Monday, March 29, 2010

How to carve an Egg

I've been getting alot of questions on how I carve an egg, so I'm going to try to give everyone a step by step look at what goes into it.

Items needed, steady hand, lots of coffee, ciggaretts, dentist drill, egg, diamond burrs, wrist brace and lots of time.

I'm going to be using an Emu Egg on this demonstation.  I use a whitewash to sketch an outline of what I want to put on the egg.  My ideas tend to evolve as I work so I don't try to put down too much, just the basics.

Using a dentist drill, I lightly carve into the shell, short shallow strokes at first, carving deeper as I get the feeling of how thick the shell is to add detail.  An Emu egg starts out a dark blue/green and gets lighter the deeper you carve.

As I work, I wet the egg down to take off the extra dust and to see the detail better.  Keep in mind the finished piece will have the color of the wet egg.  If you look at this picture you can see the whiter spots, those are the edges that I will be cutting out.  I will carve deeper in these spots to make the cutting easier.

After you have all your detail finished, it's time to cut out the areas that you want.  Make sure you don't have too many thin areas. When this is fiinished you will have to wash the egg.  Lightly, using your fingertips or a soft paintbrush, clean the inside getting rid of any loose skin.  Let it dry.  Using a clear finish paint the interior to make sure any pieces that are still loose will lie flat.  Let dry.  Paint the interior with a white gloss, this will probably take a few coats of paint.  Now to finish it off.

There is always a hole on the bottom of the egg, to cover it I used a gold flower and Swarovski Cyrstals, clear 5mm than green fire opals 3mm.  I put aquamarine crystals in the openings of the gold flower.  From the center of the flower I hung a pewter owl and a tag that says Made with Love.
I decided to have this egg hang from a stand so I put a eyehook on the top.  Using Swaroyski Crystals I surrounded the base of the hook with aquamarine 3mm crystals. I put three coats of a clear finish on the outside.  This not only gives the piece a nice glow, but it also strengthings the piece. 

This is the front view of the finished egg

 This is the back view of the finished egg.

Total time involved is approximately 8 hours.  I hope this helps anyone with questions and I will answer any other questions anyone has.  Thanks, Dodie


  1. Wow!!! I am so in awe of your talent! Thanks so much for sharing your technique ~ and I never knew those eggs were such a beautiful color. If I were to do that carving I'd be wearing earplugs. :)

  2. I've thought of earpluggs...never like the dentist. And the smell, not so much with Emu eggs...but the Ostrich eggs give off the same scent as if you were drilling on a tooth. Yuck.