MaterialDistrict

Eggshell inlay

Code
ONA308
Country
Netherlands

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The art of eggshell inlay originated in China around the time of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). The fragile eggshell is inlaid into one of nature’s most durable products, lacquer. Eggshell inlay uses duck eggs that have already hatched, because of their inherent thickness and whiteness. The shells are cleaned, arranged in a pan and carefully roasted over a bed of hot charcoal. A range of coloration can be achieved, ranging from light mocha to deep chocolate to burnished gold to ash black. Delicate – fingered, keen – eyed artisans puzzle out patterns of irregular geometry. Each piece is carefully glued, one shard at a time, on to the readied mold. Multiple layers of lacquer are then applied and the piece is finished with purified beeswax polished to a high gloss.
Contemporary artisans create molds from fiberglass enabling them to fashion exceptional forms of variable size and scale: enormous planters, oversized vases and bowls, long tables, chairs, consoles, mirrors, boxes, decorative plates, frames. For indoor use only, sizes are unlimited.

Material Properties