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13 Exquisite Easter Eggs

Easter time is upon us all and whether or not you celebrate, you can still appreciate the artistry that goes into many Easter eggs. Here are a few of my favorite designs from all over the world.

1. Pysanky Easter Eggs

Also known as Ukrainian Easter eggs, these stunning shapes are applied not with dyes or paint, but with carefully applied beeswax. A wooden tool, called a ‘kistka' is used to apply the wax. Although the most common Pysanky eggs are those using patterns, like the one above by Wikipedia user Lubap, the methods can be used to create all variety of designs, including this amazing recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

2. Cross Stitched Eggs

Ukrainian Easter eggs are known throughout the world for their complex designs and beautiful artwork, but Ukrainian artist Forostyuk Inna decided to forgo the usual wax and dye methods and opted to cross stitch her eggs instead. No one seems to be quite sure about the methods she used to create these cool designs, but that only serves to make them that much more incredible.

3. Carved Emu Eggs

The emu egg shell naturally has three layers of color, ranging from white to teal to a deep green that often appears black. By taking advantage of these layers, artist Gary LeMaster is able to create intricately detailed and colorful egg creations with nothing more than a set of carving tools. He also works with all other types of eggs, including regular old chicken eggs, adapting his style to suit the egg type and design accordingly.

4. Celebrity Eggs

When it comes to Easter eggs featuring celebrity images, one name stands out above all the rest. Artist John Lamoroni does amazing egg portraits of everyone from President Obama to Elton John. My personal favorite is this wonderful piece featuring the characters from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

5. Kiss Easter Eggs

Who says you have to be an professional artist to create eggs that everyone will remember? Flickr user Rakka created these unforgettable rock star eggs with nothing more than a bit of creativity and a set of markers.

6. The Egg Bot

Not only do you not have to be a professional artist to create amazing egg designs, you don’t even have to be a human. The Egg Bot is a specially designed invention that serves only one purpose—to decorate eggs and other rounded objects. While this may not sound all that impressive, the selection of its completed projects is (a handful of these projects are seen above).

7. Geode Easter Eggs

Perhaps you like your eggs a little more exotic, but 100% natural. If so, these geode eggs are something you can easily make at home using a few simple ingredients you already have at home.

8. Chalkboard Eggs

If you’re looking for another simple Easter egg project that your kids can enjoy, these chalkboard eggs featured on Skip to My Lou are a great option. Just cover eggs with chalkboard paint and let your little ones write and draw on them with their chalk.

9. Lucha Libre Eggs

You may think eggs are fragile, but these masked warriors can certainly hold their own in a fight. If you want to make your own luchadore eggs, Diary of a Crafty Chica has a great tutorial to guide you.

10. Battlestar Galactegga

For the sci fi geeks in our audience, these Battlestar Galactica eggs are a good way to celebrate your interests while still following holiday traditions. Geeks Are Sexy has some great tips for making your own, but your results will most certainly vary based on your own artistic talents.

11. World of Warcraft Easter Eggs

The world of World of Warcraft might be full of fun Easter eggs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make literal Easter eggs based on the game’s characters. Be sure to check out the awesome Noblegarden Contest winning egg designs.

12. Knitted Easter Eggs

Not everyone likes to eat eggs, and it seems like a waste to decorate real eggs if you don’t want to eat them. Fortunately, these knitted Easter eggs by Purl Bee provide a vegan-friendly alternative that also has the benefit of being a lot less fragile.

13. Felted Eggs

While these eggs seen on Craftzine may look like they don’t use actual eggs, the shell is actually a crucial part of the felted nest structure. The felted wool is simply formed around the exterior of a very carefully cut egg.
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If you’re looking for more Easter egg decorating goodness, be sure to check out Miss C’s article from a few years ago that also has links to instructions for creating your own awesome designs. If you have any links to your own favorite artistically inclined eggs though, please feel free to share the links in the comments.

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Ker Robertson, Getty Images
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architecture
5 Scrapped Designs for the World's Most Famous Buildings
Ker Robertson, Getty Images
Ker Robertson, Getty Images

When an architect gets commissioned to build a skyscraper or a memorial, they’re usually not the only applicant for the job. Other teams of designers submit their own ideas for how it should look, too, but these are eventually passed over in favor of the final design. This is the case for some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks—in an alternate world, the Arc de Triomphe might have been a three-story-tall elephant statue, and the Lincoln Memorial a step pyramid.

GoCompare, a comparison site for financial services, dug into these could-have-been designs for Alternate Architecture, an illustrated collection of scrapped designs for some of the most famous structures in the world, from Chicago's Tribune Tower to the Sydney Opera House.

Click through the interactive graphic below to explore rejected designs for all five landmarks.

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George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
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Design
This 1907 Vision Test Was Designed for People of All Nationalities
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain
George Mayerle, U.S. National Library of Medicine // Public Domain

At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco was a diverse place. In fact, Angel Island Immigration Station, located on an island in the San Francisco Bay, was known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” processing some 300,000 people coming to the U.S. in the early 1900s. George Mayerle, a German optometrist working in the city at the time, encountered this diversity of languages and cultures every day in his practice. So in the 1890s, Mayerle created what was billed as “the only [eye] chart published that can be used by people of any nationality,” as The Public Domain Review alerts us.

Anticipating the difficulty immigrants, like those from China or Russia, would face when trying to read a vision test made solely with Roman letters for English-speaking readers, he designed a test that included multiple scripts. For his patients that were illiterate, he included symbols. It features two different styles of Roman scripts for English-speaking and European readers, and characters in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Japanese, and Chinese scripts as well as drawings of dogs, cats, and eyes designed to test the vision of children and others who couldn't read.

The chart, published in 1907 and measuring 22 inches by 28 inches, was double-sided, featuring black text on a white background on one side and white text on a black background on the other. According to Stephen P. Rice, an American studies professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, there are other facets of the chart designed to test for a wide range of vision issues, including astigmatism and color vision.

As he explains in the 2012 history of the National Library of Medicine’s collections, Hidden Treasure [PDF], the worldly angle was partly a marketing strategy on Mayerle’s part. (He told fellow optometrists that the design “makes a good impression and convinces the patient of your professional expertness.”)

But that doesn’t make it a less valuable historical object. As Rice writes, “the ‘international’ chart is an artifact of an immigrant nation—produced by a German optician in a polyglot city where West met East (and which was then undergoing massive rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake)—and of a globalizing economy.”

These days, you probably won’t find a doctor who still uses Mayerle’s chart. But some century-old vision tests are still in use today. Shinobu Ishihara’s design for a visual test for colorblindness—those familiar circles filled with colored dots that form numbers in the center—were first sold internationally in 1917, and they remain the most popular way to identify deficiencies in color vision.

[h/t The Public Domain Review]

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