I Wayan Sadra, 45, developed the art of egg painting in his native town of Blahbatuh in Central Bali. The 45-year-old father of two, who is also an art teacher, shared his day with The Bali Times’ Arga Sagitarini

My day starts at 5:30m, and after cleaning up the house I have breakfast and get ready for school, where I teach art to junior high school students. I’ve always loved painting, ever since I was in elementary school, and was influenced early on by the works of other artists.

I get back home from school at 1:30pm and head straight for my shop in the village of Penataran. Here I’m a sort of pioneer of egg painting, which I’ve been doing for more than a decade. I love it – and it’s great when you find new ways of painting, or experimenting with different kind of eggs. I use eggs from chickens, ducks, emus, crocodiles and ostriches. The easiest one to paint is the duck egg, the most difficult ostrich eggs. I also carve the eggshells.

The most expensive are ostrich eggs, which range from Rp500,000 (54.86) up to Rp1.5 million. Duck eggs only cost Rp20,000. I get orders for painted eggs for special occasions like Easter and other times with a Christian theme.

Aside from the eggshells, I also make imitation eggs from wood for my paintings. These are especially for customers who want a painted egg but are worried about eggshells as they could break.

It’s a long and complicated process making eggs paintings: first the egg must be selected; then I check the strength of the shells by pressing and knocking them against something. If they’re not strong enough, I won’t use them as they’d break during the painting process. When I have the one I want, I take a needle and make a very small hole in the base for the contents to pour out. Of course I don’t throw it away, as we cook the eggs at home.

Naturally it’s harder to paint a picture on an eggshell than it is on a canvas. I put a small stick in the hole at the base to hold the egg while I’m painting it and away I go. I usually work up to 6pm at the shop, and then go home and take care of the plants and trees, and my pets. I have bird and two pythons – and another python at the shop. The two at home are 2 years old and the one at the shop is a year old. I like snakes because there are some mystical qualities about them. They’re both beautiful and dangerous. I found two of the snakes in a ravine beside my home, and the other one was born from the first two. I hatched the egg with an electric lamp. The young one stays at the shop because I believe it can bring good luck to my business.

When there are some urgent orders, I also work at home. Recently a group of students from Spain ordered some eggs with special writing and paintings. They asked me to write the names of their classmates and teacher. Sometimes it’s difficult to complete all my orders, but everyone in my family lends a hand as they can paint, too. I love trying new things, and have been trying to paint mollusk shells.

Before the day ends, I get ready for school the next morning and get to be around 10pm.

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