Friday, March 30, 2012

Gorgeous Eggs for Easter

 Spring Hare on the postcard of Andrews's Thinkspace show.

Easter's just over a week away, so here are some lovely eggs you can admire and - if your involvement with Easter and eggs goes beyond plowing through Cadbury - be inspired by for your own crafting.


Bouquet of Lilies Egg, 1899

Fabergé eggs are THE eggs. What started out with a fairly simple white enameled egg containing a golden hen Alexander III commissioned for his wife turned into a family tradition of increasingly elaborate jeweled eggs from the Fabergé workshop.

Alexander III Egg, 1910. He's trampling the soul of the proletariat.

Of course, these intricate trinkets were being accumulated by the Russian royal family at the same time as many other Russians were living in poverty, and we know how that turned out. Most of the Imperial Eggs survived (Unlike Anastasia. Sorry, Dimitri.) and can be viewed in various museums. In 2009, they even went on tour in the Artistic Luxury: Fabergé, Tiffany, Lalique exhibit.


Anyone who dyed blown Easter eggs as a kid knows that getting an egg hollow while keeping the shell mostly intact sucks. Or blows. Anyway, it involves pin-sized holes, hyperventilation, and mouth-to-raw-egg contact. Imagine doing all that and then foregoing the tablet/cup dye process for the painstaking, multi-tiered process of pysanka, the Ukrainian method of creating vividly patterned eggs. The designs are made by covering different areas of the egg with wax while immersing the egg in different dyes. Traditionally, these were made with whole, not hollowed, eggs, so your masterpiece had a shelf life.

 Sharon Beals

I want to snuggle in feathers now.

If you'd like to experience the beauty of unadorned, natural eggs, the photography of San Francisco photographer Sharon Beals is the place to look. Although she photographs many subjects, her clear images of museums' nests specimens are the most well known and are the subject of her book Nests. The diversity in the eggs themselves and the nests built for them is fascinating. There are camouflaged tern eggs resting on seashells, tiny white finch eggs in woven trash, and lovely blue thrush eggs in a more classic nest. I first saw her photographs in an exhibit at the San Francisco Botanical Garden's library, and I've been enthralled ever since.

Image Credits:
Bouquet of Lilies Egg: Wikimedia Commons/shakko
Alexander III Egg: Wikimedia Commons/shakko
Pysanka: Wikimedia Commons/Luba Petrusha


  1. Gorgeous! For the record, I was already eating Cadbury mini-eggs before I saw this. Love the juxtaposition of different collections of eggs--is there a bunny sequel in the future?

    1. Oh, yeah, I was destroying a bag of mini-eggs while planning this! Haven't thought about bunnies!