There’s no reason to crack egg jokes.
Luanne Faulkender and Evelyn Reid provide plenty of them without any outside help.
Take Faulkender’s business card. “Eggstravagant Art,” it reads.
Faulkender and Reid call themselves “eggers.” “Old eggers never die,” Reid said one recent afternoon. “They just crack up.”
The two Sandy Springs women take eggs — chicken eggs or ostrich eggs or emu eggs or rhea eggs or tiny little finch eggs or, yes, even snake eggs and turtle eggs – and carve, paint, cover or otherwise re-imagine, redecorate and rebuild them into tabletop spectacles. Extravagant, indeed.
Their homes are filled with hundreds of decorated eggs. They have turned eggs into Christmas ornaments. They’ve turned eggs into jewelry. They’ve made eggs that light up to reveal hidden pictures. They’ve built eggs that open up, parts of their shells on tiny hinges, to reveal hidden secrets. They’ve reconfigured eggs into mantelpiece marvels: a ship under full sail, a teapot, a magic wand, a fairytale carriage.
The eggs come in a kaleidoscopic array of shapes and sizes and colors. And, yes, some even come as kaleidoscopes.
Faulkender calls their eggs “Fabergé-inspired.” But where the House of Fabergé made eggs from precious metals and jewels for Russian royalty, the Sandy Springs eggers’ glittering creations start with real eggs and often end up in the display cases of family members, friends or regular customers. Reid has one customer who decorates a Christmas tree every year with a couple hundred of her eggs.
Not that their eggs haven’t ended up in the hands of some political celebrities. Reid made one that egg promoters presented to the First Lady of the state of Georgia. Faulkender designed one of her recent creations as a present for First Lady Michelle Obama.
The two women met through egging. They’re part of a small group of eggers who get together once a week to cook up new things. They’re also both involved in the Georgia Egg Guild, which Faulkender said plans an open house and decorated egg display on Sept. 17 at the Dogwood Forest Retirement Center in Alpharetta.
Faulkender got her start re-imaging eggs just eight years ago. “The first [decorated] egg I ever saw was when one of the eggers was making a Rapunzel,” Faulkender said. “She had an egg cut like a castle, with stairs, and her hair hanging down. Here I am thinking, ‘It’s a nursery rhyme and you can do this with eggs? … That means you can do anything.’”
Reid, who’s 91, started working on eggs four decades ago. The first decorated egg she ever saw, she said, was displayed in a department store in downtown Atlanta. “It fascinated me,” she said.
She was so impressed that she went home and started trying to carve a chicken egg with a razor blade. Nobody told her she was supposed to remove the yolk and white first, she said. Egg goop ended up running all down her arms, “like eating watermelon,” she recalled.
Forty-plus years later, she’s still at it. Her eggs come from the Internet or mail order, not from the fridge. “It’s my therapy,” she said. “It calms me down and makes me happy. I like beautiful things and it makes me happy.
“My workroom is my playroom.”
And there’s nothing funny about that.
Know interesting people or places in our communities? Contact Joe Earle at email@example.com.