Within the circus community there’s an unwritten rule that no clown shall copy another clown’s makeup. The rule seems as silly as clowns themselves, but it’s actually a pretty big deal. So much so, that Clowns International—the world’s oldest clown society, headquartered in London—cleverly crafts an unusual visual record of each of their members’ looks by painting them on ceramic eggs. Each trademarked look also includes hand-made costumes and hats, made from swatches of the real-life clown’s attire. Now displayed at the Wookey Hole Clowns’ Museum, the society’s Clown Egg Registry was recently photographed by British photographer Luke Stephenson, who has a reputation for documenting “the eccentricity of Britain.”
The clown egg tradition began in 1946 when Stan Bult, one of the members of Clowns International, started painting the faces of his fellow clowns on chicken eggs as a hobby. Sadly, most of his collection of approximately 200 eggs were destroyed during transport to an exhibition in the ‘60s. Around two decades later the clown egg tradition sprung up again, but this time, using sturdier ceramic eggs. While the eggs act as a visual record of each look, the clowns also had written records, complete with their name and serial number. Chris Stone, another member of Clowns International explains that the eggs are simply “the public face of the registration process.”
Stephenson’s 169 clown egg portraits were compiled into a book, and paired with the biographies of each clown, often “revealing the bizarre, surprising and often painful story of their private and public lives.” The photographs, set against a peach background capture the makeup and costumes in delightful detail. “PEE WEE” the clown is seen to have sported a top hat, blue nose, and a matching blue harlequin-patterned outfit, while “LULUBELLE” is shown to have worn an outfit made from a pink and purple silk-like fabric.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.