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Offline Magister

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Egg Carving
« on: June 19, 2011, 12:48:36 AM »
Not completely "Renn" related, but it's been so long since I've posted any of the projects I've been working on that I reckon I should toss my hat in the ring. 

One of the things I've been trying my hand at recently is carving eggs.  Because I'm new to it and all I've been working solely with chicken eggs (and I get eggs for omelets and cake too!).  Many of the better carvers out there use goose, emu, and even ostrich eggs.  All more expensive than I want to get in to at this point.  Forgive the grainy pictures.  These were taken with my iPod Touch, the only camera I had handy at the time. 

One is a swan, and the other is a, "beach scene" with the sun and seagulls on one side and the moon and stars on the other all over a wave pattern that goes around the whole egg.



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Offline Rani Zemirah

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Egg Carving
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2011, 12:57:19 AM »
Wow... that is just... absolutely amazing!  So lovely, and so incredibly delicate...

What sort of tools do you use?
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Offline Magister

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Egg Carving
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2011, 11:05:52 AM »
Almost any time you see a carved egg it was done with a high speed engraving tool.  These things are essentially modified dental drills that run off pneumatics (air compressor).  There are several different brands / types out there, but I use a Power Carver.  

I've bought a lot of tools over the years, but I can honestly say that this one is by far the most versatile.  The engraver spins at an incredible 400k RPMs, so it can work through just about any material: metal, glass, wood, stone, and even delicate things like egg shells.  Like Dremels there are a ton of different types of burrs available.

I've typically used it for wood carving and engraving glass, but I thought I'd give egg carving a try.  It's certainly a delicate process, but it's an amazing medium to work with.  Egg shells can be carved, engraved, and pierced (which is what both of the eggs above are).  Doing any form of relief carving on a chicken egg is hard (not impossible) because of how thin they are, but on say an ostrich egg, I've seen other artist's work that is just unbelievable.

Here is a website that tells you a good bit about the tool itself: http://www.sculptingstudio.com/index.php?target=products&product_id=148

« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 11:06:46 AM by Magister »
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Offline Becky10

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Egg Carving
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2011, 03:05:02 PM »
Have you thought about using duck eggs?
They're slightly larger and thicker. Not sure on how much the prices would be as I get mine from my actual duck haha.

Very cool indeed! I've never seen egg carving before!  :o
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Offline Magister

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Egg Carving
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2011, 03:40:39 PM »
Becky:

  Yes, I have, but unfortunately they are actually pretty darn expensive to purchase.  You're lucky if you can get them directly from the duck!  Also, duck eggs are actually a special kind of egg to carve as they are black.  From what I understand you don't usually pierce the duck egg, but carve away the black outer layer to reveal the white layer beneath.  Emu eggs are like that, too.

  Here is a website of a guy who has been carving eggs for a very long time.  His website is not the easiest to navigate, but if you scroll all the way to bottom you'll see links listing the names of different types of eggs he's carved.  Duck eggs being one of them.  If you click around enough (Goose eggs I believe) you'll find one of his that has the same "wave" pattern as mine above.  I'll admit to using his as inspiration.  Goodness knows his are impressive enough!

  Take a look if you're curious: http://theeggshellsculptor.com/DuckEggs.html

« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 03:42:27 PM by Magister »
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Offline Rani Zemirah

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Egg Carving
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2011, 04:44:09 PM »
Hmmm... I wonder what kind of tools they used for this in the 6th century?  From what I've read so far it's been around for a really long time!  It's all pretty amazing, though...
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 04:44:38 PM by Rani Zemirah »
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Offline groomporter

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Egg Carving
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2011, 08:34:49 PM »
Seems to me there was someone on the Renfair circuit who had some goblets or something similar made from ostrich eggs, must have had a connection with some ostrich ranch I assume
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Offline Magister

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Egg Carving
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 10:20:10 PM »
Rani..

  Just speculating, but maybe tiny files, sharp needles?  I don't know, but doing it with a specialised tool is hard enough, I wouldn't even want to try it by hand.  That's saying something for me.  I've had several just simply crumble in my hand while I've been working on them.  Once you get enough of the shell material removed they're just tissue paper fragile.

Groomporter..

  Having a connection with a farm would certainly be a good thing if you were in the business of producing a lot of work with ostrich eggs.  If I wanted to buy a basic medium sized one I'd be looking at around $20.00 or so.  Premium ones can go up quite a bit from there.  Which of course is why you won't catch me going anywhere near one any time soon. ;)

...

I was talking with a friend of mine recently, and I'm not currently in a position (or well proficient enough) but someone would probably have a good faire business carving and then maybe painting the different eggs and selling them.  Ostrich could be dragon eggs, Emu basilisk eggs, etc.  Remember you got the idea from me.. I deserve ohh 2%?  Just kidding. ;)

...

Quick Mod note, I split the egg carving discussion off as the discussion was going on a bit and there's no reason to leave it in the finished projects thread.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 10:27:16 PM by Magister »
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Offline Rani Zemirah

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 12:21:48 AM »
I would imagine the eyesight of those doing the carving wouldn't have lasted very many years, either... at least, not 1500 years ago.  :o  I can't even imagine trying to handle something that fragile.  Can't wait to see more of your work!!! 
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Offline Magister

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 07:49:55 AM »
Rani:

  No, I'd imagine not.  I use one of those opti-mag headsets for almost all of the tiny work - including the eggs so far.  You know the bulky ones that make you look like a right idiot.  It does certainly help.

  I could just picture some poor person bent double over an egg surrounded by candles and go after a shell with those tiny tools.  No thanks.
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Offline groomporter

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 07:59:25 AM »
Hmmm... I wonder what kind of tools they used for this in the 6th century?  From what I've read so far it's been around for a really long time!  It's all pretty amazing, though...
Maybe a grinding bit of some sort mounted in something similar to a lathe?
http://www.historicgames.com/lathes/related.html
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Offline Magister

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 10:44:01 AM »
Groomporter:

  I'd be very surprised if they used anything like a lathe.  The eggs aren't turned as far as I know.  The work is done by scratching and piercing the shell.  I could see maybe something akin to tiny woodworkers (jeweller's) tools as in many ways removing bits and layers of the shell is like relief carving a piece of wood.  Just a heck of a lot more fragile!
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Offline groomporter

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 01:48:44 PM »
I'm not talking about turning the egg, but rather holding the egg against a bit that is spinning in a device that is foot-powered in a similar manner to a lathe
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Offline Lady Christina de Pond

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 02:24:26 PM »
keep going those are wonderful i'm looking at the site with all the carved eggs on them it's neat to see what you can do
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Offline Magister

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 07:18:40 PM »
Groomsporter:

  Ah.. my mistake, then.  Maybe so. 

....

 Here are two websites I found that discuss some of the history of egg carving.  Both seem to say that it originated in China around the time of the Ming dynasty.

 http://arts.cultural-china.com/en/70Arts8027.html

 http://www.icm.gov.mo/apc/9/prg2E.asp

    Interesting!
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Offline Lady Kett

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2011, 09:57:12 PM »
Magister, those are VERY impressive. I am in awe of your talent! I still have issues sewing on buttons!!

Offline Magister

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2011, 09:35:12 AM »
Lady Kett:

  Aww, thank you.  Hardly anything to be in awe over, though.  Compared to people who've been at it awhile with real talent those eggs are just chicken scratches.  But, they are fun to do.

  Truth be told, as the moderator of this section I get to see the work of everyone who posts here, and I am in awe almost everyday at how talented and creative the people who post on RF.com are.  It's one of my greater pleasures to interact with you all.

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Offline Rani Zemirah

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2011, 01:55:15 PM »
I am also impressed at both your talent, and your patience, in being able to work with something so very delicate!  Even for a beginner, your skill is impressive, and it's certainly not something I would have either the patience, or the steadiness of hand, to even attempt! 

I do agree that there is an amazing amount of talent in here, though!  Everyone has so much creativity and imagination, and I love to come here to find ideas and inspiration!  I wish more of the crafters here in the forums would posts in here, though, because I know there are many who are creating things every day, and it would be nice to see their handiwork...  And I'm one of the worst about that, I'm sure!  I should take more pictures and post some of the things I've been working on, I suppose... when I have a spare 15 minutes, anyway.   
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Offline Lady Christina de Pond

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2011, 02:00:30 PM »
i think i would have probley crushed the egg myself
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Offline Syrilla

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2011, 11:02:37 PM »
Oh, how so very beautiful!!!

Offline RacKuhn

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2012, 10:49:08 AM »
Hi! I was wondering where about you live? I really want an egg carver to come to Blackrock Medieval Festival in SW Michigan this July. I think it would be really really cool! www.blackrockfest.com
Thanks, let me know if that's something you can do. ;D

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2012, 02:47:05 PM »
RacKuhn:

   Thank you for the interest in my egg carving.  Is it just a hobby for me at the moment, and certainly not something that is worthy of being on display at an event.  Unfortunately, too, I am all the way south in central Florida, so it would not be feasible to make it up to Michigan, either way.

      Thank you... and good luck with your event!

         - Mag
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Offline The Rabbi

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2012, 03:20:04 PM »
WOW another egg carver how did I miss this post. Let me say very nice work indeed and if you can do this with an Chicken Egg than an Ostrich or Emu would be easy money. I can not do Chicken eggs as my hand spazzes and crushes the egg. I tried to sell my eggs at a ren fair but never made it through the door as "They were not period correct and it was a judged show." They never even looked at my work but its all good. Emu Egss are a bit cheaper than Ostrich and have at least 3 distinct layers i bet you would have a blast with them.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 03:25:55 PM by The Rabbi »
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Offline raevyncait

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2012, 04:27:56 PM »
Actually, at Sterling there was a vendor that sold carved and etched ostrich & emu egg pieces, both whole eggs, and pieces of the eggs. I've a lovely pin on my hat that I purchased there. I"ll try to get a photo posted after I get home tonite.
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Offline RacKuhn

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Re: Egg Carving
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2012, 09:09:31 PM »
THANK YOU ANYWAYS!!!  It's really cool! I think eggs would be awesome at a Medieval Festival, those other people are crazy! If anybody knows anyone that does want to come sell something that awesome, (in SW Michigan) get on here and apply! I really want one of those eggs. Those are awesome!   www.blackrockfest.com

 

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