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the Decorated Egg
||Egg to Art
By Patricia A. Harding (http://www.shaywood.com/raising/articles/Eggtoart.htm)
||it a new life, has been a universal symbol of a new beginning and the promise of hope for thousands of
years. The giving of a decorated egg was an important tradition in the Old World, since eggs were
thought to have a supernatural ability to protect the life of a family. Decorating the egg was thought to
increase its magical abilities. The art form was available to every culture, since they were not
expensive to make and everybody; even the poorest homes had eggs.
There are numerous methods and styles of decorated eggs. Some of the most famous eggs were done
by Peter Carl Faberge’. In 1870, at only twenty-four, Faberge’ took over his father’s small jewelry
business, and later became the inspirational force behind the creation of many astonishing works of
art, that were commissioned for the Czar. Pysanky and scratch carving are some of the oldest
techniques of egg art.
There are Pysanky and scratch carving have been around for a long time. The ancient art of pysanky
is created with a wax resist process. The eggshell also lends itself to painting, pencil, decoupage, and
beading, wiring, etching, sculpting, jewelling and carving. Decorated eggs can be full of surprises,
things inside and out, front and back, lights, and moving parts that go up, down, and around. They can
appeal to the ear with music boxes, bells and water falls.
The most common questions asked to eggers seem to be: Are these real eggs? How do you make
them? and where do you get the ideas? Yes, they are real eggs and they will break if not handled
with care but are more durable than many people think. To list all the possibilities for themes would
be as impossible as trying to list all the characteristics of all of the artists I know. They are never-
ending. I cannot imagine an egger saying they have no new ideas for egging. Any piece of egg art
can takes hours, days, even a month to make, from the design conception to egg selection from the
carving process, to embellishing with trim, findings, silk prints, rhinestones and gems.
Egg art in general can be divided to categories and or techniques. Beaded and jeweled, decoupage,
diorama, filigree, hand painted, pysanky or folk art, relief, scratch carved and etched, sculpted and
The infertile eggs are blown and cleaned with one or two holes at the ends of the egg, then rinsed out
thoroughly and disinfected. Chlorine bleach aids in removing stains, but may also remove some of the
color on naturally colored shells.
Eggs are available to the egger in all sizes as small as snail eggs to the huge ostrich eggs. Note: It is
illegal to gather any egg from the wild, even to pick up a sparrow egg that has fallen out of it nest in
your own yard. The larger the egg, in most cases, the stronger it will be. The exception to this rule
seems to be guinea eggs. They are quite sturdy considering their small size. The color range of eggs
includes solid colors, mottled, and speckled, the texture can range from smooth to very rough, and the
price range is from inexpensive to expensive. The rarer eggs are the more expensive, of course.
Egging is widespread, and there are a large number of hatcheries and bird raising people out there, so
if you are a breeder, think about selling your infertile eggs to eggers. I live in Texas and I get a lot of
my eggs shipped from California. Yes, my supplier ships the whole eggs and I drain them after they
Most eggshells are cut and carved with a dremel or by using high-speed air drills rotating at over
400,000 times per minute.
Are people really interested in eggs? Decorated eggs are a worldwide art. There are organized groups
throughout the year which have ballrooms filled with tables holding eggs for thousands of people to
admire and buy. My eggs have been on display at many of these shows. Show awards demand the
very best quality in craftsmanship, design, originality, harmony and color, neatness and degree of
difficulty. Some of the shows have Masters Program Judging and egg contests. They both have
meticulous rules to be followed. There is a great satisfaction and pride in seeing your creation win or
There are many books, periodicals, dealers, and organizations, out there for beginning to advance
eggers. I personally have joined two such organizations and have been a member for years. Gary
LeMaster publishes The Eggshell Sculptor, a publication specializing in carved and sculptured
eggshells. The publications feature artists of the various styles, business ideas, which bur to use,
layering techniques, and new tool reviews. He includes patterns and instructions with lots of pictures,
diagrams, and much more. Gary LeMaster can be contacted at: 415 Terrace Rd, Iowa City, Iowa
52245, e-mail email@example.com, or visit his web site at http://www.eggzotica.com. In 1997, I
joined the International Egg Art Guild from which I have earned my Master of Egg Art certification, and
currently hold eight Masters Certifications while working on my ninth. The International Egg Art Guild
is an organization of egg artist, which includes members from all parts of the world, Japan, Australia,
Canada, and England etc. Their publication is a quarterly newsletter, which provides feature artist,
show reviews, showcases, patterns, and a lot more. To join this organization contact the President,
currently Judy Guinard at: 7513 Blanford Court, Alexandria, VA 22315, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or
visit the web site at http://ww.eggartguild.org . I would be happy to answer any questions, I can be
contacted at: Patricia Harding, 1104 A Paint Creek Rd. Paige, TX 78659, e-mail harizard@totalaccess.
net or by phone 512-253-6802.
Nothing is more relaxing or rewarding to me, than egging. I want to share some of my egg creations
with the readers, exposing new ideas to some, exploring new ideas with others on egg art.
NOTE-THE DECORATED EGGS IN MJ CRAFTS DESIGN STUDIO ARE NOT OF ORGANIC MATERIAL;
THEY ARE MADE IN CERAMICS OR PORCELAIN.