I have been known to get very bored from time to time.
Unlike several people I know, sitting in front of a computer or the TV just isn’t an option for me… I can watch TV but my hands have to do something other than driving the remote.
I began my quest for “weird things to do with eggs” about 5 years ago when I first came to Cape Cod, not knowing anybody and a fairly recent widow (due to a strangely traumatic event; I may discuss some day but not today). Since I didn’t really have anywhere to go, other than work, I relished in the new freedom of watching whatever I wanted on TV!!
As fate would have it, I was watching the DIY (do it yourself) network and there was a 20 second blip about “how to carve an ostrich egg”. Some unidentified woman had a blank ostrich egg clutched in her left hand while the right hand held a small drill (it made me clench because it had the high-pitch whine of a dental drill) that danced wildly across the surface. The scene switched to a beautiful carving of oak leaves intertwining themselves in a loose shape of where an ostrich egg once was…I was hooked! The infamous words that plague most “crafty” people escaped my lips; “I can do that!!!”
The next step was to find the materials I required to fuel my new obsession. I hit the internet. Not expecting to find much on it, I found more than I expected. There were solidly 30 web sites that displayed varying levels of talent and techniques that fueled my imagination. So, I had an idea but nothing to express it with. I surfed to my “old faithful” fallback of everything wonderful; I went on Ebay.
Who would have thought that you could by empty and clean ostrich egg shells on Ebay? I certainly didn’t but I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only were they for sale; there were several people selling them! So, I bought two. Not having any clue as to what to do with them, I still bought them.
Then I needed a means in which to create the act of carving.
I referred back to the legitimate web sites for carving and the most obvious thing was that extracted for me was that a Dremel was the worst thing to use due to the low RPM’s (roughly 40,000 per minute) and the vibrations created by that. Vibration is not good when you’re carving AN EGG!! I ended up buying a Turbo Carver (my own personal dental drill at 125,000 RPM’s!!) that had a little compressor that came with it. Fairly portable and user friendly, according to the web site. The drill bits were included and there were clear instructions enclosed…again, stated by the web site.
It took about 3 weeks for everything to arrive. I was so excited that I made sure to tell the 8 people that I mildly knew through work (they were all guys…I didn’t get the desired effect that I hoped for from them) and kept looking at the web sites when I had spare moments. I learned that ostrich eggs weren’t the only types of eggs that could be carved. Emu eggs could also be carved! I wasn’t quite sure of what an emu was but a little research answered many questions. Instead of the standard “white” color of many eggs, an emu egg was naturally emerald green on the outside. Once you went through the dark green, a beautiful shade of turquoise blue made itself known. I admit, the contract between the two was gorgeous! The big surprise was that under the turquoise was the whitest white that was powdery and very thin. Great skill was entailed in carving that.
Finally, everything arrived! I had the drill, compressor and two creamy white ostrich eggs that felt like porcelain to the touch (they were much more stout than I thought they would be…I guess they would need to be tough in order to hold up a 250+ lb bird!). I also had a million ideas of what I wanted to do. So, what did I do first?!? I put everything on the dining room table and looked at it for two weeks before I touched it again. I guess it was a little intimidating for me at the time.
Needless to say, I eventually picked it up again. I’ve finished several eggs to date; 3 ostrich eggs, 2 emu eggs, 2 giant goose eggs (in a filigree cut) and a brown chicken egg from my refrigerator at the time (I had to be sure I could do it before I started cutting into the good stuff). Thankfully, I’m very surprised that they’ve turned out very well. I’ve sold half of them but still have the rest around here. I’m running out of room…
The pics attached to this entry show my latest creation. I find that after I finish one, I can’t pick up another egg project right away. I don’t know if it’s because it’s such a tedious process or just because I get sick of it. But I’m sure I’ll pick one up again sometime soon because I have two more ostrich eggs sitting on my shelf waiting to be…changed. I guess I need to start putting them on Ebay again, a woman only needs so many eggs in the house.
I know that this entry is different from my others but this is my interest for the day. I hope you enjoy it!!!
Amazing art! I have decorated eggs by adding paper cuttings to them but haven’t delved into etching. I do etch glass which might be a distant cousin. I can pretty much do anything with either pen or an Xacto knife (including slicing my thumb in half and nicking a nerve!)
I met a professional speaker, Jane Pollak, at a marketing event once. She had written a book on being a “Soul Proprietor” and owning your own business. But prior to her consulting, she was a pysanky egg artist.
Where egg is your medium, paper is mine. I love paper cuttings and paper piecing but right now, I am too busy writing (also on paper. ) But I do find it funny that our group from HS are all artsy-fartsy. When did that happen?!
Looking forward to reading more!
Hey..very nice! You almost make me want to give it a try. lol I use to sketch on paper and then I switched to graphic art which is basic pixel by pixel drawing of cute country style graphics.
I was wondering..where did you get your design ideas? Are they original or is their a design that you follow like a tattoo on the egg?
Your eggs are beautiful! I am just amazed….nearly speechless. Anything sea themed is my kind of thing! I love your Under the Sea eggs!
Thank you so much! I guess I’m inspired by living on Cape Cod…life is very nautical here sometimes. Very much appreciated!
Lovely work! Congratulations. I hope you are still doing this and that the turbo carver isn’t just sitting there gathering dust! I would like to know about all the black dots on your eggs. I have done some designs in black wax (so’s I can see what I am doing on the white eggs) then immersing them in etching material. When I melt off the wax I get black dots that look like mold spores on my eggs – so I am wondering why yours are there! I have lots of eggs and love to do this work but oh those spots are driving me up the wall! Help!