Egg-stravagant Easter masterpiece shows Shrewsbury in sweetest form

It may look too good to eat, and the meaning behind this giant Shrewsbury Easter egg left an even sweeter taste – helping the homeless.

The Baravelli's giant Shrewsbury egg featured a stunning Wyle Cop streetscape created by James St Clair Wade
The Baravelli's giant Shrewsbury egg featured a stunning Wyle Cop streetscape created by James St Clair Wade

The stunning 12kg egg, featuring an intricate painting of Wyle Cop, was commissioned by Tanners Wine Merchants and auctioned off to support homeless people at Shrewsbury Ark.

It was created by Conwy-based Baravelli’s chocolatiers, who painstakingly designed it over 20 hours.

Artwork created by Shrewsbury-based artist and architect James St Clair Wade was used.

James is currently working on his Shrewsbury Streetscape project, creating pictures of the town’s most picturesque streets, and Tanners were keen for their store and their neighbours on his lower Wyle Cop image to feature on the egg.

It was sold for £200 at auction.

Emma Baravelli applies the finishing touches to the egg

The making of the egg and its delivery to Shrewsbury was recently featured on Channel Five show The Wonderful World of Chocolate. It showed chocolatier Emma Baravelli pour melted chocolate into a giant mould, spreading it evenly round and making a number of coats, as well as tracing James’ design onto the outside.

There was a moment of panic when it split after the two halves had been moulded together, but thankfully there were no cracks and Emma was able to stick it back together and complete the beautiful design with finishing touches of chocolate grapes and leaves.

Getting the egg to Tanners was a tricky process, as there were still several roads closed due to the floods.

But they breathed a sigh of relief when they got it there in one piece. Emma said: “It was at the time of the floods.

“The client wanted to do something for the community.

“It was them that put us in touch with the artist.

The completed Shrewsbury egg takes pride of place in Tanners' Wine Merchants

“It was difficult to get it there.

“The roads in Shrewsbury were still blocked because of the flooding. We wanted to go over the main bridge (English Bridge) but we couldn’t get through.

“It must have been a difficult time for the whole town.”

Discussing the making of the egg, she added: “It was full on.

“I do a lot of work behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t there because it takes a long time. We use fine chocolate so that people aren’t just purchasing the artwork. You’ve got to enjoy eating the chocolate as well.

"We do giant eggs but even the small ones, people say they just collect them to look at and they don’t want to eat them. But it’s chocolate, you’ve got to eat it!

Emma and Mark Baravelli with the giant Shrewsbury egg, created to raise money for flood victims in the town

“We had a really nice email from the person who won the auction. He was very excited about winning it.

“Easter is a big deal for us, it’s almost as big as Christmas. We’ve got big plans for this year but they must remain a secret.”

James Tanner, proprietor of Tanners Wine Merchants, was in awe when the egg was unveiled.

“It was absolutely incredible,” he said. “I don’t really understand how someone can be that artistic and express it in chocolate.

“It’s just a shame we weren’t able to have it in the shop window – with it being chocolate, it would have gone off!”

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