About the eggs

These dioramas are handcrafted inside real eggshells.   The scenes are created using my own drawing, painting, and miniature sculpture, in addition to natural and recycled materials.   Painting media include oils, acrylic, and watercolor, and sculptural media include a variety of clays and resins.  They are enclosed behind custom-cut glass.

Each diorama from one of the ornament collections is part of a numbered yearly edition and comes in its own silk-lined gift box, along with an ornament hanger and description on the inside of the lid.

About the artist

J. Brooke Patterson is an artist currently working in Oakland, CA.  In 1993, she earned her BA degree in Art from UC Berkeley, where she focused on drawing and printmaking.  For some years she had made these dioramas for friends and family, simply using chicken eggs.  In 1996, she began selling them through an Open Studios event in Berkeley, CA, where they quickly sold out.  In 2000, it became a full-time artistic pursuit, and she now exhibits in many shows and stores throughout the country.

Artist’s Statement

As a container of life, the egg also inspires one to imagine the many things that can dwell inside.  It can frame and focus a passing observation, or a deep contemplation, and its intimate nature can draw people inwards. Inside this space is where I create little worlds that can enchant, delight, and amuse people.

The sculptural figures in my work are mostly made using a variety of clays and resins, but I enjoy working with a wide range of materials, and in my hunt for something with just the right texture, shape, or color, I will often stumble upon the perfect use for such things as used shipping peanuts or dryer lint.  My garden is also a very rich resource, where I can gather dried up bits of twig and brush.   It is in using the humblest of materials that I find the greatest reward.  

Frequently, I will employ a playful use of scale and perspective, and I will also combine both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional materials.   The shell itself is often a subject in my work, and I will explore its color and texture, and the juxtaposition between its strength and fragility.

J. Brooke Patterson

Read about the eggs in a San Francisco Chronicle article