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 Timesâ€™ 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. Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m a sort of pioneer of egg painting, which Iâ€™ve been doing for more than a decade. I love it â€“ and itâ€™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.
Itâ€™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 theyâ€™re not strong enough, I wonâ€™t use them as theyâ€™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 donâ€™t throw it away, as we cook the eggs at home.
Naturally itâ€™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 Iâ€™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 â€“ 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. Theyâ€™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 itâ€™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.Filed under: One Day