Intricate Art

gromEaster has been and gone for the year, and with any luck, our waistlines are returning to their pre-chocolate size. Slovenian artist Franc Grom takes Easter Art to a whole new level though, creating intricate lace-like masterpieces out of actual eggs.

He uses precision tools and endless patience to create his art, drilling egg shells with thousands of tiny holes to create unique Easter eggs of incredible beauty.

The 74-year-old retired engineer from Stara Vrhnika in Central Slovenia devised a technique in which he uses drills to make more than 2,000 holes in an average goose egg.

Grom, who has been making intricately decorated eggs for about 20 years, says the biggest challenge in drilling eggs is avoiding cracks as the tiny holes are often drilled only millimetres apart. His most impressive and record-breaking egg saw him drill more than 24,000 holes.

“The most difficult part is taking care that the holes are drilled close to each other without breaking the shell,” he said.

Grom uses traditional Slovenian lace patterns as the inspiration for his designs. He uses precision tools which are actually designed for engraving glass, with some parts taken from dentists’ equipment.

“When I start working on an egg, I don’t know exactly how it would look like in the end. I create the design along the way. I do a basic lace-like pattern, and then I fill it in. Sometimes it turns out beautiful.”

Grom also does not use any colours or chemicals on the eggs – the colour variation seen on some of the eggs is achieved purely by careful polishing.

“A lot of time goes into preparing the eggs. After that, drilling two or three thousand holes is not that difficult. At five thousand, one has to be very careful and the pace of drilling gets slower. I would say that one good looking egg needs about ten days of work.”

Although Grom keeps a large collection of his favourite eggs at home, he also sells them as souvenirs and does orders for special occasions.

His eggs, which are priced according to the complexity of the design and cost about 100 euros per 1,000 holes, all come with certificates of authenticity, and are known to have been shipped to customers all over the world.