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.