“Now THAT’S delicate work! Artists carve intricate portraits onto egg shells in quirky new art trend”
Yunnan born Zhao Zexi is the artist behind the egg carvings.
The 27 year old revealed in an interview that he’s been carving egg shells for around 10 years and has worked with everything from hen’s eggs to duck and ostrich eggs.
He said: ‘I liked drawing from a young age. When I went to Hangzhou to train as a chef, my main job was food carving.’
‘I stumbled across egg carving by accident after seeing it on television. Since then I’ve been obsessed with the idea so started learning to do it.’
Initially he found that every egg shell he tried to carve collapsed as soon as the blade touched its surface.
Zhao Zexi creates human portraits, like Abraham Lincoln above, as well as Chinese landscapes and plants
Egg art created by Zhao Zexi start from 500 Yuan (£50) for hen’s egg and 6,000 Yuan (£600) for an ostrich egg
But with hard work, determination and a little help from other egg carving artists, he soon progressed from carving words to landscapes to human portraits.
The work is extremely time consuming.
Carvings on hen’s eggs require one or two days to complete while goose and ostrich eggs need 10 to 15 days.
However, he is able to charge 500 Yuan (£50) for a finished hen’s egg and around 6,000 Yuan (£600) for an ostrich egg.
Last year, he quit his job as a chef to concentrate on egg carving.
Speaking of his decision, he said: ‘There’s people who ask about my work every day. I’ve already received 10 commissions from art collectors.’
Zhu De featured in the egg shell carving by Li, above, was one of the pioneers of the Chinese Communist Party
Li’s work include Chinese leaders such as Mao Zedong and Soviet figures like Carl Marx and Joseph Stalin
Zhao Zexi is not the only egg shell artist to emerge recently.
A 29 year old woman in Jiangsu, eastern China, named as Han Liping shared her work in January this year.
Han normally works at a fast food restaurant but started egg carving as a hobby.
She empties the eggs of their content before starting work but says that every stage of the carving throws up challenges.
The shells breaking is the most obvious concern but if she makes any mistakes, she will have to start over again as there is no way to repair the damage. . . . .