A Flawed Premise.
“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.