At a time when our psyches and spirits need an uplift, Stirling Webb has a grand plan for their resurrection: an Easter egg hunt unlike any other, whenever the shroud of social distancing lifts and life begins to have a glimmer of normal.
Webb, a talented glass artist who owns Moonshine Glass in Enterprise, has been making eggs. Glass Easter eggs to be more precise. He originally planned to hide the eggs around Wallowa County for an Easter egg hunt for all on Easter, April 12. “It would be an event everyone could participate in,” he said. “Maybe there would be some hints about where to look. It would all be in publicly accessible places. It would be a fun community event for everybody.”
Last year, Webb and his assistants at Moonshine Glass hid 40 eggs around the Wallowa County countryside. “It was a hit,” he said. “All the eggs were found, and there were a lot of really happy kids and families.” It was finder-keepers, too.
This year’s “Easter egg hunt on Easter” plan collapsed when social distancing became a necessity.
What do you do when your best-laid plans go awry?
Why, you keep making more eggs for a bigger, better egg hunt. At least Webb does.
To that end, Webb has hatched a Kickstarter fund drive to augment his nest egg and ensure he can make enough of his bright, colorful patterned orbs for a truly joyous community celebration. Webb’s Kickstarter has thus-far raised $3473 of the $4,600 goal. But he has to raise the full amount by this (Good) Friday, April 9, a day to make sure he can fully resurrecting his project. “I’ll do it no matter what happens with the Kickstarter drive,” he said. “But it would be more fun for more people to have more eggs.” For Webb, Kickstarter is really a chance to sell his eggs and other glassworks, including vases, to earn the support he needs.
To date, Webb has laid more than 100 of his colorful, translucent glass eggs along the shelves of his shop. But right now most are not for sale. They are incubating, ready to hatch a community celebration once we overcome the coronavirus.
Webb’s eggs are fanciful, intricate, and unique. All of them are egg-shaped and egg-sized (Banty to Leghorn). They sell for $50 each. Right now he is making a few available to those who want a special egg or two for a special person at Easter.
Each of Web’s glass eggs is crafted with exquisite care. His designs range from gleeful yellow swirls to provocative multicolored pinwheels to clear glass that encases realistic-looking flowers. He’s become a true connoisseur of morels, and has a series of eggs inhabited by a morel mushroom that looks good enough to eat. “It’s kind of a symbol of spring around here,” he said of the glass-encased morels. “And we hunt them, just like we are going to be hunting the eggs. So it made sense to make morel-eggs for this event. It’s kind of like you are finding two things you would be looking for out in the woods or wherever I hide the eggs.”
The governor’s stay at home order has shuttered Webb’s shop and ditched his classes. But he refuses to be glum. He’s planning to offer video classes and is starting to do online marketing. And there’s plenty of time for making new creations while “playing with lava.” “There’s always opportunity out there,” he said. “And if we let this get us down, we are down. I refuse to let go of optimism. We’ll get through this.”
For now, Webb has no set date for the upcoming hunt. That will be determined when social distancing and other rules are relaxed. “We’ll be sure the whole community knows about it,” he said. “It’s something tangible to look forward to.”