"Stallion's Spring Foals"  
(1st Place in Diorama Category and 2nd Place in Best of Show)

a message about the art from the artist: Lee Michele Boyle

This was an original design composed freehand using 3 vinegar-etched emu eggs to create the stand, the main diorama egg with the hinged door, and the two oval inserts inside the doorway and egg.

Each year, the Calgary Stampede celebrates our City's Western heritage.  The many breeds of working horses are showcased.  Throughout the years, the proud stallions and the mares with their foals have found a special place in my heart.  I wanted to celebrate Spring and the joy of new life with this design.  I was recovering from major surgery and was re-learning how to walk, so being able to focus on the intricate detail and to see the progress as each colour layer of the emu shell was revealed during the vinegar-etching process was great therapy.  I could well sympathize with those wobbly-legged foals as they struggled so hard to stand and walk!  The horseshoe and the rope throughout the design were intended to unify the theme and symbolize the horse's domestication as well as the horse's valued partnership with people.

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click to enlarge

Before designing the egg, I studied numerous books on horses.  The top half of a broken shell was vinegar-etched and then cut to form the base.  The main egg was vinegar-etched, the cutaways in the horseshoe and around the mare and foal on the front of the doorway were done with my dremel, and lastly the doorway was hinged and then cut open.  The inside of the egg and the cut edges were painted to match the darkest black-green layer of the outermost shell.  Ovals were marked on the front and back of another emu egg, upon which the foals were designed and then vinegar-etched.  Nothing was wasted on that egg, as the remainder of that egg was designed and vinegar-etched at the same time to create another diorama egg, "Birds of Paradise".  The ovals were cut from that egg and mounted inside the doorway and main egg.  Braid and pieces of findings were added.  I hand-painted a foal figurine and nestled it amongst dried grasses on a painted cardboard floor mounted inside the egg.

Lee Michele Boyle
Lee's Legacy
1054 Northmount Drive, N.W., Calgary, Alberta T2L 0B9, Canada
Telephone Number: (403) 289-1722
E-Mail Address: lee.boyle@3web.net


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