Wednesday, April 25, 2012

EGGSHELL CARVING!

Tonight I'm departing from my usual postings about my own artwork.  I received a rather unusual present for my birthday this year from Brad Miller, my daughter Jenni's boyfriend.  It arrived in a carefully packaged box...Brad was pretty excited about it, saying it was a combination of "nature and art".  I had no idea what it would be.  Upon opening the smaller box-in-a box submerged in shredded newspaper, I ever-so-gently removed a wonderfully delicate surprise.  A carved eggshell!!! 
When I called and asked Brad where he found such an unusual item, he said, "I made it!"  I was amazed, since I didn't realize artisans even did that sort of thing.  I asked Brad if he would mind sharing the process of his new-found hobby, and he was kind enough to send me a write-up and some photos. I'll let him take it from here!

I'm using a rotary tool (just got the new one), but the real tool is the dental stuff.  Probably the most popular is the Turbocarver which seems to be the best value out there for $600 for the tool and the compressor to run it.  Good rotary tools spin at 30 to 35,000 rpms...the "dental" tools spin at 400,000 rpms.


Drill a hole in the bottom of egg, then use a straw to blow out the egg.  Rinse with water and blow it out again...repeat a few times.  Rinse with alcohol to kill any bacteria, leave overnight to dry. (You can stick it in the microwave for 30 sec or a minute if you need one right away, but that may affect the structural integrity. I have found that it works though and never had problems.)
Lightly draw the pattern in pencil if needed (you can trace or stencil it if you have the right stuff) or free hand if you don't use a guide (like the pattern in the pics).  Carve away!  Finish with a small file or light sanding bit if needed or desired.  When all carving is done, soak it in a bleach bath for approximately 10 minutes or until the egg stops bubbling. (This eats away the inner membrane leaving a clean shell.)  Then rinse with water and soak/rinse in a baking soda and water mix for a few minutes, which neutralizes any leftover bleach.  Rinse again, set aside to dry.
 
I ordered some duck and goose eggshells online. You can find them for as cheap as $1.69 depending on the size, but that cheap usually requires a $40 minimum order.  Singles will be a few bucks plus $5 to ship, so bulk is a way better deal.  Emu and ostrich eggs run around $12 to $22.

Thanks, Brad!!!  The photo below (and the pic at the top) is one of his latest carvings on a nice GOOSE EGG.  Gorgeous work...keep doing more!
One last thing...you have no idea how hard it was to resist the obvious play on words for this post (i.e. EGGstravaganza, EGGstraordinary, EGG-citing, EGGtreme, EGGs-actly, EGGsplode, EGGcetra...)!!

9 comments:

Unknown said...

In-Freaking-credible....I used to decorate hollowed eggs when I was young with bits and pieces of lace, ribbon, trims, and when I was older even did one with the lace from my wedding veil...but this far surpasses anything I have seen...really excellent!

Dee said...

Wow and wow again. Fragile, delicate, artistic, amazing. I never thought of Brad as artistic, but this is definitely fine art. Tell him to be careful with those precision trained hands on that climbing trip ahead. I'm so proud of him for doing something so creative. There is a market out there for such beauty....mom

Dice Plague said...

Amazing art! I have tried a couple of times with my Dremel but all I achieved was a nice omelette! Hua!! I´ve been folowing your blog a couple of months now and I just want to say thanks for all cool stuff you have shared with us!

tony ace said...

Love the egg carving,I want to start doing it myself can I ask what drill do you use please? I want to use the turbo carver but it is impossible to buy in the UK for some reason any help on this would be a great help thank you

tony ace said...

Love the egg carving,could you tell me what drill and burr have you used please thank you

Warren Ludwig said...

As the blog article stated, I did not make the carved eggshell...my daughter's boyfriend did some years ago. I don't have any knowledge of what tools he used. Sorry! It's pretty amazing work, though!

Rakesh Vfx artist said...

Amazing work .. could you tell me what is soaking in a bleach bath ?? what should i buy ?

Warren Ludwig said...

As I said on my blog...I did not carve the egg. My daughter's boyfriend did. So I do not know what he did in the process or have more details than what I posted. Sorry! :)

Warren Ludwig said...

I am guessing, though, that the "bleach bath " is just a bowl filled with liquid bleach that the shell is submerged into for 10 minutes.