The story behind the world’s most luxurious eggs:
The history of Faberge Eggs is fascinating. The first imperial Faberge egg dates back to 1885, when Russian Tsar Alexander Third, recruited master goldsmith Peter Carl Faberge, to create a gift for his wife for Easter. Over the course of the years until 1917, 50 imperial eggs were made by Faberge, of whom, today, only 43 are believed to exist. When the Tsar’s family left St. Petersburg after the revolution of 1917, all the imperial eggs were left behind. No other jeweller has been a part of so much intrigue, mystery and sumptuousness. The small intricately decorated decorative art pieces are still today, some of the most artistic works ever created.
I posted ten pictures of my eggshell creations with the first part of this blog. I am going to add a few details about each of them.
1. The first Egg is a Goose Eggshell, with trellis pattern with golden thread and crystals. Then the egg was cut in a zigzag way to create a jewellery box. It was extremely hard to do the satin lining inside, because you can see the edges need to be immaculate, otherwise the box will not close properly. Honestly, after I finished the lining spending hours, I had a little crack on the egg, and I was devastated! Next day my teacher showed me how to fix those cracks, which happen while working on something so fragile. This is one of my best creations, because it was too difficult!
2. The second picture is of a tiny box made of a. Chicken eggshell, and you can see the letter “R” on the top. That’s the first letter of my son’s name, which is Rajarshi (means a saint-king from Indian epics). Instead of using regular paint, I wrapped the tiny egg with onion skins, and then boiled it in water. This is a very interesting process - if I boil six eggshells the same way in the same pan, each one will have different colour like a mosaic, on them.
3. The third picture is the same egg as the first one - here you see the inside like a flower. I should have put this next to the first one, but for some unknown technical reason, I was not able to.
4. The fourth egg is a Goose, it’s cut like a jewellery box. It was painted, and then I did the roses by using decoupage. These eggshells are obviously extremely fragile, but when they are covered with layers and layers of paint and glue, they are not that fragile. You can carry them with care, but definitely they will break if you drop them on the bare floor.
5. This is a very interesting creation. It’s a jewellery box in a heart shape. How did I get the heart shape with eggshells? Two chicken eggshells were cut and put together to create that lovely heart shape! They are just two humble chicken eggs which we break every day to make omelettes.
6. This is a very interesting shape - you can see. This decoration was made of a Goose eggshell. I like working with Goose eggshells more than the bigger ones, like Ostrich, Emu or Rhea, because this seems the perfect size and the hardness of the shell is perfect for cutting. Both doors have decoupage on them - really intricate.
7. Here is the Tea-pot. The handle and the spout are bought, and a Goose-eggshell is used for the body. Inside is done with silk and lace, so we can’t use it for making tea!!!
8. This is a hanging decoration with a Goose eggshell. The pictures of children and birds are decoupaged. It looked so lovely with the off-white paint and the cute pictures, I did not want to cut it. So it was hung on a decorative stand.
9. This is the same egg which we see in picture 4. Here the jewellery box is open. Inside is red velvet and white lace - kind of a perfect Valentine Gift.
10. Here comes the extra-special eggshell - it is an Ostrich Eggshell. I wanted to do some experiment on it. The natural colour of an Ostrich eggshell is very pretty off-white. I never paint an Ostrich Egg. For this one, I used the technique of Batik-painting. It’s a technique which uses melted wax to cover a whole or parts of a picture, and then dips it in colour. Later the melted wax is taken off by ironing. Batik is usually done on fabric. For this egg, I used melted wax to cover the outline of the picture, and then dipped it in Batik paint. But I chose not to take off that melted wax. There are Peacock pattern, which is very common in Indian art, on both sides of the egg.
Other than special birds like Goose and Ostrich , I work with Emu and Rhea eggshells. Emu eggs are so special - it’s hard to believe they are eggshells - they are dark green in colour. They are excellent for carving pictures. Rhea eggshells are the same colour as Ostrich, but smaller in size. I have worked with these two kinds of eggshells too, but unfortunately I can’t post pictures right now, we are allowed to post only ten pictures at a time. Anyway, I will definitely share those fabulous-looking creations soon, can’t wait.
Learning this exquisite art, was almost an adventure for me! I was living temporarily in a small, but one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We were enjoying every possible luxury like residing in a palatial villa surrounded by plush gardens in the middle of a desert. But there was one obstacle for me! I didn’t have a driving license, and let’s just say, it was really hard to get one. When I joined the class, which was in the mornings, my friend gave me a ride. After few classes, she stopped attending, and by then I became obsessed with my new vocation. I was desperate! I hired a cab - a chauffeur used to pick me up and drop me off. It was a bit expensive - more than that, I was not a local, it was not very safe for an expatriate woman. Each time I travelled, I had butterflies in my stomach. But that did not stop me. I continued travelling like that for a few more years to attend the art-class of my dream!