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I Am Just An Egg… May 20, 2011

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Watercolor.

Well no, I’m a person but I had to use that line to introduce this new post. THIS is an egg:

A Big EggOstrich of course. I picked up a couple from the internet a few years ago with the intention of doing a carving project. One egg was to be the practice egg and the other was for the final version. I had my dremel tool ready and waiting when the eggs arrived. One thing I did not realize was just how tough these damn things are. The bits I had barely scratched the surface of the practice egg. I figured the bits just simply weren’t hard enough so I ordered diamond covered raspy bits. When they arrived I sat down at my workbench and proceeded to work away. The results of my efforts:

Scratched Egg

Yeah, even with the diamond bits it was slow, slow. slow going. Later doing some more research on egg carving I discovered that it’s pretty dangerous to breath in egg shell dust and you had to be very careful. I WAS wearing a decent dust mask but I could smell it when I was carving with the dremel. Smelling = breathing in dust so I stopped. Yeah I could get better quality professional masks but frankly I just didn’t feel like dealing with all that. So I popped them into boxes and shoved them into a closet and forgot all about them. Now, after the nifty way that tree turned out I remembered these eggs I had lying around. They don’t have to be carved you know. 😉



1. ooGcM taobmaetS - May 21, 2011

When you mentioned “…had the dremel tool ready….” I couldn’t help but recall the old joke:

And idiot saw a chainsaw on sale at the hardware store – advertised as being capable of felling 20 trees a day. He bought one but brought it back the next day – complaining that it would only cut down one tree a day – if even that much.

The service dude took it and said, “well, let’s see what wrong,” and started it up.

The idiot exclaimed, “What’s that sound!”

Things to check: does your dremel tool have a “reverse”, and is it accidentally engaged?

It’s happened to me with drills before. *blushes*

Mitchell - May 21, 2011

The dremel just goes in one direction ooGcM. Besides, even if it did spin the other way would it really make any difference?

ooGcM taobmaetS - May 21, 2011

For edged cutting tools – yes. for grinding tools – probably not.

I wasn’t serious, BTW. I’ve only seen one Dremel tool with directional control – a custom one.

I left the smiley-face thingy off by mistake! Sorry if I offended! 🙂

Maybe no one knows how to color them, Mitchell? Discover the method and patent it and retire!

How ’bout epoxy paint? 🙂

2. LC Aggie Sith - May 21, 2011

I have an ostrich egg, courtesy of the Y&O Ranch in Kerrville, when I volunteered while in college. I wanted to paint it, but it looks so damn pretty as is. I can’t wait to see what you do with yours 🙂

3. lindahalcombfineart - May 21, 2011

Smart decision! I wish you better luck with your next project.

Mitchell - May 21, 2011

Thanks! We’ll see how it goes.

4. Mitchell - May 21, 2011

Well, watercolor is a miserable failure. The shell is so slick and completely unreceptive to the pigment, even used in a drybrush manner with stuff straight out of the tube and no dilution. It’s just a smeary, blobby mess. My next idea was to go with the gesso again. It took a few coats but I got a patch ready and tried it out. Ooopa. That didn’t look good at all. Just for giggles I tried watercolor on a chicken egg and they did some neat stuff. Also, the gesso just washed and wiped right off which surprised me. It also doesn’t bode well for the egg-scratchboard idea. Next up – acrylic paint.

5. Mitchell - May 21, 2011

Actually it looks like the Ukrainians have this egg stuff down COLD. They call it Pysanky. It’s all about beeswax and dyes.

LC Aggie Sith - May 22, 2011

I’ve been doing Pysanky for Easter since about 1987 😉 Beautiful work, isn’t it?

Mitchell - May 22, 2011

Figures ;-P Yes, very pretty!

6. Lemur King - May 23, 2011

Oooh, I’m glad I saw this post a day or so ago – that gave this link so much more impact.


7. Mitchell - May 23, 2011

Yeah, there IS a way to do ostrich egg shell sculpture safely, but you need to be REALLY careful about how you do it. I smoked a pack a day cigarettes for 15 years before I quit. I’ve done enough damage. I don’t want to screw around with anything that might aggravate respiratory problems.

8. ooGcM taobmaetS - May 25, 2011

I don’t know, Mitchell…with a good, properly-fitting oxygen mask you could pretty much guarantee lung safety, and breath a nice healthy rush of pure cool O2 to keep you going, too! Yum!

Just think of the art you could do! You could call ’em Enas Eggs!

{I miss that name!}

Enas Yorl - May 26, 2011

Yeah, it can be done but I’ll need to upgrade my equipment. Both the mask and the bits – those shells are amazingly hard.

{I miss that name!}

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