Since 1946, the Clown Egg Register has collected blown eggshells that clowns hand-paint with their distinctive makeup, in order to claim that particular makeup as belonging to them; by custom, clowns do not copy each others' faces.
If this sounds familiar, it might be because a clown egg register plays a key role in a murder mystery in Making Money, one of my all-time favorite Terry Pratchett novels.
Today, the Clown Egg Register lives in the Wookey Hole Clowns Gallery-Museum in Somerset, and most of the eggs are ceramic, to avoid the inevitable damage and loss of history.
Photographers Luke Stephenson and Helen Champion have documented the egg-faces in a new book called The Clown Egg Register (natch). It sounds gorgeous and incredibly weird, and makes me want to swing by Somerset the next time I'm in London!
This mesmerizing volume collects more than 150 of these portraits, from 1946 to the modern day, accompanied by short personal histories of many of the clowns. Here are Tricky Nicky, Taffy, Bobo, Sammy Sunshine, the legendary Emmett Kelly, and Jolly Jack, clowning since 1977 and still performing today with a penguin puppet named Biscuit. A treasure just like the eggs it enshrines, The Clown Egg Register is an extraordinary archive of images and lives of the men and women behind the make-up.
The Clown Egg Register [Luke Stephenson and Helen Champion/Chronicle Books]
How whimsical/horrifying! Here’s a book of clown faces painted onto eggs.
I've had a fabulous weekend at Chicago's C2E2 festival as part of my Radicalized book-tour, and now I'm heading to San Francisco for an appearance on Monday night at Berkeley Arts & Letters at 7:30PM with Richard Kadrey. Then it's on to The Revolutionary Reads series at Ft Vancouver (outside of Portland, OR), and then […]
This morning, CBC's flagship weekend programme Day Six aired its latest episode (MP3), a conversation between host Brent Bambury, me, and Tim Maughan, the author of an outstanding debut novel called Infinite Detail. (Image: Jason Vermes/CBC)
If you’re into tech at all, you should definitely consider unleashing your inner tinkerer on a Raspberry Pi board. If you’re intimidated, don’t be. It’s a statistical probability that people half your age have created cooler things than you can imagine with the versatile kit. Not sure where to start? The Complete Raspberry Pi 3B+ […]
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
Despite government legislation and improving caller ID technology, robocalls and scam artists are rampant on the phone lines – up to 35 billion a year in the US alone. They can be annoying at best and a financial threat at worst, but there’s a way to take security into your own hands. One good example […]