First off, thank you to my friends that have commented on my blog!!! I’m having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to respond to your replies (still REALLY new at this!) so please forgive, I’ll keep working on it.
I’ve gotten such an amazing response to the ostrich egg that I had in my previous post, I thought that it would be a good idea to show the first emu egg that I carved about 5 years ago.
Just a recap of an emu egg:
1. This egg is not painted. It is naturally emerald green on the outside with and aquamarine blue layer and a very white layer underneath still. It takes quite a bit of patience (and a steady hand) to relief carve the image that you see.
2. The egg shell itself is about .1 mm thick. I’m lucky I’ve never broken one but it still takes a gentle hand to do.
3. The egg itself is the exact shape and size of a Nerf football but feels like cool porcelain to the touch.
4. I buy my egg shells on EBay. I don’t have a big enough yard to keep emu’s and ostriches.
Okay, now that I have the basic facts out of the way…this is how I do it. You really don’t have to have any free hand drawing skill, only the ability to trace existing patterns and have a steady hand when using the drill. That does take some practice.
First, you get an egg. Like I said, I get them from EBay. The outside emerald green varies from egg to egg. I prefer the darkest outside color because I think it compliments the aquamarine beneath it better. But, I’ve seen eggs that are almost a sage green on the outside to a pale green. I still like the darker ones.
Then, I decide my pattern. I own A LOT of clip art books! I get many clip art books from Dover Publications because the patterns are very clean and they (mostly) come on a DVD. I prefer the DVD’s because I can size the patterns for my own needs. I’ve also been known to use free clip art from the net. I don’t use the copyrighted images that can be found on the internet because I think it’s stealing and respect the original artists for their effort and creativity.
Once I decide on the pattern, I print it out and decide the best way to get the image on the egg. It’s challenging to get a two dimensional image on a three dimensional surface so sometimes I print the patterns onto adhesive backed paper (full or half page label paper that you can get almost anywhere).
When I get the stickers (that’s what they are by the time I’m done with them) on the egg, I do a rough outline carving of the pattern with the drill. Once that’s done, I take the cut up stickers off and finish the egg.
I’ve also used graph paper to transfer images; white graph paper for the emu eggs (you can’t see regular graph paper because the egg is so dark) and the standard graph paper for ostrich and goose eggs.
Once the egg is completely finished, I wash it off really well and then allow it to dry completely. When the egg is blown out, a hole about a 1/4 inch remains at the bottom. I was advised not to cover it up because you want to keep the air flowing to the inside so it doesn’t deteriorate. I also spray the outside with a clear, matte finish sealant so dust doesn’t stain the egg when it’s on display. If kept out of direct sunlight, these eggs can last forever!!
So, there you go. Now you know more than you ever wanted to know about carving an emu egg. I’m still in awe by the delicate beauty they have when completed.
I hope you enjoyed my entry!!!