About Eggshell Art



An artist’s meditative morning practice. 

A shattered shell. 

A happy accident. 


What started as a studio warm-up exercise has turned into an ever-growing and expanding collection of celebrated artwork. 

Years ago, I would spend the freezing hours of 5-7 AM in my studio each morning, doodling in cleaned eggshells originally slated for the compost in an effort to warm up my body and mind. As my collection of eggshells grew, I turned to painting inside them as well. One morning, I dropped and shattered a shell I’d been painting, which led my thoughts to the ancient Japanese practice of kintsugi, wherein broken pottery is repaired with gold. Rather than an attempt to disguise the break or flaw, the gold mending technique is used to highlight the crack, and to elevate the object to a status of even higher beauty.

I’ve always loved the Japanese art of kintsugi. It calls us to celebrate age, history, and the scars that life and time make upon everything and everyone. I embrace this as a way to think about ourselves, others, and our relationships as we age. It honors the inevitable imperfections of everything we see and might aspire to be, and represents the duality of fragility and strength, beauty and brokenness.

Along with a varied and wide-ranging palette of joy-inducing colors and styles of mark-making, many of my eggshell paintings also include goldleaf “cracks.” I hand paint each eggshell before goldleaf is carefully applied as a visual representation of kintsugi. Each delicate eggshell is imbued not just with visual beauty, but a representation of this ethos–to recognize and exalt the fantastical in the flawed.

 

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