Creations by Avril Korman
I have done a lot of charity work over the years. I mean, a lot. I’ve helped raise money for charities large and small all over the world. All different kinds. While I’m happy to do all of that, and will continue to do so, every so often people have asked me what *my* favorite charities are. Me, personally.
The answer is always, 100% of the time, animal charities.
So a close friend suggested I create a way to incorporate that into my eggs. So I have. Basically, I can carve any animal print onto an egg, and then you can choose any options you like. I can even paint it to resemble the colors of your own pet. 20% of all proceeds will go to animal/wildlife charities, and I will happily provide proof of donation. Do you have an animal charity you’d prefer your donation to go to? Tell me, and I’ll give it to them. Anywhere in the world, as long as they take online donations. Not sure? I’ll find one.
The only real rule is that the only carving on the egg will be the paw. (this allows me to carve them quickly.) I can make them into ornaments for an extra $10, if you want something to hang on a tree. I can even make it into an egglace. Just fill out an order with whatever you want here.
Together, we can give a little bit more to help the animals we love so much.
Sometimes you have to let things be what they are.
I was still thinking about how to work with the flaws in things after I finished that last egg. For about six weeks Ive had a carved egg blank here, that had broken during carving. Not enough to toss it, but in a way that would be easily fixable. I’d had it in a cup on a shelf, while I considered what to do with it. But after the last egg, I finally realized that I wanted to use the break in the design to create a bud vase.
I was pretty excited by the idea, and could see the entire finished piece in my head. Unfortunately, my head was also full of a combination of cold and allergy medicine. To put it bluntly, I was high as a kite.
About five minutes after I took this photo, I dropped a tube of MonoAqua glue on top of the egg, shattering it into a zillion pieces and killing my bud vase idea.
The original pattern was a basic pattern #3, so I made a new one. This second one didn’t break under carving though, so the original idea I had for the bud vase wasn’t going to work, and it didn’t seem like a good idea to deliberately break the egg just to create the same effect — the beauty of it was in its accidental nature.
That said, I really liked the sculpting I had done on the first one. I decided to just sculpt and see what it turned into. The resulting piece is The Flower of Possibility.
The thing is, I don’t know what it is. Is it a beautiful flower? An alien life form? A triffid? I don’t know. Right now, it’s a possibility, and it can be anything you imagine it should be. Maybe it’s just a visual metaphor for an idea that hasn’t quite formed yet; an object to remind you that the power of possibility is strong in everyone’s life, and you get to direct that possibility into being. It’s a beautiful mystery that you get to solve.
This is a jumbo egg, and both the interior and exterior have a gradient pattern that goes from deepest red black to metallic gold on the top. The holes are lined in a bright leaf green and the base is a mixture of greens and autumn orange, with black and black cherry red. It doesn’t need a separate stand- it will sit up just like it is on its own.
It’s available for $125. Not a bad price for a wonder of infinite possibility. You can grab it from the Etsy Store.
“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
― Augusten Burroughs,
Some eggs have more of a story than others. Sometimes they seem to be trying to teach life lessons. So it is with this one.
I spend a lot of time trying to get my eggs to come out perfectly. Let’s face it most of us try to do that in most aspects of our lives. Sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it’s crucial (like in surgery or something) and sometimes, it’s just never going to happen – and that last part is very often true of art or design, or architecture or any creative thing. It’s even more true when it comes to anything involving humans and how they look or react and behave.
This egg started out pretty normally. It’s a double spiral basic pattern, that I had intended in doing in red and white, with a gold interior. Nothing too fancy. I figured someone might want to make an ornament out of it or something. But I must have over acidified the dye (this happens once in a while) and as a result, I was having real problems getting paint to adhere to the exterior. Parts of it would stick, and parts would just flake off. I tried coating it over and over again, but no matter how many times I tried to fix it, there were just sections of the exterior where paint was simply not willing to stick.
So I decided to work around the problem. I have some 22K gold leaf (real gold) here, and instead just used that to fill in all the areas to which paint would not adhere.
Things got even stranger when I realized that the shell was so thin, that at some point while I was working on it (I was on a lot of medication, since I’ve been sick) that I must have broken a small piece near the bottom. This also sometimes happens and usually I restore the break flawlessly – you can’t see it when it’s done (I have a degree in this,. so.) though I call it out when listing them because that’s only fair.
I considered tossing the whole thing, because I was sick and cranky and just over it. I let it sit and was looking at Instagram, where I ran across whatever photo @skelotim had up at that moment (he’s seriously my favorite thing on instagram. No lie.). I had a WWTD (what would Tim do) moment, and realized, he’d suggest embracing the flaws, because he’s all about that. So I went back to work.
I did repair the flaw, but it is still visible if you’re looking for it. This was a conscious decision, and here’s the flaw:
If you look closely on the left side of that circled area you can see that it’s ever so slightly raised. The truth is when it’s in the stand you don’t see it at all, but if you’re holding the egg in your hand you can see it if you rotate it against the light at the right angle. As I said, it was a conscious decision- by that point I was all about working with, rather than against, the flaws in the piece.
There’s an old tradition in Japanese ceramics called Kintsugi. Philosophically (and practically), it’s really quite beautiful. Instead of restoring something to hide that the damage ever occurred, it highlights the problem areas using metallic powders mixed with lacquer as a binder and shows off the flaws as part of the beauty of the object. Do an image search, it’s really nice.
I’m not Japanese, and this is not a ceramic object (though from an operative standpoint it’s pretty similar), but I think this is sort of in the same spirit. Once I decided to stop fighting the flaws and just highlight them it all came together really quickly.
This is a jumbo egg. The interior is gold (non-metallic) and the exterior is red with 22K gold leaf (real gold, as I said.) The holes are accented in pearl white.
Originally I was going to let this one go for $100 but because of the flaw I’ve knocked it down to $60. I can also leaf the stand if you want for an extra $15. I’ve put it up on the etsy store.
Here;s the egg from all angles, as usual.:
I am still getting over being sick, but should be more or less okay by Friday. Go buy things.
So as I type this, I have a fever. I have no idea how I managed to finish this one up as fast as I did, but it’s done.
This is a basic pattern egg (single swirl) that I used to get a jumpstart on winter (which I never do, Im always behind.) It’s a jumbo egg, with a midnight blue interior, and composite silver toned leaf on the swirl. The negative space has a simple pattern in a semi transparent pewter over midnight blue, with a glossy finish. It’s the kind of thing that would look nice on a tree or a Hanukkah bush or hanging wherever you hang all your winter stuff and things.
Also, I can make this one into an ornament, if anyone wants it that way. Otherwise, it comes with a stand (but not THIS stand- that’s my work stand.)
I have it up on the etsy store, if anyone wants a jumpstart on their winter festivities.
There’s another egg coming very soon- it’s about 3/4 done, but Im running behind due to being sick. Hopefully, by Friday,
Here’s the egg at other angles:
Before I get into this post, I just wanted to thank everyone for their wishes on my oral surgery. The truth is this was easily the best dental experience of my life. Why? Because they knocked me out. I had an appointment at 10am, they took me at 11am, and I was home, with my drugs from my pharmacy cross town, by 2.
My recovery pain can be described as a 1 on a scale from 1-10. I took one percoset after the novocaine wore off, right after I got home and had to eat. I took 2 ibuprofen in the first 24 hours, and since then no pain killers whatsoever. Nothing. I haven’t needed them at all. I had three teeth pulled- two wisdom teeth and a secondary molar. All on the same side of my mouth. I have no swelling, no trauma, no horrible memories, no nothing. They put me out, which got me out of their way, so they could just do their job without having to worry about how anxious I was, and as a result I have no horrible after effects. In fact I ate normal (not crunchy, but normal) food this morning. No pain, though I did eat slowly and kept the food away from that side as much as I could.
So, if you need oral surgery? Tell them to knock you out. Trust me. It’s an *entirely* different experience.
So, about my slippers. For weeks now, I’ve been struggling with a display solution for the eggs to be used at a show in December. I had a specific vision for how I want the end result to look but it was going to require a custom solution – one I was struggling to obtain. Either the custom foam places *couldn’t* do it, or they couldn’t do it in a small enough quantity to make the idea viable. I had pretty much decided I was going to have to abandon the idea and go with my second choice. I wasn’t really thrilled about it, because the second idea had issues that the first one didn’t, but there’s only so much I can do. After all I am all about trashing ideas that just won’t work.
The thing I was originally looking for was this:
You’d think this was simple, but it’s not. Sure, I can get hollow cylindrical bits of foam, but what was problematic was the sizing. I needed a 1.5″ hole in the middle, and I needed the foam pillar to be no less than 5″ in diameter, and preferably 6″. People were suggesting things like pool noodles and foam grips, but it quickly began to become frustrating, as the dimensions are specific and both of them actually matter- the center hole has to be enough to hold an egg without allowing it to fall through, and the overall diameter has to be wide enough to create a pillar that will hold up not only under the weight of the egg itself, but be wide enough to be stable on a table without being easily toppled over. In the end, I was thinking I was going to need to abandon the idea, because I couldn’t find what I needed in the quantity I needed. (One place would do it if I ordered 72′, but I only need about 12′, cut into varying lengths. I was really not happy about any of this, as displaying the eggs is not only important, but keeping the eggs safe in a place not entirely under my control is one of the very reasons I don’t do shows in the first place.
I also have the chance to vend at the Bronx House Holiday Market. Im considering it, but I may hold off this year just to see how this other show does. I am really not comfortable doing shows at all – even doing one is a big thing for me, so i don’t know how I feel committing to doing two.
But I’ll think about it (and if you think I really should do it, especially if you’ll go and buy things, let me know.)
But about my slippers.
Now truth be told I don’t like this style of slipper as they tend to fall right off my feet. I like the ones that go all the way around. But what I do like about these is that they’re made of memory foam. It doesn’t solve the fact that I walk out of them, but it does make it happen a little less often. I was wearing these downstairs as I was doing the laundry, and I was contemplating the wonder that is memory foam. And as I’m shuffling along, I realize…I don’t actually NEED a hole in the center of the pillar. What I need is memory foam. All I have to do is prep the foam so that a weighted object of the right diameter leaves an impression in the foam that will hold the egg in place.
That just made my search a lot easier. Because getting a 6″ foam cylinder cut into varying lengths is WAY simpler than getting one with a hole in the middle. The only question now is if I can get it in a color I can live with. Painting memory foam is problematic because it’s so dense. You can’t really paint it. However I might be able to find it in grey, or barring that, dye it in whatever color I like. Sadly, I don’t sew, so making 25 custom covers for varying lengths is not in the cards, though I may be able to cover just the sides and leave the top, as long as it was dyed a coordinating color. But I think I’ve found my solution there. All because of the wonders of memory foam.
So I have oral surgery tomorrow. I have no idea how I’ll be feeling afterward, so I wanted to do my level best to get this egg finished before I got drugged to the gills. I didn’t think it would actually happen, but the stand came together more quickly than I imagined. Though my original intent was to add beads and sequins, once I got all the leafing done, it just seemed like overkill and that the leafing by itself would be plenty. So it’s finally done. Honestly it went pretty quickly. I think it was a little less than 3 weeks, including a lot of drying time.
This is the most elaborate egg I’ve made to date. It has carving, sculpture, beads, bells, sequins, paint, dye leafing. It’s a rather large jumbo egg (I chose it for the shape) with a charcoal/black interior with a bit of gold lustre dust (not really all that intentional, but it looks cool.) The leaf is composite, so it has a lot of colors in it, but obviously mostly gold. The exposed egg surface is finished in a dead matte varnish. All the bells are 4mm anklet bells. I have photos from all angles as usual, but if you have any questions on how it was made, please just ask!
This egg already has a home and will be headed down south, but if you want one like it, or even like something else, just fill out an order form, or for something already done, head over to the etsy shop. I’d love to come back from my surgery to some new orders, so have a look.
Next up, how I solved my foam problem because, slippers. I swear, that makes sense eventually. See everyone Friday.🙂
The egg itself is done now. I’m going to be working on the stand for a few days, though. But before I put the egg aside for the moment, I want to talk once again (it’s a running theme.) of how important it is for designers and artists to be able to look at something and say “nope. ” and toss it if it isn’t right.
After I beaded the mask and trim on the egg, the only thing left was the nose. I had wanted to bead that too, as a kind of nose piece attached to the mask. At first, I did the beadwrk in the same gold beads as the mask, but it just didn’t look right- there was not enough differentiation between the mask portion and the nose. So I tried a second time, and used a darker, more bronze colored set of beads. The beading on the nose was tricky due to the shape and took about 8 hours to do. And so help me, I finished it, took a single photo and ripped every last bead off, because I hated it. In the end, I left the nose without beads, and used a gold/black paint wash to create some shading and a gold/pearl wash to create a highlight and left it at that. Part of the issue is the egg design itself is not perfectly symmetrical. the nose is slightly off too, in a way that’s “natural” in the sense that no one’s face is completely symmetrical, but a pain in the ass when you’re working on artwork. It’s also not asymmetrical in a way that I can easily fix, as this portion of the egg is unsupported by a larger framework. I cant mess with it too much or Im going to shatter the whole thing. So I’m just going to have to live with it.
I also decided to coat the “blank” parts in a dead matte varnish. I considered a gloss, but the beads are already so sparkly and shiny I thought it needed some contrast.
Anyway, here’s the one shot I took with the bronze beads vs. where we are now. These are process shots so they’re just quick and dirty, but you get the idea.
The beads on the nose were a) a distracting, thogh similar color, b) made the nose look disproportionally large, and c) accentuated the fact that it’s wildly asymmetrical.
I still have a lot of work to do on the stand. fortunately, it doesn’t matter how rough the ruffle sculpts are. First of all most of their volume won’t be seen (there will be three stacked on top of one another so you’ll lose most of the volume visually toward the interior, so IDGAF how rough they are) and b) because they’re meant to mimic crinkled fabric anyway. and c) they’ll be covered in so much stuff it just doesn’t matter. The larger problem is the fact that though they do have a wire on the interior circumference (against the stand) they don’t have one at the outer edge, so I have to babysit it until it will hold its shape without collapsing in on itself. That takes about 90 minutes per ruffle, and I have to do them separately so they don’t stick together. It’s a time sink, but not really difficult.
However the stand itself will likely take the bulk of the week. Fortunately, it’s t a stage where I can move on to other projects, so if you were waiting to place an order or buy something from the shop, now is a good time.
Also, if you don’t follow me on any of my twitter accounts, you probably don’t know that on Friday I announced a new way to get free eggs. (that wasn’t a typo.) Head over here to read what that’s about.
Finally, I was asked a couple days ago if i take payments. yes, of course I do, don’t be silly. I totally understand the desire to buy a thing that you can’t shell out for all at once. Just contact me at eggrotechNYC@gmail.com and I’ll sort out whatever we need to do.
Though normally I’d try to update again on Wednesday (Im really trying to update three times a week now) I have surgery Wednesday (oral, no one panic.) and I really doubt I’ll be able to do that until I’ve rested, as Im being put under general anesthesia to have it done. (before anyone asks, two wisdom teeth and a secondary molar.) So I’ll see everyone after I get back from that. However, I can start any orders placed before then right away. No problem.