2005
  • CTV, Vancouver, March 26, 2005
  • Vancouver Cable 10 Echoes of Ukraine Easter Program: "Pysanka Workshop", Produced by Julia Stashuk, Vancouver, 1999
  • BCTV, Vancouver, April 4, 1998
  • Vancouver Cable 10 Echoes of Ukraine Easter Program: "Pysanka Workshop", Produced by Julia Stashuk, Vancouver, 1997
  • Vancouver Cable 10 Echoes of Ukraine Easter Program: "Pysanka Workshop", Produced by Julia Stashuk, Vancouver, 1994
  • Delta Cable 10 Community Events Program: "Bubblebash", Delta 1993
Radio
  • CBC The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn April 18, 2019
  • CBC BC Today with Michelle Eliot April 18, 2019
  • Nash Holos Interview, August 26, 2018
  • Nash Holos Interview, Vancouver, April 27, 2008
  • CBC, North by Northwest, Vancouver, March 19, 2004
  • See also Pysanka Power Podcast below which debuted on Nash Holos Radio
Newspapers
  • The Globe and Mail : "Fire and Colour" – April 11, 2020
  • Richmond Review – July 2, 2014
  • Richmond Review – August 21, 2013 [link to The Richmond Review website and advance to page 6, or .pdf version]
  • The Richmond News - March 14, 2012 [link to The Richmond News website and advance to page A17, or .pdf version]
  • Diverse, Canadian Multicultural Awareness Magazine focusing on Art + Culture + Heritage, Volume 3, Issue 1
  • The Ukrainian Weekly, April 27, 2008
  • Burnaby New Westminster NewsLeader, March 20, 2008
  • Burnaby New Westminster NewsLeader, April 7, 2007
  • Vancouver Shinpo, March 29, 2007
  • Vancouver Sun, March, 5, 2007
  • Burnaby New Westminster NewsLeader, April 15, 2006
  • Peninsula Lifestyles, April 8, 2004
  • Richmond Review, April 8, 2004
  • Delta Optimist, March 27, 2004
  • Richmond News, April 12, 2003
  • Florida Today, April 4, 2003
  • Richmond News, April 15, 2001
  • Delta Optimist, March 20, 1999
  • Richmond News, March 16, 1997
  • Richmond Review, April 3, 1996
  • Ming Pao, March 16, 1996
  • Richmond News, April 19, 1995
  • Richmond Review, April 19, 1995
  • Vancouver Sun, April 2, 1994
  • Richmond News, March 30, 1994
Newsletters and Magazines
  • Nasha Doroha, Spring 2014
  • Diverse, Canadian Multicultural Awareness Magazine focusing on Art + Culture + Heritage, Volume 3, Issue 1, Summer 2011
  • Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko, Richmond, Volume 20, Number 3, Spring 2009
  • Solovei, Volume 4, Number 2, Spring 2008
  • Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko, Richmond, Volume 10, Number 10, Spring 2008
  • Solovei, Volume 1, Number 2, Spring 2005
  • EGGS-aminer, published by Bluenose Press, Richmond, Volume 7, No. 2, July 2001
  • International Egg Art Guild, No. 78, April 1998
  • Ukrainian Community Society of Ivan Franko, Richmond, Spring 1994
  • Contact, published by Ukrainian Canadian Congress, British Columbia Provincial Council, Vancouver

Promoting Pysanky

  • 2008 Pysanka Symposium (Washington, DC) – March 8, 2008
  • Malls
  • Teachers, Schools, Artist in Residence
    • B.C. Art Teachers' Association (1996 to 2004)
    • School Districts of British Columbia
  • Festivals, Multi-Cultural, and Community Events
    • Arts Alive, Langley – 2011
    • BC Ukrainian Cultural Festival 1998 to 2004
    • Chateau Whistler Resort – 2014 to 2018
    • Culture Days – 2014, 2015
    • Dragon Boat Festival, Vancouver – 1996
    • Eurofest, Swangard Stadium, Vancouver
    • Fusion Festival, Surrey – 2011 to 2012
    • International Tall Ships Festival, Richmond (Steveston) – 2002
    • Kaleidoscope: A World in Our City, Richmond – 2004
    • London Farm, Steveston - 1992, 1996, 1997 (Family Farm Fair) and 2011
    • Mountain Secondary School, Langley – 1997 (Multicultural Night)
    • Multicultural Celebration '98, Richmond - 1998
    • Multifest, Richmond - 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997
    • Palmer School (Community Interaction Days), Richmond – 1996
    • Panorama Heights Elementary School, Coquitlam – 1995
    • Plaza of Nations (Ukrainian Days), Vancouver – 1991
    • Pysanka Festival, Vegreville, Alberta – 1998, 1999, 2004
    • Richmond Doors Open – 2014
    • Richmond Nature Park, Richmond – 1991
    • Richmond World Festival – 2017, 2018
    • Rotary Club, Vancouver – 1993
    • Steveston Landing, Steveston - 1994, 1995, 1996
    • Steveston Salmon Festival on Canada Day - 2012 to 2016
    • Svitanok Performing Arts Society of BC – 2002
    • Ukrainian Community Society, Richmond – 1995 to 1999, 2004 to 2018
    • Vancouver European Festival – 2007 to 2015
    • Vancouver Multicultural Society of BC, Cultureshare – 1997
    • Vancouver Museum, Vancouver – 1994, 1998
    • Vegreville Pysanka Festival, Vegreville – 2004
    • Writers' on the Street, Vancouver – 1998
    • Yevshan Spring Festival, Abbotsford – 1998
  • Pysanka Power Podcast
  • Seniors
    • Courtyard Gardens, Richmond - 2006, 2011
    • Fraserview Manor, Richmond - 1994
    • Icelandic Care Centre, Vancouver - 1998
    • Inglewood Care Centre, West Vancouver - 2000
    • Kinsmen Senior Recreation Centre, Tsawwassen - 1997
    • Laurel Place, Surrey - 2009
    • Lions Manor, Richmond - 1996 to 2014
    • Pacifica Resort, Surrey - 2009
    • St. Michael's Senior Centre, Vancouver - 2000, 2001
  • Corporate Events
    • Chateau Whistler Fairmont Resort – 2014 to 2019
    • Delta Town & Country Inn, Delta –1993, 1995
    • Eatons, Lansdowne Shopping Centre, Richmond – 1992
    • Hycroft Manor, Vancouver – 2016
    • MacCallum McIntyre Law Corporation – 1992
    • Pixar Canada – 2013
    • Pryke, Lambert, Leathley, Russell Law Corporation – 2009
    • Richmond General Hospital– 1995 to 1997
  • Churches
    • Fraserview, Richmond
    • Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church, Toronto – 2009
    • M.O.P.S., Richmond – 1995
    • Reah Fellowship, South Langley MB Church, Langley – 1994
    • St. Joseph the Worker Church, Richmond – 1995

Educational Background

  • Foam Lake Composite High School, Saskatchewan
  • Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology, Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology

Pysanky expert Joan Brander2. Examples of Work

Artist / Author / Instrutor

  • Look at photos on Baba's Beeswax Flickr albumsLink to Hi-Res photo album illuvpysanky on Flickr
  • A few samples below of what you'll see
     
Pysanky gallery at babasbeeswax.com Baba's pysanky created by Joan Brander Beautiful pysanky created by Joan Brander
Pysanky Gallery –
a huge collection of Joan's creations
Joan Brander's traditional pysanky
displayed in a wooden bowl
A sun motif dominates this
colourful display of pysanky written by Joan Brander
         
Eggs Beautiful pysanky design by Joan Brander Pysanky studio at babasbeeswax.com Pysanky library at babasbeeswax.com
A vibrant red amd blue poppy motif
admidst dozens of pysanky written by Joan Brander
Pysanky Studio Unique one of-a-kind
Pysanky Library
     

Pysanky expert Joan Brander saving the world one pysanka at a time3. Social Media Profile

Facebook Baba's Beeswax – Discover the Magic of Pysanky
Joan Brander Artist and Instructor
Joan Brander Author
YouTube Videos Baba's Beeswax Channel
Pinterest Discover the Magic of Pysanky
Flickr Albums iluvpysanky Photo Albums
Blog Baba's Beeswax
Saving the world one pysanka at a time . . . . ™ (under development)
LinkedIn

Baba's Beeswax
Joan Brander

Pysanky expert Joan Brander saving the world one pysanka at a time4. Contact Joan Brander

Address | 3591 Springfield Drive, Richmond, BC V7E 1Z3

Phone  | 604-275-8169

Fax | 604-275-6847

Email | [email protected]

Pysanky expert Joan Brander saving the world one pysanka at a time5. Links that take you to a new page on this website

What are pysanky and how are they made?

Learn pysanky with Joan Brander (online teaching/learning, hands-on interactive workshops, demonstrations, displays, lectures)

About Baba's Beeswax

www.babasbeeswax.com (home page)

Link goes to top of page
 Use your browser's BACK button to return to the previous page.