Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I'll never forget the first time I saw this amazing, large vase at work with the crackle finish. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was not the usual crackle finish, but (OMG) individually applied cracked eggshells. Real ones. How long it must have taken to apply them! This moved patience up to the next level.

Eric Chapeau, a transplanted Frenchman who studied at the prestigious Maison Des Lyceens De L'Ecole Boulle in Paris, does just this in his studio, located in Hoboken, NJ's Neumann Leathers building. Chapeau's company, Chapeau Design, employs highly-trained artisans from around the world who engage in centuries-old practices to restore antique pieces and create one-of-a-kind objects.

Applying eggshell veneers is one of the company's specialties. This ancient Vietnamese method of gluing down the eggshells, one chip at a time, is called Coquille d’Oeuf. The eggshells are glued onto a paper, then the surface is coated with an epoxy glue. The shells can be arranged in various patterns, such as a starburst or a radiant shatter pattern. He uses thousands of eggs, with the staff consuming the hard-boiled insides.

The eggshell layer can be combined with gold leaf or pigments. The eggshell sheet is then attached to the object or wall, sanded and varnished or lacquered. This surely gives a different spin to mosaics.


 I never fail to be amazed at the talent and perseverance of the artists and artisans who are so devoted to their craft.

Eric Chapeau


  1. Absolutely beautiful. I have a vase with this kind of finish, but I don't think it's the real thing. Looks incredibly time consuming!

  2. Dear Ann, Fabulous post!. I have used some of my broken and intricately painted Easter eggs and glued them onto card stock for an unusual greeting card.

  3. Gina-
    (hint,hint) If you make one of those Easter cards this year, would consider you showing it to us? Knowing you, it will be amazing!

  4. Ann
    You find THE MOST amazing educational, and fun, subjects to life. How many times I've thrown away eggshells, and thought, "There must be something I can do with these, but what?" Eric is amazing, and good for him keeping this beautiful art form going!

  5. Hi Ann, Thanks so much for this post. Eric's work is amazing.

  6. I actually got to examine a piece like this about five years ago....I then collected eggshells forever and tried some of this....not easy by any means! Fantastic post!!

  7. Gorgeous isn't it? I know the finish as Keiran Nuri. I've never seen it done over gold before- really lovely. I learnt this technique at college. The last peice I did was an extending dining took forever! Gave it to my business partner as a gift when we split up. whenever I have a project I go round to the local cafes and ask them to save the eggshells for me and collect them at the end of the day.

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