Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Retro Wednesday - Eggeury

I'm going to try to do something different on Wednesdays now - Retro Wednesdays where I show funny craft projects from books I have, vintage children's books that Sage and I love, or whatever else retro I come across. Since Easter is coming up, I thought it'd be a good time to discuss Eggeury - the art of decorating eggs.

These books were published in 1972 and 1973 by artist June Hoffman.

There may have been some egg-decorating-movement back then because I first became aware of this art form in the late 70s and early 80s when my dad's secretary made us Christmas ornaments out of eggs. She turned them into things like picture frames, nativities, and little woodland worlds. I found these fascinating and vividly remember visiting her basement craft room one time, marveling at all the inviting beads, ribbon, glue and miniature creatures and knowing then that I wanted to grow up and be a crafter too.

Here are some of June Hoffman's creations:

Hinged "boxes" lined with velvet and decorated with jewels.

Some incorporated pictures or paintings in the background.

Some had scenes composed of cardboard cutouts.

or kitchy creatures

It's obvious this lady had a sense of humor.

And patience. And a steady hand. She sure picked a fragile medium. I wonder how many of these pieces have survived? If I were an egg, I'd like to be immortalized by this lady.

Inspired by these books, Sage and I decided to attempt to blow our own eggs and decorate them. First, I gently punched a hole on either end of the egg with a thick pin:

Then we stuck a straw in and Sage blew out the yolks. Ew.

I ran some water through them to clean out any residue. On a few of them, I inserted a knotted ribbon into one of the holes and secured it with hot glue.

For this one, I cut up some fabric into tiny squares and Mod Podged them onto the egg:

For this one, I coated the egg in Mod podge and rolled it in seed beads:

For this one, I hot glued a couple plastic eyeballs, a bead, some buttons and yarn to the egg and ended up with this little freak:

Sage made this cute little chick:

and this "biting dinosaur":


If I'm ever an art teacher again, I'm going to do this project with the kids. All you need are some eggs, straws, Mod Podge (or glue) and then a table full of beads, buttons, ribbon, feathers, paint (nail polish), googly eyeballs, toothpicks, fabric, etc. Let the kids have at it and you'll ended up with a huge mess, but also some pretty cute little eggs too.

3 comments:

Tricia said...

I love those books and all the fun and beautiful creations! Great stuff!
Good work with your eggies! I especially love the patchwork one!

KB said...

Thanks! I find those books fascinating. Eggshells are such a delicate medium. I think I'll stick with fabric.

Suekate said...

Back in the 70's, my favorite craft was eggeury, so this brought back many memories of that wonderful craft. You can be so creative and every egg is different so you don't get bored. I taught classes with both children and adults and still have many of my supplies. If you know of anyone who would like to purchase them for VERY reasonable prices, please let me know. I have 5 dozen + goose egg shells, an ostrich egg shell, and many, many findings to create both Christmas ornaments from chicken eggs, and more elaborate items from goose eggs. I also have many of the miniatures for both size egg shells. I would love to pass these on to someone who wants to create using eggs!! Also, note that working with the eggs is not nearly as delicate a process as one would think.

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