Out of her shell

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:44 am

From ostrich and finch eggs to those laid by emus and chickens, Paula Hare crafts art on unlikely canvases.

Hare, who studied art metals while attending fine arts school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, developed her exclusive art form after painting Easter eggs with her kids.

“It’s just a creative pursuit that I had with my kids that went out of control,” said Hare, owner, creative director and chief marketing officer of Milwaukee-based Hare Strigenz Design.

In detailing her eggs, Hare uses an art metal style known as cloisonné enameling with a five-step artistic process that requires extensive drying time in between. She also carefully cuts holes in her eggs with a high-speed drill to add finer detail.

Her inspiration for her artwork stems from the Arts and Crafts Movement along with the wildflower garden and old growth forest flourishing in her backyard at her home in Mequon.

“It’s just part of who I am and what I do, and I’ve translated my surroundings into my designs on my eggs,” Hare said.

When Hare’s eggs break during the artistic process, she picks up the pieces by repurposing them into mosaic paintings.

In the 18 years that Hare has been hand painting eggs and piecing together mosaics, she has created hundreds of works of art. Each egg can take up to 25 hours to complete.

“It’s my stress relief hobby, so I really don’t think about how much time it takes me,” Hare said. “I just do it to relieve stress from my day job. I just love working on my eggs.”

Hare’s eggs have been exhibited at galleries throughout Wisconsin as well as at the Queens Library Gallery in New York City. Two of her eggs remain part of the White House Permanent Collection, and the American Egg Board commissioned her to create a special egg for former first lady Laura Bush. Hare’s latest exhibit, titled “From Eggs to Art,” features a series of her initial sketches, eggs and mosaics at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. The exhibit will be on display through March 30.

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