Because it made such an impression on me, and because I took more photographs here than anywhere else at the show, I thought I would devote a separate post to one particular stand.
This was the egg craft stand. I have always been fascinated by the work of Peter Carl Faberge and the exquisite eggs he produced for the Russian Royal Family, and all egg decorating has always delighted me. Years ago at the embroidery group I used to belong to, we had a visiting speaker from this group, and I bought one of her eggs. I was so delighted to find the stand at the show, and the two ladies there were very pleased that I wanted to photograph the eggs.
This is the display of beautiful eggs, some of which these two ladies had decorated.
Here are some pictures of individual eggs which particularly took my fancy, although I could have photographed every one, they were all so beautiful.
This is a Christmas sleigh, and it's hard to believe, at first glance, that it began as an egg!
Isn't it just exquisite? It even has some little gifts, and tiny bells.
This one is suspended from a swag of little flowers.
This pink fairy egg has a tiny light inside, which diffuses through the eggshell. It was beautiful, even under the bright lights of the show, but I could imagine how much more lovely it would be in more subdued lighting.
This charming egg was decorated with applique'd lace, and through its heart-shaped aperture, you can see that the interior is filled with fine fluffy pink filaments of feathers!
This next one was the most fascinating of all. So much of the egg has been cut away that it's hard to realise that it is made from an egg! The remaining section is such an interesting shape, and as you move, the shape flows and changes against the spaces between. It has given me an idea for a paper sculpture based on a moebius strip, which, if suspended freely, would turn in the air and produce equally interesting shapes... In the centre of this egg is a tiny quail's egg, topped with a jewel.
Finally, there were a couple of eggs which were replicas of Faberge eggs produced for the Russian Royal Family. This first one is one of my favourites of all the Imperial Easter Eggs: the Imperial Rose Trellis Egg.
It is shown here opened to reveal the interior. The lady who made it described how she made the little pillows for these eggs; she cut a baby sponge in half, and hollowed out the top, and then covered it with satin or velvet before embellishing the edge with braid. What a beautiful way to display such amazing, miniature works of art!
The final one I photographed was another Faberge replica: the Red Cross Triptych Egg, made in 1915 to commemorate the older two royal princesses becoming Red Cross Nurses during World War I. Here it is closed:
When it is opened, it reveals a tiny triptych, with the Crucifixion of Christ in the centre, flanked by icons of two saints, St. Olga and St. Tatyana, namesakes of the two princesses.
Aren't these just the most amazing works of art? I am lost in admiration not just for Peter Carl Faberge and the fabulous treasures he created, which bring to mind one of the most tragic families in history, and symbolise a lifestyle of great opulence in stark contrast with their impoverished subjects, which was about to be lost forever... but also for the creativity and craftsmanship of modern-day artists, who continue to delight us with the beauty of their work.