EGGS

Preparation
Supplies
Strength
Bubbles, cracks
How to cover with slices & sheets
...measuring slices ...bare egg
...raw clay base layer--sheet ... glue/TLS
...diagonal, other methods, misc..
Finishing
Stands, etc.,& hanging
Other kinds of eggs
Plastic eggs
Other techniques using eggs
...Cutting, carving, filigree, hinges, boxes
...Vinegar eggs (dissolve shell)
...Dioramas
...More ideas for eggs
......figures (covered egg bodies, etc.)
......other ideas
Websites
Egg suppliers

SUMMARY for preparing an egg

EMPTYING an egg
1. Use room temperature eggs if you can since the insides will be less stiff.
2. Make a hole or holes with a needle/hat pin, a "church key" (pointed can opener --tap a dent in the egg, and turn back and forth for a smooth round hole), or a pointed waterdrop-shaped drill bit (grind a hole)
3a. two-hole methods (make a hole in each end of the egg, one hole larger than the other)
--pierce the yolk with a needle and swish to break up
--blow out the egg with your mouth, or you can blow air or water into one hole with an ear bulb syringe, an injection syringe (with or without a needle), an "egg blower" (see description & suppliers below), a small drinking straw, or a basketball nozzle adapter for a bicycle pump (wrap the needle part with a damp paper towel to make it seal with the egg better)
3b. one-hole methods (many of the same blowers as above will work, but there must be enough room for the egg to flow out around whatever is inserted into the hole; also the hole must face downwards while blowing)
--pierce the yolk with a needle and swish to break it up
--blow air or water into the hole with one of the tools, allowing egg to flow out; repeat until all egg is out
CLEANING: squirt or run cold water into egg a few times and shake; blow water out using mouth or tool
DRYING: put all eggs in microwave & cook them on high for 15-30 sec, or bake in 300 degree oven for 10 min (this may also make them stronger), or let them drain (hole downwards) for 2-3 days

PREPARATION

It's probably best to use room temperature eggs since the insides will be less stiff.

....when you puncture the egg to blow it out, make sure to push needle in far enough to break the yolk ...I didn't know this years ago when I attempted egg blowing....maybe I'm just weak or something, but trying to force that whole yolk out of the egg through that little hole was nearly impossible. My cheeks and jaw hurt so bad I thought I'd been in a fist fight with a gorilla! michele 'luny'

Those metal needle tools they sell for making holes in beads work great for this. Swish a long needle or pin around inside the egg to break up the yolk. Then place the bulb syringe (or whatever it is called) against one of the holes and squeeze. Sometimes you have to pull some of the thicker parts out, but it really works and it's much easier. Be warned however that you can still break apart many eggs with too much pressure. Libby

~you can also go the the pharmacy and buy a handfull of 3cc syringes for the price that micromark is charging for one...I have seen them they are just the same 3cc syringes that we use at the hospital.....you can even ask for needles.... saraj42
....
~If you go to a medical supply place you can buy the syringes in various sizes from very small to huge.

... if Fry's Electronics is still around they have needles and syringes available for electronic soldering. The needles are real handy. They are short, not pointed, and screw right onto the top of the syringe. They fit the syringes from the med supply. magicmoira
.... The Cajun Injector (syringe for marinating meat). http://www.cajuninjector.com/ This is a big big syringe, with holes on both side (dunno if that helps or not, but they're there), and a huge sturdy needle. Nae
....I'm using the syringe from my inkject refill kits to blow out my eggs. Corgi

I don't leave more than a pin hole in the large end and I haven't had any cracking (until someone picks it up and squeezes it, God knows why). obirtasil

What used to be my "church key" (pointed can opener) is now my official "hole maker for blowing out Eggs" tool. (It really works quite well; tap a dent in the egg, and turn back and forth for a smooth round hole). Need a starter hole?

. . . Another thing that seems to help is to grind the hole in rather than poking or chipping. Grinding doesn't start any cracks that can grow later. I have a water-drop shaped bit that works well. (I used to use a ball shaped tip but that one wandered a little before starting.) The point of the drop cuts right in to the shell.

A bit of super glue (the liquid, not the gel) will strengthen the hole at the large end and help prevent breakage when covering the egg. Katherine Dewey

To remove a lot of the moisture, put all your blown out eggs into the microwave & cook them on high for 15-30 seconds. This cooks & dries all the moisture left inside. Then I cover them with a coat of LS & bake in the convection oven. lawardrop

I sterilize the eggs this way: blow out the insides, then wash and rinse thoroughly. Then I soak it in a solution of water and bleach (not too much bleach). I also pre bake the eggs in 300 degree oven for ten minutes. It seems to make the shells stronger, I don't know for sure but they crack less. Karen

I let my eggs dry for 2-3 days. That way, you don't have any moisture inside to steam up and crack your egg. obirtasil

I use a plastic syringe to blow eggs. Then I use it to put in some warm water, cover the holes with my fingers and shake it to clean, then blow out the water.obirtasil
...I have one suggestion to add: when cleaning out the egg shell with water, (after the contents have been blown out), use cold water. Egg is a protein, and hot water literally "cooks" protein. Cold water will remove more of the residue, while hot water cooks residue to the insides of the eggs. (See? Some things learned in med school DO come in handy!) Tricia

method for syringe (with needle) and one small hole:
--make the hole at least twice as large as the needle
--insert needle (hole facing downwards)
--press plunger to force in air, this forces egg white out
--remove needle and pull plunger back
--insert needle, press plunger, remove needle again again... repeat until egg is empty
(--breaking yoke beforehand is unnecessary as needle will pierce it as it moves down)
to clean egg: remove plunger from syringe and fill will hot water; squirt into egg a few times and swish;
"blow" the water out the same way as you blew out the egg before;
repeat until water runs clear --this also cleans the syringe (from Sunni)

I clean out my eggs with bleach and then rinse thoroughly. Some people use a baking soda rinse to neutralize the bleach too. Susan

After emptying the contents and rinsing out the egg, a few drops of vinegar will prevent mold from forming as the egg dries.

Bake on a cushion of batting and immediately after baking plunge into icy cold water. This will reduce air bubbles if they do form. Katherine Dewey

The real trick is to not get air bubbles (and leave no air hole in the final egg covering). I bake my egg twice before I even started decorating it.
I use scrap clay, make two sheets, gently cover the egg and blend the seams. Then I take a needle-tool and poke a hole where the hole is in the egg itself. Then I bake.
When it is done, I take the egg and cover up the hole with clay ---WHILE IT IS STILL VERY VERY HOT -- and rebake. This way the whole egg is covered with no air bubbles. After all of this, then I put on whatever I want to decorate the egg. Byrd
My Dad, the engineer and guy-who-knows-how-everything-works, says it's the moisture in the air inside eggs turning into steam when heated which causes the problem of bubbling. By doing the two step bake described above, moist air is removed from the egg and the egg is sealed so no moisture can get in again. Hence, no need for an air hole. Linda

Also how you hold the egg is of utmost importance as well. Always...always hold the eggs at the greatest axis of the egg in other words lengthwise. The eggshell structure will tolerate great stress if held in this manner. Miki

Psyanky eggs (waxed in areas, then repeatedly dyed) are made with raw eggs? over the months will dry out, possibly leaving a small amt. of matter which makes a slight rattle????

My sister teaches polymer clay to kids. Blown-out eggs are too fragile for most of them to handle, and she didn't have time to prepare them anyway. So, she had them cover the hard-boiled ones with polymer, and then cured them, as normal. She has one egg that's at least a year and a half old, and no problems so far. The polymer seems to make a completely air-tight cover. I thought it was a great idea! They're a bit heavier than blown out eggs, and she doesn't sand them, but they worked fine! Maureen (using only ones without any cracks from boiling? using a thick covering of polymer to buffer the heat?)

SUPPLIES

(for buying eggs, see EGG SUPPLIERS below)

As I was saying, this tool is called a One Hole Egg Blower. It sells (at least when I bought it) for $5 or $6, I think. I looks something like this (and you don't have to contort your head and neck to use it!): (DB: include photo) it's a metal tube bent in a shape that reminds me of Sherlock Holmes' pipe, with a mouthpiece at one end and a tapered tip at the other. After making the hole at least 1/8" wide (remember this won't show under the clay), insert the other end of the tube *up* into the bottom of the egg. Blow----comes out pretty fast. If the tube doesn't pierce the yolk automatically, pierce it first with a pin/needle/skewer to make evacuation easier. This is the *only* way to blow a lot of eggs IMHO.
here is a photo of a similar one, with it you have a bellows for pushing the air rather than blowing into it
http://www.atu1.com/Supplies/Blowers.htm
Judi Maddigan writes: A company that sells Ukrainian Pysanky supplies lists (4 of these blowers) on its web page at
http://pages.prodigy.com/esuark/pysanky.htm
....there are lots of different prices for them.... if you do a search for egg blower, you will get hundreds of hits. I know I bought mine for under 5 bucks only a year ago, and the cheapest I have found today is 6 I think (and I can't remember the name of the place I bought mine from!) . but it is worth it! kellie

We found a small pump, the hand pump that our boys had used to blow up basket balls, footballs etc. It had been laying around here for a long time. Anyhow it works very well forblowing out eggs. Don wrapped the needle part with a damp paper towel to make it seal with the egg better. It's great! Quick, clean and fast. Flo

You could also rig up a bendable straw to do the same thing, but the second bend might collapse rather than bend (or I guess you could tape two flexible parts from separate straws together). The idea is to be able to keep your head upright during blowing, which is much more comfortable. The hole would need to be bigger though.
The package also talks about filling the blown eggshells with gelatin or with wax and a wick (then peeling off the shell).
Ordering info: Suncrest Manufacturing, Clinton UT 84015, (801) 825-4933
(or the Hearth Song catalog has a similar one with a bellows; you can see it at their website:
http://hearthsong.com/shop/item.cfm?icat_item_num=1054 )

I use one of those bulbous baby (mucus) suckers...you know, those things you suck out the infants nose or mouth with. I poke holes in both ends of the egg with a hatpin, fill the bulb with hot soapy water, and force the contents out by squirting the hot water in one end. Ronda

I use a syringe to blow my eggs out. No mouth blowing at all! Joanie

I don't know if anyone has tried this before, but Metzer Farms will ship blown, clean duck or goose eggs (and others too I think). They come in assorted sizes and seem to cost around 55 cents for medium sized eggs (there is a large assmt of sizes to choose from). They ship and the minimum order is low (I recall about $25, I bought enough that I haven't re-ordered in a while). I found them on the web at www.metzerfarms.com. I called the toll free number and they were very nice to deal with. I think they sell a lot of the very large eggs used by people who create scenes in them and stuff like that.

Save the (wide, flat) rubber bands that come on bunches of broccoli and toss them in your tool kit. They are just the right size to put around an egg or rock amulet to mark a layout or cut line. Once you have the edge smoothly placed, you can run a pen or pencil along it. Then remove the rubberband, warm the clay and make a nice smooth cut. Jody B.

A " painting board "for holding painted or varnished obejcts as they dry can sometimes be found at craft and hobby shops (...each board has a multitude of tiny points spaced pretty close together that you can place your painted object on) see details on these & on making them in Finishes > Misc. for All Finishes)

STRENGTH

Baking the eggshells first makes them stronger... and I find that having a layer of clay on the egg first is good, makes it stronger, and easier to get the slices on.
Also, translucent liquid sculpey is WONDERFUL for filling in those little cracks that appear, etc...

(Claire) Believe it or not, I have never broken an egg yet.
1.) I use brown eggs, which I have been told are a bit stronger than white ones
2.) After emptying and rinsing out, I bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 min., to dry them out and also I think it strengthens them some more..
3.) Coat with Sobo glue, and let dry overnight.
When I cover with sheets of clay, I make sure to butt up the seams with no overlapping, and then smooth out the seams. If you don't overlap, there is very little smoothing necessary. If I'm applying Mokume gane slices, I try to lay them down in such a way that I make a sorta smooth surface. In both cases, I roll over them with an acrylic brayer to do the final smoothing…- actually, it is one of my most used tools, and I love the way it smooths things out. The trick is just to only apply light pressure with it, and go over the area many times. I get very little distortion if I use light pressure.

When eggs are fresh their shells are very fragile. As they age the shells calcify and get thicker. So for stronger eggs to cover, use older ones. Julia

I sterilize the eggs this way: blow out the insides, then wash and rinse thoroughly. Then I soak it in a solution of water and bleach (not too much bleach). I also pre bake the eggs in 300 degree oven for ten minutes. It seems to make the shells stronger, I don't know for sure but they crack less. Karen

(more elsewhere on this page about strength of egg, or hole, etc.)

BUBBLES, CRACKS

now here's the amazing part. ...it had no bubbles (that i could tell) ...so - in future, i can go straight to smearing on TLS and (while still wet) decorating the clean egg!! Sunni

I do a lot of eggs decorated in bas relief, essentially raised designs. My sanding solution is to bake and sand the underlying clay before adding the relief. This smooth baked layer provides a firm surface to work on and diluent helps the relief clay adhere.
.....While I'm creating the base layer, I constantly remind myself to get it smooth as possible and to make certain the clay isn't sticking to my hands (this causes air pockets). Sometimes I rub my hands with cornstarch or wear gloves during this step..
....
immediately (while still very hot) after baking plunge into icy cold water. This will reduce air bubbles if they do form. . . I'm always working to minimize sanding, but there's no way around it. Katherine Dewey
...
This ice water plunging worked well for me when I was covering eggs and wooden boxes that were coated with Sobo.

cracks: Rebake your egg. While it is baking prepare a glass of Ice water with enough water to cover the egg in a cup. When the egg is hot remove and place in cup. Quickly pour ice water over egg. If you go slow it won't work. . . This should close up the cracks. The heating closes the cracks, and the ice water cools it down so fast it doesn't have time to pull away. If you are skeptical, try it with another cracked scrap clay object.

( I had a bubble ….) I re-heated the egg for about 10 minutes & then pushed the bubble down as I held it in a pot holder. Now I can't even tell where it was. Thank you! Kay

That's happened to me, too. Usually, I poke a hole or two just under the surface in a couple of places on the egg before baking. That way, if there is air trapped I didn't notice, it has some way to escape during baking. kleebug.

A thin layer of TLS over the egg, then baked, makes it much sturdier for covering later. And that preliminary baking takes care of any residual moisture hiding in your blown egg. kleebug

To the person who posted the idea of using a metal file for smoothing out egg bumps (not bubbles- ?), THANKS! It's been a life saver! My files, being family antiques, were already rusty--so I used water anyway and had no problem. The rust washed off the eggs just fine.

(after my burn incident) I have been using iguanas on top of some of my eggs (to hide the problems). I don't consider myself a sculptress, but they have turned out pretty good. I was working on other reptiles, etc...... ANYWAY, about the broken egg.... I had an egg with an exceptionlly good lizard that I forgot to repoke the hole in the bottom and ended up with horrible air bubbles that I couldn't push down. So I cut out the bubbles and plan to either have baby iguanas or after-birth ooze (or something else) crawling out of the holes. Later I started actually fashioning eggs with a hole, tearing clay away where I really wanted the hole to have body parts coming out. ...DeB

(also do a ctrl + f page search on this page for the word bubble, for more ideas)

HOW TO COVER with SLICES (& sheets)

cane slices in rows

Jack Schwend's fabulous Poly-Psyanky eggs, with lots of precise, complex caning in rows
http://jacksworkshoppe.homestead.com/PAGE3.html
Marie Draighi's multi-cane eggs, sometimes in rows --some slices not smoothed out... patchwork-collage (& simple stands)
http://www.marieidraghi.it/uova_eggs.htm
Cr.Michele's translucent cane
http://www.geocities.com/Wellesley/1644/ma-hmpge11pcg10.htm

measuring cane slices to fit an egg

(ee more on applying slices next to each other in general in Canes-info > Sheets of Slices & Smoothing
(also see all sub-categories below for more tips on this)

How do you gauge what width the cane needs to be to go around evenly? Kim
(..here are some ideas for covering eggs which have the same number of slices in each row... and when you're using a square cane:)
....to measure the "equator" of an egg, it's easiest to use a soft measuring tape (..for a chicken egg, that'll usually be around 5.5 inches).
....then divide that measurement by the number of slices you want (say 5-9)... then reduce your cane to that size....that should be the correct size for the first row.
SOME GUIDELINES to use for a normal egg waist/equator (5.5", or 14 cm) --measure the cane slices side-to-side, or point-to-point if using your square slices on point:
....(it may be easier to just measure both your egg waist measurement and your cane width in centimeters to begin with, instead of having to convert from inches --most soft measuring tapes have both decimal and fractions marked on them, I think)
(here are some samples of: ....normal waist measurement.... divided by number of slices used.... equals width of slices needed)
5.5" divided by 5 slices = 1.1" (or 2.8 cm)
5.5" divided by 6 slices = 0.9" (or 2.3 cm)
5.5" divided by 7 slices = 0.8" (or 2.0 cm)
5.5" divided by 8 slices = 0.7" (or 1.8 cm)
5.5" divided by 9 slices = 0.6" (or 1.5 cm)
(ain't Google-as-calculator handy??? .. a math lover I'm not...)
.... so (for the first row) ....if you measure the width of the cane you already have, you can get a general idea of how many slices you'll need to use on an egg from the choices above
.......or in reverse -- decide how large you want the cane slices to be and see how many slices you need to use, or decide how many slices you want to use and see what size they need to be.
....for subsequent rows, the cane will need to be reduced "a bit narrower," and also smooshed a bit trapezoidal so it's narrower at whichever end of the cane slice will be closest to the tip of the egg.
.......some people though, like Mike Buesseler, put their square slices *on point* (diagonal) rather than side by side (nifty patterns can be created that way--see below)...in that case, the cane will need to become more "diamond-like" as it goes up or down because the slices need to be narrower (..and shorter as well if you want, which will just make the whole cane smaller but in its original proportion).
.......most people who mention it just seem to say that subsequent rows need to be "a little smaller" and that they have to futz with the size a bit.
.......Mike B. presses his cane face onto the spot he wants to fill, then squishes it till it fits (....since he does his slices on point, he puts the cane face into a "V" formed by the first row, but the same principle could apply to canes joined side-to-side). Diane B.

As long as you don't mind having to use an even number of slices (for each row), the following method can also be used (...in other words, you'd need to use either 4 or 6 or 8 slices, e.g.):
.....Take a long strip of paper, and wrap it around the item you're working with (at the widest point of the circumference) ... trim off any extra so the the strip exactly meets itself. ....then fold the strip in half...in half again, etc., until you have as many "repeats" as you want ....the strip gives you evenly spaced fold lines to mark the pattern, without having to do the math. Lisa

Contrary to what everyone else said about cutting slices into trapezoids to fit the curve, I don't do this. I work with the angles to make things fit--like triangles squares or hexagons, and distort the slice slightly to fit it into the spaces as I move up and down the egg. It's important to me that the patterns seem continuous.
.... I also cover with solid sheets working the seams closed.
.... My technique is to use the 6" acrylic brayer from WeeFolk (handle removed) and gently roll across the seams to clo
se them. It takes a while to get used to the amount of pressure it takes, but I do this on eggs with no "base clay layer" ...this way, the rolling can slightly "move" or stretch the cane slice into position..... I can leave gaps up to 1/4" between slices and with a slightly thicker slice--(between 1/16th and an 1/8") these are filled and the pattern edges are made to meet. It takes a while of rolling, but I hold the acrylic rod in one hand and with a turn at the wrist keep it moving around the egg while the other hand turns the egg. Patti?

similar, but more info....
When I use cane slices, it is a point of pride with me that I don't ever cut to fit. All my patterns are continuous with no part of the pattern "darted" out. Also, I don't press the slices to a backing sheet because I don't want distortion of the pattern or smearing of the top layer. But in order to do that, you have to manipulate slices quite a bit. Some get stretched gently, some compressed. I start by covering the egg with a scrap layer and baking that. That way, you have the ability to get a little more rough with pressing and smoothing without worrying about breaking the shell. Then I apply the canework. Using the acrylic rod, gently start with a twist of your wrist in the center of the slice, moving in the direction you need to stretch the cane. then, work your way toward the edge where the slice should meet the next one. I have made 6 square cane slices about 1 1/2" square fit, meet and cover eggs (three top, three bottom, with points touching at top and bottom, kinda fit together like a harlequin pattern). They had up to half inch gaps when arranged and before smoothing. It takes some practice, but you can do it. You also want to cut your cane slices closer to 1/8 " or more if you need to make them fit like this. Finally, a secret: put a smear of vaseline in your hand, rub. then rub, roll and smooth the egg in your hands. The surface will become smeary, but that will sand off easily. The vaseline allows you to get much more forceful in stroking the surface and rub down bumps. I've come across no ill effect of the vaseline on the baking. If the egg is still bumpy after it is baked, start out with a metal file to cut the bumps off. This will leave some pretty severe scratch/cut lines, but then you sand, sand, sand! Start with 220 or 320 grit paper to cut more and smooth. Then move on to 400, 600, and 800 (and more if you want, I go to 2000). Then buff with soft cloth or a buffing wheel. Hope it helps. It's so much easier to show this than describe it....unfortunately. Patti K.

Bare Egg (in particular)

It's also possible to do eggs without the scrap clay, but you do have to be very gentle. It helps to use newer canes made of soft clay, since you don't have the scrap clay to prevent the egg from baking. When I'm doing an egg in just one layer like that, I cover it with Sobo glue first - makes the clay stick better. Of course, I didn't know about drying the egg in the oven - maybe my cane wasn't sticking because I hadn't dried the eggshell completely? Nancy

Steven Ford's method uses thick cane slices applied directly to the egg - no first layer of scrap clay. He cut enough slices to make a ring around the circumference, laid them down next to each other and then picked up the row and wrapped around the egg. He then took more slices and butted them up to the edge of the first row, going all the way around and then kind of pressed and coaxed the whole row down to form against the shape of the egg. He seems to use only square canes, and then when an egg is completely covered, he will cut out shapes from the clay and in-lay another pattern slice…

(for my Poly-Psyanky eggs, with lots of complex caning)...I also do just one row (of slices) at a time and bake one row at a time. That way you don't mess up the row before and it gives you a firm backing for the next row. I have a small convection oven ,fast working. I suppose if you use a full size oven it might be a problem. Some people use a heat gun,but I never could without burning my fingers, LOL! .... . . on smoothing, I use a Dremel with (stitched?) buffing pad to lose the real rough spots and then buff like mad with steel wool of varying grades. Jack
http://jacksworkshoppe.homestead.com/PAGE3.html

Raw Base layer (sheet of clay)
for cane slices, or other sheets

Eberhard Faber's lesson shows covering an egg with a sheet, creating 4 large darts at top and at bottom of egg, then trimming them off... and smoothing
http://tinyurl.com/77vjc

I roll a sheet of clay a bit longer and wider than the true diameter of the egg
......I wrap the egg by folding the sheet lengthwise around the egg, like a clamshell.
.....I pinch the excess together (into seams), and trim the excess with a scissors.
......I let the clay rest .... then work to smooth out any air bubbles (and pierce a small hole in the large end). Katherine Dewey
..I cover the egg with a base coat of scrap clay (#3 or #4)...f
ollowing Margaret Regan's lead, I fold the clay sheet over the egg like a clam shell to minimize teh number of seams. ... if I press the excess of the sheets together up close to the egg, then trim the pulled up excess with nail scissors which are pressed against the egg, the seam sometimes seals itself as I cut! .... then I roll between my hands until smooth. Carol S.

I lay the egg on the clay sheet in the center, and place the sheet around the egg, butting the edges.
...
then I cut out pieces of clay like you would in sewing to make darts (in the shape of darts???)... butt all the seams
...do that around the end until it's all closed. . . .
Lucille

As far as putting the cane slices on the eggs, I've found it is much easier to have a raw layer (a thin # 6 is enough)
...the base layer should be the same color as the background of the cane slices... that way there is more forgiveness for the occasional (read "frequent") uneven cane slice. ...also this way you can use round cane slices and don't have to spend so much time mooshing the slices to fill the gaps).

I use real eggs and cover first with a base layer - either scrap clay or the bulk white sculpey.
.....I put through pasta machine at 4 or 5... wrap the sheet around the egg... pinch up the sheet where it meets itself (so you now have something that look a bit like a wonton)...this pinched flap of clay usually extends for about 180 degrees along the long axis of the egg.
......I cut it off as close to the egg as I can...then cut any obvious bumps.... roll in my hands to soften and smooth.
....also, to smooth the surface I use a piece of acrylic about 3 1/2 x 6" in the one hand (egg in the other hand) ... this allows me to smooth my eggs without the warmth and subsequent smearing that fingers can cause- smoothing before is easier than sanding after.

put a layer of base clay on first, and bake it, then add the decor.
...when doing mokume on eggs I use a translucent base. Then I take my mokume slices and place them slightly overlapping on a piece of waxed paper until I have a big enough sheet of them to cover the egg.
...I put waxed paper over them and roll well, getting them as smooth as possible.
...then peel the clay sheet off of the paper and carefully fit and cut it over the pre-baked egg. If you don't overlap much when you are doing this, the egg should be fairly smooth.
....Then I roll it around on a smooth surface until I'm satisfied it's the way I want it. Works really well.
....(I also do this same method when I'm covering an egg with canes, unless they are geometric and have to be fit carefully together. But flowers and leaves work nicely.) Dotty

Nae's lesson on covering an egg with raw layer, two holes... then mokume gane or cane slices, possibly adding rattles
http://home.earthlink.net/~thenae/lesson.html (gone)
*Lori Greenberg 's visual lesson on covering a real & a plastic egg (& how to sand and buff it) (raw base layer method)
http://www.abundancebox.com/Egg%20Prep.htm (gone)

Glue or Liquid Clay base layer

I use a fairly thin sheet to cover my eggs, but I prepare the shell by applying a vinyl (white) glue, and letting it dry. My favorite is Beacon's Gem Tac. The Dritz heming glue, also made by Beacon, is the same glue. It's thin enough to brush on and is permanent.
....I roll a sheet of clay a bit longer and wider than the two (true?) diameter of the egg and wrap it by folding the sheet lengthwise around the egg, like a clamshell.
...I pinch the excess together (into seams) and trim the excess with a scissors.
....I let the clay rest and then work to smooth out any air bubbles and pierec a small hole in the large end.

This technique creates an egg that is very evenly covered and needs little sanding. Katherine Dewey

(…being basically lazy, the process seems so involved. paint the egg with white glue and let it dry. put on a layer of base clay and bake. then you decorate it and bake it again. that's 3 steps at least.) Sunni

Then i thought to myself, "wonder if TLS would work like the glue does?"… i smeared 1/2 of the goose egg with TLS and baked it. when it cooled, i covered the baked TLS with some junk cane. Then i smeared TLS on the uncovered half and, unbaked, covered the still wet TLS with the rest of the junk cane. then i baked it. now here's the amazing part. the junk cane had no bubbles (that i could tell) and both the prebaked and unbaked halves of TLS worked like a charm. so - in future, i can elimate the prebaking and go straight to smearing on TLS and decorating the clean egg!! Sunni

byrd's lesson at Polyzine on covering an egg with liquid clay and raw layer
http://pcpolyzine.com/march2001/eggs.html

lessons on covering eggs with slices, by Dora
...rows & complete coverage ....floating slices pattern
...eggs first coated with white glue and dried... then covered with base clay (long rectangle of black clay cut into "fringes" on both long sides before wrapping around egg equator, then pulling fringes up or down, trimming excesses, and smoothing
http://dorasexplorations.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/covering-eggs-with-polymer-clay-101-part-2
(prep) http://dorasexplorations.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/covering-eggs-with-polymer-clay-101-part-1

Baked Base layer

Carol Simmon's method, to get smooth eggs:
(see many of Carol's eggs at http://polymerclaycentral.com/pcc/swapegg1998.html)
1. Cover the egg with a base coat of scrap clay (#3 or #4)... trim seams and roll between my hands until smooth
.... then bake on polyfill. Following Margaret Regan's lead, I fold the clay over the egg like a clam shell to minimize the number of seams. I find if I press the sheets together up close to the egg then trim the excess with nail scissors presses against the egg, the seam sometimes seals itself as I cut! Poke any air bubbles and press out the air. (Leave a pinhole through clay and shell to let expanding air escape when the egg is heated).
2. After baking ....sand the base coat quickly with 240 grit paper under water to remove bumps and create nice egg shape.
3. Rub Sculpey diluent into base coat. Wipe off excess, wait 5 min.
4. Work from square canes. Cut all slices the same thickness: 1 mm. What I do is press the millimeter side of a ruler against the clay (cane) (of course the ruler must have bumps at mm intervals, not just marks), taking care to keep ruler parallel to edge of cane. I then cut on the mm marks to get nice, even slices. This is plenty thick over an egg that has been base coated. …
5. I measure the diameter of the egg at its fattest point. Then on a sheet of paper, I lay out a strip of slices, edge to edge, to equal the diameter. If the strip is a bit short, it's fine - you can stretch the strip when you put it on the egg. I press the edges together well, then lift the strip and apply it to the egg. Usually, I first draw a line around the circumference of the egg at its midpoint and use this to line up the strip as I place it on the egg. I press the strip against the egg, gently, until it stays in place.
6. Next, I draw "longitude" lines from the corners of the slices I just applied to the top and bottom of the egg. The lines should converge at the centers of the top and bottom. (I don't really DRAW the lines, I scratch them with a needle tool.
7. For the upcoming egg swap, I am working with cane designs that have mirror symmetry. With these designs, I don't have to reduce the cane as I approach the ends, I simply cut the slices to fit the egg as the circumference decreases towards the ends. The slices in the rows near the center are cut into trapezoids, while the slices at the ends are cut into triangles. (The longitude lines help you judge the size and shape of the trapezoids.) This results in a kaleidescope pattern at the ends. It wastes a lot of cane, but I make more canes than I know what to do with anyway.
8. I roll it gently in my palms to smooth the seams, paying particular attention to where the corners meet, because if the corners of the cane weren't sharp there are sometimes small gaps there. I continue to roll until all of the seams fuse.
9. I bake the eggs on polyfill, then sand them under water with 240, 320, 400 and 600 grit sandpaper. The vast majority of the sanding is done with the 240 grit sandpaper and is done to remove bumps and reshape the egg slightly, if necessary. The rest of the sanding is more like a "once-over" to remove the scratches left by the coarser grit sindpapers.
10. Since I like a soft shine rather than a glassy one, I stop after the 600 grit paper, let the egg dry, then buff on my jeans. When I've wanted a glassy shine, I've gone up to 1200 grit paper or higher, then buffed on a wheel. Carol Simmons

Here's how I do my eggs. http://creativeside.com/cache/eggersu/artworks_by_lucille.htm
...(I used to put a layer on and bake it before the design layer, but I don't anymore)
.. ..With a cloth tape, I measure around the widest part of the egg and also the length.( A large chicken egg is usually around 3 x 5 1/2 inches).... I make my design on my work surface to measure slightly under the measurement.
.......Then with a clay lifter, I lift the clay sheet and place a piece of wax paper under the clay sheet...then another piece of wax paper over that. With my rolling pin, roll in both directions, and lift the paper to release it from the clay.... turn the whole thing over and do the same. Do both sides a few times.
......Remove the wax paper and hold the clay sheet in your left hand ( if our right handed)
..
I lay the egg on the clay sheet in the center, and place the sheet around the egg, butting the edges.
...
then I cut out pieces of clay like you would in sewing to make darts (in the shape of darts???)... butt all the seams
...do that around the first end until it's all closed.

...To make the egg rattle after baking, on the other end with the drain hole, I make tiny balls of clay small enough to fit into the drain hole, and put in 5 or 6 tiny balls, or small pebbles or glass beads. Then close up that end the same as the other end. With the needle tool, pierce it thru where the drain hole is to release the air while it bakes. . . (LD: roll it around in your hands and on a surface to smooth it) ....bake
. . . I then use 400 grit, 600, 1500 grit wet sand paper. Then polish with a piece of denim until it feels like silk and has a nice glow. Have fun. Lucille

I use real eggs and cover first with a base layer - either scrap clay or the bulk white sculpey.
...I put through pasta machine at 4 or 5... wrap the sheet around the egg... pinch up the sheet where it meets itself (so you now have something that look a bit like a wonton)...this pinched flap of clay usually extends for about 180 degrees along the long axis of the egg.
....I cut it off as close to the egg as I can...then cut any obvious bumps.... roll in my hands to soften and smooth.
....to smooth the surface, I then use a piece of acrylic about 3 1/2 x 6" in the other hand (this is one of my must-have tools whch I rarely hear others talk about)... this allows me to smooth my eggs without the warmth and subsequent smearing that fingers can cause- smoothing before is easier than sanding after.
....Then poke 1-2 holes (very small) for the air to escape and bake 25 minutes.

....Sand this egg a bit and then cover with your good layer. This is the basic Margaret Regan taught at Ravensdale for preparing the eggs.
.... I do coat this baked base layer with Sobo which seems to allow the outer layer to adhere better.

Diagonal techniques

Mike Buesseler’s diagonal patterns & technique:
First you need to find the egg's "equator". I usually stretch a (thin?) rubberband around the middle trying to find the fattest part of the egg. Does that make sense? ....Once I have the rubber band in place, I lightly trace along it with a pencil (the circumference line)
….Once I get that equator marked, I measure it with a soft measuring tape. I find large eggs to be around 5 1/2" or so.
........ I divide this measurement into the number of cane slices I want in my first tier, say six... so 5 1/2" divided by 6 is about .9"
........then I reduce my cane to have a DIAGONAL measurement equal to that.
... Next, cut 6 cane slices (I don't cover my eggs with anything first--the clay seems to stick just fine for me.)
........Place one slice onto your egg, on the DIAGONAL, that is so it looks sort of like a diamond on your egg. Place it exactly along the equator line you drew. ........Continue placing slices along the line until you completely circle the egg (sometimes, if I come out a little long or short, I just go back around and fudge the slices a little to make them fit.) Keep your first slices nice and square and uniform. This first course is the most critical...get it right and the rest is easier.
...Now, reduce your cane just a little (so you can cut more slices and begin fitting them into the V shaped spaces above and below your first tier).
.......the circumference gets smaller from this point, both for upper and lower rows so the slices will need to become more and more distorted (narrow in width, but in height only if you want?) as you get near the ends of the egg (when I say "distorted", I don't mean squished or totally random. I mean they need to get more diamond shaped to fit into the spaces right. Let the egg guide you.....)
..... to find the size for this cane reduction, hold the whole cane against the egg in one of those V's and you'll find that it is pretty close to the same size as the first tier slices... BUT it isn't QUITE the same, and it is important to get this right. I do a fair amount of adjusting of each slice as I near the ends.
...Keep this up, building tier upon tier.
There are some really neat geometric effects that take place doing this, if you get it right.... the better job you do at this, the more impressive the pattern becomes.( If you've seen that article Jewelry Crafts did on me several years ago, there is a picture of an egg I made there that really illustrates this effect. I wish you could look at that egg from the top or bottom. It impresses ME. This pattern just sort of emerges from the shape of the egg. It isn't something I plan out on paper, or anything.)
....Also, since I place one slice at a time on the egg, I don't get any air bubbles trapped under the clay, either.
.... I always leave a little hole in one end of the egg, for air expansion, whatever... If the hole is a problem, you can patch it at the end, and rebake.
...Oh, once the egg is covered, I just gently smudge the seams until they are fairly smooth. ....Then I bake for 10 minutes or so, and do my rough sanding. Rebake for another 20 minutes, and then final sanding. This is fairly standard for large objects, isn't it?
- Well, that's it. I don't know if you can use this or not, or if it's clear enough. Mike Buesseler

Shaneangel’s technique (similar to Mike's)
.....I always use the wooden eggs because I like the heft of them and because I hate messing around blowing eggs....they are the size of very large chicken eggs and sell for around a dollar each.
......This particular way of applying the slices ends up in a calico looking egg ....with the decreasing designs up to the top and down to the bottom makes for a really nice classy look with a pattern developing as the cane slices get smaller. ...It's very time consuming and not easy, but I sure love the way they come out.
.....The best kind of cane for this is one with a design that has a solid color background with no borders.
.... I brush the wooden eggs with a coat of Sobo glue, let dry. ...I make a Sharpie mark around the circumfrence of the egg for reference
.... I use a square cane and slice very thinly (as thin as very thick paper)... then turn the slice diamond like on the egg so that the bottom or top point of the square touches the line. ....I apply the slices in a single row all the way around the egg.
...then another row that fits between the v shapes left open between the other slices (I usually get 3 rows.)
......Now when I get up to the top or bottom of the egg, the cane slices are sometimes 1/8 th inch square!
.....Then I sit down and with a smooth large knitting needle or the Sharpie marker handle, I roll out all the seams between the slices on the egg. The more uneven the slices were, the bumpier the egg at this point.
.....Then I bake.... take the very hot egg out of the oven and drown in cold water which sucks down most blisters if there are any.
.....I sand sometimes beginning with 250 grit wet dry or a little tougher grit if it's really bumpy all the way down to 600 then I buff it on my bedspread last. (... it's a comforter cover and I think it's all cotton, a little bit courser than a sheet but not much. Also, all that mush under it kinda wraps up around the egg like a huge cushion. I think there is more surface contact that way and I can really shine it up in huge big rubs.)

Other Methods

*Debbie Anderson's horizontal strips egg, each strip with a different pattern (website gone)

Desiree's "crazy patch" egg, each irregular shape a different pattern, plus onlay (some silkscreened patt's?) (website gone)

Shane's single slices with backgrounds (NOT allover pattern):. First figure out what kind of design you want on the egg--whether you want 4 designs on each side or stripes or whatever. I use cane slices to create a design instead of the overall pattern thing.
Put the design in cane slices on the egg first. The slices are usually easy enough to pick back up off the egg and move them around till you get it just the way you like it for the design part. Around the design I usually want a solid colored background. I roll a sheet of the background color out to # 5 or 6 Atlas. Cut a piece of this sheet larger than the background area you want to fill between the design(s). Lay the raw piece gently on the egg and press slightly to get a slight impression or line of the design thats already on the egg. Take the sheet off and you should have a mark on the sheet that you can cut out and it will fit in the space you took the impression from. These large solid areas are usually what will blister up a lot when baking. So the freezing cold water bath works well here too. Shane

Jeanine's large cane slice on the front of an egg, surrounded with background-cane pattern like a "frame"
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=1175021&uid=527261&members=1 (gone)

Misc

Finger buffing the surface with cornstarch or talcum powder is another technique good for large areas...a nice technique for smoothing eggs. (tip: wear gloves to keep the clay from sticking to your hands when you first cover eggs with clay to avoid bubbles.) Katherine Dewey
~I also found it is easier smooth out seams with a bit of talc powder (or cornstarch?). I have a little jar next to my work area when I am smoothing out pendants, and it prevents the smearing. I just dab a bit on my finger and carefully press out a seam. I think I got this tip from Elissa on a chat one night. Since it will be sanded away, it works pretty good, and the top layer becomes less sticky too. Dar

To make a pattern for the shape of an egg, you can wrap it in aluminum foil and smooth the foil down. Then cover that with strips of masking tape. Then cut it off with an exacto so you can press the pattern flat...might look like a daisy.

FINISHING (also above)

Nowadays, I don't varnish, I sand and buff instead. This gives them a glass-like shine which stays permanently. Dotty in CA

I have holes in my eggs from the blowing process and I leave them for handling purposes
....after baking, eggs can be put on a skewer or wire
...... then I hold that and spin it while coating the egg with Varathane (hold the egg-stick in one hand and the brush in the other and turn the egg while applying the Varathane to get all the way around and fast)... it takes maybe 30 seconds to coat an egg, and only one coat
......then I suspend the egg by placing the stick ends on the sides of a baking pan, and allow to dry for a few hours. Sarajane
....and btw, fresh Varathane is the consistency of milk and it self levels, so you should never have runnels or grooves when you apply it if its not already thickened
.... also never wipe your brush on the edge of the container, this adds bubbles.. just dip, pull up, and apply
.... and don't use a tiny amount ...get it on there, and spread around in quantity so it wont dry too fast. Sarajane
...some years ago I used Future floor finish on some eggs I had made and they still look really good... I put a slender bamboo stick through the holes and suspendthe egg on it....this made putting the finish on them really easy.. . . . then I set them across a muffin tin to dry, rotating them now and then so the liquid wouldn't pool on one side. Dotty in CA

I remembered back to the days of grade school where we created Pysanki eggs and coated them in lacquer.
...we used to put a small dollop of the varnish in the palm of our hands ...then rolled the eggs in it.
...the difference with the Future is that it dries so fast that its important to roll the egg quickly and set it to dry in a stand of some sort ( a pizza delivery tripod works ok). Diana

when i cover eggs, i also include a single piece of thread
..... (before covering with clay), i place the thread along the axis of the egg... then I cover the egg & thread
..... i leave about 6" of the thread hanging out of the narrower end of the egg (or anywhere)
..... then i dip the egg it into the sealant after it's baked (i use future floor wax) and hang it.... and gently wick the drops off with a paper towel until they stop forming
......when the egg is dry, i snip the thread leaving about 1/8".... and then I burn that bit off with a lighter (just like it burn off pet hair after baking)... the thread disappears almost instantly without any damage to the finish. sunni

An old eggers trick for drying eggs ... poke three thumbtacks through a piece of cardboard in a small triangle shape. That forms a little pointy tripod you can sit your eggs on to dry.
....the tiny little tips of the tacks leave a negligible mark, you can usually buff to invisibility. Joanie

more thin coats gets you a better reward than fewer thick coats. Joanie (Future?)

STANDS, etc., & HANGING

Sally H's lesson on making a stand for an egg ...(3 "legs," holding 3 concentric circles cut with cutters)
http://polymerclaycentral.com/eggstand.html
The largest Kemper cutter is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. I cut another circle outside that which would be about 1 3/4 inches. The whole trick is that the inside measure of the largest circle should be just a bit smaller than the broadest part of the egg. Sally

I have a few different stands I have bought with art glass pieces and rock spheres that I have used to photograph eggs, and they work nicely, but I haven't known until now where to get them. It turns out that they can be purchased from Rio Grande. They're listed in the Displays catalog (page 158). They have several sizes and styles. Rio Grande doesn't have an online catalog, but you can order it free at www.riogrande.com. Ann
I see Clear Acrylic Displays on pg. 158 that would work for eggs, D, E, G, and H...Joan

i do eggs...and for display stands i use napkin rings.....some are really lovely and they are perfect size....
. . . I tried putting feet on one, it was ok but kind of clumsy looking... but there, on the same shelf, was a turned wood candle holder, the kind for tapers. the egg sits beautifully on it, up in the air, and lovely! Diana

faux stand ....PokoPat has a built-on base for one egg which is comprised of several rows of clay ropes around the bottom of the egg (the ropes create a short cylindrical shape though so probably there's an under-shape of scrap clay there) ... 14 med. balls of clay (each with an indented dot) are placed next to each other all around on the bottommost row to flare the bottom and allow the egg to stand on its own

Aurora's sculpted flowers base for egg
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/clayday/egg_aurora.jpg
Denita's faux inlaid wood, double-deck (each with round-ball feet) stand for egg
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/clayday/egg_denita3.jpg
Chryse Laukkonen's curved ropes stand
http://members.aol.com/Laukkonen/index.html

Marina's simple twisted ropes and rounded disk (or donut?) stands
*** look now at ---> http://www.marieidraghi.itinglese/euova.htm

Anything can be used to make an egg stand. Steven Ford makes his own with black clay and three little stubby legs. ...Some will use the curtain rings. I've also use the pieces of pvc (tube) from the plumbers supplies counter in the hardware store. Sand off the sharp edges with a stone on a dremel or carving tool and spray paint with the stone look paint or any color you want to match or contrast the egg. It depends on the look your after. Lucille

Georgia Ferrell made cool stands for her eggs using wire... she just spiraled one end of the wire (or joined it as a closed loop), then continued the spiraling smaller, the continued the spiral larger, so that when the spiral was pulled apart, the first end would sit on a table, the smaller spiral provides support, but the last spiral encircles the bottom of the egg
http://www.geocities.com/sopcg/MemberGeorgia.html

The easiest way to hang an egg is to use the one of the two holes that you used to blow the egg out. Get a very thin piece of wood like a tooth pick, the thinner the better and tie a string on it. Push the toothpick in the hole and tug a little and it will hold. -NF
...Or if you can't find a thin enough toothpick try tying & gluing some monofilament around a straight pin & doing the same thing. catbyte1
...take a needle and thread, or a wire with a bent and twisted bit on the end, to make a needle-eye shape. Run the needle and sewing thread down through BOTH holes in a pierced egg (after baking) and then run it back UP through both holes--leave a loop of thread trailing out the bottom of the eg, with the tail end and the needle and thread end now sticking out the top. Take a narrow satin ribbon (up to 1 inch wide will still work, usually) cut a foot or less of the ribbon. Feed it through the thread loop to about the mid point of the ribbon. Grab both thread and needlethread ends at the top, and pull gently but firmly. The ribbon will be pulled by the thread up through the egg. Stop when you have a loop of ribbon at the top,and ribbon ends hanging out the bottom. Tie a knot in the ribbonloop at the top, by curling it around on itself, move the knot close to the egg hole. Then tie the ends at the bottom into a knot or bow, trim the ends, add a tassle or whatever if desired. Sarajane

Denita's fancy hanging eggs (with tassels/beads/etc., top and bottom)
http://polymerclaycentral.com/eggs2.html

~Oakridge (lots of 1/2" and 1/4" scale stuff... even metal wheels to put on your eggs).
http://www.oakridgehobbies.com/ Sammy

OTHER TYPES OF EGGS

wood eggs are okay – see Shaneangel’s explanation above in Diagonal covering

white china ("paintable") eggs, and stands
http://www.rynnechina.com/products.htm

(see LynnDel's lesson on covering a crumpled aluminum foil egg form with strips of clay from noodle cutters, then slices, in Kids & Beginners > Working with & Teaching Kids). . . one tiny pin hole needed!

I work over a blown out egg, cure and then break and remove the shell.... it can be a bit tricky but dental tools reach through the holes quite nicely. Sammy
(see Vinegar Eggs on this page for lots more)

papier mache eggs (actually part plastic)
... covering is NOT a great idea because the egg-sized ones are really PVC eggs (they are sold separately, usually in pastel colors, sometimes on stems for flower arrangements) covered with only about one layer of brown paper on them. (pinch them lightly and they will give but bounce back.) . ...so, even if you puncture them with a needle first, the air inside expands when baking and causes BIG cracks sometimes... air bubbles and lumps other times
...however...
.some or all of these eggs may work fine if they're first covered with a layer of aluminum foil:
.....open-cell polystyrene foams (
foam bubbles are interconnected as in a kitchen sponge) have a somewhat rough surface, can see the insides of the bubbles on surface of shape (clinky "Styrofoam" in the US?)... craft eggs made this way are often covered with a layer of papier maché so their surface is more acceptable to crafters for painting, etc. ...see more on doing this in Covering > Plastic > #6 Polystyrene)
(...LARGER papier mache items which are cardboard or something underneath, might still work great.)

all-Plastic eggs

(for papier mache eggs which actually have plastic form underneath, see paragraph just above)

Plastic eggs are so inexpensive and easy to find and come a nice variety of sizes-- I love em! ...(another reason real eggs can be troublesome is that in this day of industrial farming our eggs are not always as strong as they used to be- or should be). Kathndolls

some of the all-plastic Easter Eggs seem to melt in the oven, when others don’t
....so how can you tell which ones work?
....I'm not positive, but I think that the results I get for the plastic eggs are similar to the results for the pens - the more rigid, brittle plastics melt at lower temperatures, whereas the more flexible plastic ones (think nylon) type work better at polymer clay temperatures.
.....Even then I get better results if I cook at approx. 250-265 rather than the 275 that I usually use.
....I have also noticed that with the eggs, that the thickness of the first layer of clay makes a difference in how quickly the eggs melt, as if the clay acts as an insulating layer for the plastic while the polymer clay sets up.
... Interesting aside... I have subsequently cut open perfectly shaped polymer eggs which were baked on plastic eggs and found that the plastic egg did melt to a lump inside, but only after holding up long enough to act as a baking support, and to leave the sort of shiny surface inside that you get from baking polymer clay on smooth tiles or glass. Sara Jane in NC

One brand name of the eggs that don't melt is those made by Dudley..... I bought a bag of 12 pastel medium sized eggs for .69 from a small card store that was carrying Easter items. I baked one egg for about 25 minutes uncovered and it held it's shape perfectly. It even has the hole in it. It's distributed by a company called Paper Magic Group out of Scanton, PA. Oscelyn
.......My best results were with the Dudley brand- it already had holes! I haven't had any trouble with them... my guild did an egg exchange... everyone used the plastic eggs and no problem. I think I've heard of a few of them melting- but that was inside the polymer egg. Kathndolls
...I got some eggs at Walmart the other day that work fine too. There's no name on the bag ...just says 12 easter eggs..green label with white letters. On the back of the label is says made in China ..marketed by Walmart stores. Jan
...Walgreens Drug Stores have their own brand of semi-soft plastic hinged eggs. I just tried one of the 3-1/2" Fill & Fun Hinged Eggs this morning. They come on a 6 pack for .99.. They also come in smaller sizes as well..... They held up well under the heat. I simply poked a hole in one end with an exacto blade, covered and baked. Fantastic!!! Crafty Michele
...Target's 48 eggs for $2.99- with holes in them it just too easy! Kathndolls

What has worked well for me are the plastic eggs that have hinges.
.. to use them, I placed several drops of Loctite Super Glue Gel around the circumference of the joint between the halves, and glued the top to the bottom. Then I used my clay blade to slice off the hinge.... Next, I poked a tiny hole in the bottom center of the egg....And lastly, added my clay.... I redrilled the tiny hole in the bottom through the clay. Patty B.
......The hinge is just a little flap of plastic that connects the top to the bottom...i shaved it off with a blade...no biggie. lori

There are also plastic eggs which open lengthwise (end to end) rather than around the waist... they aren't easy to find yet, but have been spotted at places like Joann's, grocery stores, and Rite Aid drug store...
...Wal-Mart had eggs with their Easter stuff that were painted like smiley faces that opened long way. Aunt Nete
....
I saw a metal egg that opens lengthwise.... its about 4 1/4" long and it had Whitman's candies in it. Barb

The plastic eggs I purchased from Michael's melted in the baking . Oscelyn
...Some of the cheaper types would crack when you drill a hole into them. Kathndolls

I've tried a number of eggs, and have had the best results using the inexpensive plastic eggs. You must poke a hole in them!! and in the clay to release the expanding air... I haven't had any failures with them! Kathndolls

You want to drill a hole into the plastic egg before you cover it with clay... then put a hole in your clay at the location of the original hole. You don't want to wait until the clay is on it... I've had a few eggs crack and fail at this point. That's no problem since you haven't invested any time or clay into it!! Simply reach for another egg and try again. Of course I was just using an awl and a drill bit probably would have been better... so I might have had more failures than necessary. Kathndolls
.....
instead of drilling the hole in these plastic eggs - use a hot needle tool to melt a hole! Helen

I use the plastic eggs frequently and have had the following experiences re clay thickness.
.... When using a thickness of about 3 or thicker on my Atlas for the base cover, I get uniformly good results. No problems with bubbles or with the egg inside melting.
....I discovered serendipitously that the thinner base layers ( I think I was using about a # 5) permitted enough heat transfer to melt the plastic egg under the clay- but only late enough into the cooking process that the clay still retained an egg shape
. . . . I got a similar response to trying to create a "separatable egg" by twisting the eggs apart after covering with the base layer but before applying cane slices. The egg inside melted down, I am assuming, because the slight opening decreased the insulating value of even the thicker clay..... BUT - since it still happened slowly enough to retain the shape - I ended up with two egg halves that I was able to turn into a nice hinged egg after **gently** peeling off the lump of melted vinyl from the interior of the egg half in which it settled.... I admit I felt lucky with that egg not caving in on me and havn't tried to repeat the experience, since I haven't had any "extra" experimental canes lying around. ....The interior of the halves, by the way was a lovely shiny finish like you get from baking on direct contact with tiles.
...Back to the thinner base coats... I had made several eggs with no apparent adverse effects on a 5 thickness base clay when I got the first BIG bubble. The egg was otherwise nice enough that I attempted to save it by gently flattening the bubble while the egg was still hot from the oven, but was never able to get it completely flat, and in sanding I found the area was thin enough to break almost immediately.
.........By shaping of the luckily well placed hole, however, I was still able to salvage the egg by turning it into a small birdhouse.
..... I don't recommend the thinner base because of the problems with bubbling, but I have had great results with using these plastic eggs otherwise.
..... My nephew thinks the rattling egg is cool! (Sara Jane Whyte)

Linda covers plastic eggs with clay to make large heads (on small necks/toros and long legs) for her standing figures
http://www.itsjesterclay.com/theeggheads.htm

(not necessarily polymer) ...a good way to hang plastic eggs is to get some floral wire, cut lengths of about 3-4"
... then heat one end over a candle for a few seconds and immediately press the hot end through the end of a plastic egg.... then make a loop out of the other end of the wire (would work better if the part just above the inserted end were curled a bit??). I tried this and it worked like a charm, and it was so easy!
...(after I'd wired 60 plastic eggs, I took them outside and wrapped the wire around the little branches of the tree.) lake

OTHER TECHNIQUES & Coverings using EGGS

Cutting, carving, filigree, texturing, hinges, boxes

cutting an eggshell in half at the "waist" . . .
....yes, there is loads you can do.. . . for just a clean cut around the waist, you can use an emery disk (also called a cut off wheel) in your Dremel (use this one for any straight or slightly curved cut).
... the Dremel is fine for a lot of the work.. . the key is that diamond dusted cutting bit. Joanie :o}
...For really intricate cutting, a fast speed dental drill would be better... or a paragrave tool that's specially made for the eggers. Joanie
....for something fancier (like filigree) or smaller..., I use a diamond drill (bur or "flame") ( I have only done this with real eggs though, I have not worked with clay covered eggs.)
electric carving, etching:
....see Tools/Dremel
....see the S-4040 RotoFlex for vibration-less (and dust-less) carving, etching, etc., powered by a vacuum cleaner http://www.eggscope.com/ --click on Tools button (The Eggery Place will be moving...call 1-888-ASK-EGGS to find new web address if the old one is gone by now)
....Lucille's many links to different electric carvers http://members.tripod.com/~LuJS/Carvingtools.html
...Marina's lesson on Carol Duvall show, cutting egg with Dremel
http://www.hgtv.com/HGTV/project/0,1158,CRHO_project_2104,00.html
...Lisa Pavelka's lesson on Carol Duvall, carving pattern through a goose eggshell with Dremel
http://www.hgtv.com/HGTV/project/0,1158,CRHO_project_35082,00.html

http://www.hobbit-hollow.com/ has a lot of info on carving and making hinges in ostrich eggs, etc.

OR... cover the egg with a base layer of clay and bake it.... then you can use either a Dremel with a ‘cut off’ disk or a jewelers harp w/ an extra fine blade to cut...
...or use just a a craft knife to cut it in half. It takes a bit of strength to start the cut, but isn't hard to do. Being accurate is! Gillian
...I wrap a string rather tightly around the raw clay on the egg, and that gives a nice cutting guideline. It will be even & gets the clay way thinner. Janey MN
. . . once you get the egg apart if you want to remove the eggshell, you can soak it in vinegar... it dissolves the shell. Shells are basically calcium a base, and vinegar is an acid. Lysle
...once you have it cut in half, you can cover the inside with another layer of clay, or with anything else (such as a cloth lining) and embellish. Gillian

You could use the two coverable pieces as an egg "box"; the halves could be hinged or be nested leaving the bottom half's upper edge free of clay so that the top half could fit down over it. . . . put in drawers, doors.....the only limit is your imagination!!
...The important thing with hinges is not to let the Krazy glue get into the moving parts. Egg artists will put a little dab of petroleum jelly in the hinge to protect it from the glue.

Lisa P's Alice in Wonderland scene inside a hinged, decorated egg
http://pcpolyzine.com/0301january/lpcheshire.html

Treebelly has many creative ideas for eggs... egg houses, "cats," rattle, boxes, onlay, mosaics, teapot, and many more.
http://www.treebelly.com/art/eggs/eggs.html
(click on each photo for many more photos!)

PöRRö's theme eggs with tiny figures, etc. on the outside, earthtone swirled background coverings (website gone)
...I got an custom order from local Christian magazine to do three easter eggs with the theme "uprising" to their Easter issue. The names of the eggs are "grave", "task" and "tree of life". PöRRö

Jane Pollack's uses oval shapes cut from eggs to create "batiked" pins and earrings.. she cuts an oval shape from front of an egg with Dremel & epoxying the back, to use as pin or earrings...she puts a kind of mosaic look on the oval (but hers are actual batik)
http://www.hgtv.com/HGTV/project/0,1158,CRHO_project_8191,00.html (find new URL at HGTV)

So many of the carving patterns can be used for clay. It just surprises me that more people don't do it. The chip carving would be really cool on an egg done in clay! Karen

Could a faux-broken-eggshells mosaic effect be created by placing a thin, dome-shaped sheet of baked clay on top of a sheet of raw clay, then be broken into many pieces by pressing down firmly on them to crackle the baked clay in pieces?? ...leaving spaces between the unevenly broken "tiles" in the raw clay (which acts as a grout)? Diane B.

Sherrall Chapman's lessons on marbled, and decorated eggs (miniature)
http://miniatures.about.com/library/clay/blrecipe040900a.htm

Sherrall Chapman's lesson on making miniature boiled and pickled eggs (put in a jar) with clay and Envirotex http://miniatures.about.com/library/clay/bl071600eggs.htm

I have taken a silver bowl and filled it with cheese cloth dyed green as a nest - -- filled it with the most beautiful eggs I've seen around anywhere.

Vinegar to dissolve part of shell

Summary for vinegar eggs

DISSOLVING: The time needed to dissolve the eggshell in vinegar depends both on the egg and on the vinegar used. White, 5% vinegar is what's commonly available, but stronger vinegar will take less time if you can find it; older vinegar is weaker and can take longer than newly bought vinegar. Fresher eggs may have weaker shells and therefore dissolve more easily. However, brown eggs are strong and take longer (goose eggs will take even longer).
After covering the bare egg with strips or bits of connected clay, bake the egg, (sand at this point if you want to sand), then:
--put the egg immediately into a small container of vinegar (use a spoon or something else to keep it submerged); in 10-12 hours, use tweezers to pull out any rubbery remains; usually there still remains a thin shell to be scraped away with either old dental tools, or scrubbed away with q-tips.
--or you can speed up the process by using a dental tool or small knife to poke a hole in some part of the exposed egg rather than leaving it intact. . . or chip out more of the bare eggshell so the vinegar can get inside; also, this way the egg doesn't float; or possibly use aluminum foil under the raw clay?
--the longer the egg and raw clay are in contact, the longer it takes for the vinegar to dissolve it
MISCELLANEOUS comments from others:
The shell doesn't truly dissolve; it gets mushy and I pull it out with tweezers; it looks like soggy paper.
I replace the vinegar when a brown skum starts to show on the top of the container.
The vinegar has tiny bubbles in it as it works.
I like to warm my vinegar in the microwave a bit before using it. I feel it makes it work faster.
Eggshell would probably also dissolve in Coca Cola.
Mica powders baked onto the clay aren't disturbed by soaking 24 hrs. in vinegar.

general lesson: . . .
Cover empty egg with strips, ropes, tiles, etc. with clay, leaving spaces between (a few or a lot), OR cover the whole egg with clay, then cut out areas with little cutters or an Xacto knife
Bake to harden clay.
Submerge egg in vinegar to dissolve egg out... pick out any remaining pieces.
You should now have a freestanding egg shape (with blank spaces), but without an eggshell in it.

I poked a couple of holes in the shell where there was no filagree and soaked it for about 12 hours. I use these really strong brown eggs, so others might not take as long. The shell doesn't disolve, it gets mushy and then I pulled it out with tweezers. Not as gross as it sounds: the shell looked like soggy paper. Cathy NM

...You mentioned that chicken egg shell would desolve in 5 to 10 minutes. Not true.... If you have seen the So.Ct guild's web site, you must have seen my White House egg.That is a brown chicken egg etched in straight white vinegar for 15 minutes. I think egg shell would also dissolve in coke. But if you look in my egg lessons, there are 4 lessons on etching eggs, both with vinegar and muriatic acid... Lucille from Ct
http://members.tripod.com/~LuJS/Etching3.html
http://members.tripod.com/~LuJS/Etching4.html
http://creativeside.com/cache/eggersu/artworks_by_lucille.htm

Shells are basically a base (calcium), and vinegar is an acid. Lysle

speeding up the vinegar or shell removal? ...I also have a hard time having the patience to wait for the egg to melt. I've found the best way is to break out the egg that shows, so the vinegar can get inside and the egg doesn't float from the bubbles that form. Then, after soaking about an hour, I remove the yolk sack from the inside with tweezers or a needle tool. That seems to let the vinegar reach the actual shell faster. My latest one soaked off completely overnight. codysmom42
.......why not cover the egg with aluminum foil first then clay (wax would not work as it melts at much lower temperatures) . . . if you apply the foil like washi eggs, keeping it as smooth as possible, you shouldn't have much work pulling the foil out of the clay, either. Sunni
...I've found that the longer the egg and clay are together, the worse the clay sticks to the shell. I had some eggs that sat for several weeks, and others I finished right away. It took forever for the shell to dissolve on the eggs that had sat for a while. Claire
...don't use old vinegar

btw- have you tried to 'heat' the vinegar first....I've found that it works FASTER when you warm it up a bit before you use it, no idea why, but it has worked faster, both for eggs and when I use to to remove nasty 'lime' deposits from my cat's water dish and my glasses etc. I just put it in the microwave and warm it up a bit, yeah it's smelly, but like I said, it works faster... Kim kcredcat

Always ready to experiment, decided to cover an egg, leave spaces, bake, and then dissolve the egg in vinegar leaving an egg-shaped-shape as described. What I have done, is use a dental tool or small knife to poke a hole in the exposed egg part, not necessary, but seems to speed up the process. Then I put the egg in a cup, cover with white vinegar, and use a spoon to keep the egg submerged. In ten to twelve hours, I use tweezers to pull out the rubbery remains. Usually, there still remains a thin shell which I have scraped away with either old dental tools, or scrubbed away with q-tips. The time it takes to 'dissolve' the egg and the amount of 'shell' left seems to depend on the egg and the vinegar. Brown eggs are stronger and take longer to dissolve . . . . Fresh vinegar seems to be more acidic. But I have had excellent results with this. DeB
On one group of eggs I cut out airplanes and randomly connected them at the wings, making like a puzzle and leaving quite a bit of egg shell exposed... really cute...a irplane shapes kinda puzzle pieced together (I'm a student pilot) . Then I dissolved the egg using the vinegar. An art teacher and an interior decorator bought them, comparing them to an Escher print. Thank you...thank you...Glass Attic. This is FUN! DeB
I am going to get some stronger vinegar. What I had on hand last night was 5% white. I'm goin' for the good stuff now. I can see little hearts all tucked together for Valentine's day, and Shamrocks, and more airplanes:) DeB

The stronger (the vinegar) the better, I use the cheapest, and when a brown skum starts to show on the top of the cup, I empty it out and put fresh in. (How long to soak it is) a bit like, how long is a piece of string, overnight usually does the trick, It takes a lot longer with the geese eggs, the bantam eggs are the quickest. The vinegar has tiny bubbles in it as it works. Mary

mica powders . . . I use them all the time on my eggs and the vinegar doesn't affect it . I just put the mica powder on the eggs where I want it and after they're baked the powder is on to stay... After soaking in the vinegar (usually 24 hours) the eggs come out fine. Then I varathane them and they're nice and shiny. Tinyntuf
...Pokopat has a beautiful Balinese Filigree vinegar egg which is all gold-highlighted (prob. with powder), or maybe it's all gold and then antiqued

I used my little star cutter (plunger-type)... after I covered the eggshell with solid raw clay, I cut out the little stars & removed them with a needle, then the vinegar dissolved the stars away so that it is "lacey". I notice that there is still some cleanup to do around the stars -- I'll clean that up with a needle...bj
....If you wanted to light them, you could do them like Carol Beebe did with her tiny polymer xmas houses . . . she arranged them over a string of small xmas lights, both on her mantle and on the xmas tree. They were so-o-o cute. You could make a groove in both sides of the egg hole to allow for the cord, or you could make some kind of light-shield border/cuff around the egg hole or around each light if necessary. Or you could maybe do something fancy and have one or more eggs sitting on holes in the top of a box with a light under it. . . I think the light should shine up into the bottom of each egg that way? Diane B.

I'm working on a (vinegar) egg box (with lots of space) now . . . Denita (see below in Misc. for cutting eggs in half l)

here is what I do. I put someTLS in a syringe. and as I add each new coil, or strand of clay, I put down some tls between where coils touch. after I get the whole egg done, and cured, then I soak out the egg shell. it really did make a huge difference in how strong my vinegar eggs were. Kellie

Could place ropes on egg, bake, then fill the cells with tinted liquid clay (or maybe even Varathane, etc.?), then rebake, before placing in vinegar to simulate stained glass or cloisonne??

BJ covered an egg with impressions from a rubberstamp and then cut around the design with an Exacto knife. ...covered them with Pearl-ex before baking . When the vinegar dissolved the egg shell, they looked like they're carved.
...I had tried to smooth them as much as I dared, but I didn't want to smooth out the detail, so I just sort of pressed them lightly onto the egg shell. I did find out, though, with the next ones I tried, that you do have to coat the egg shells with Sobo or something similar to give the clay something to adhere to... tacky glue worked too, but it takes longer to dry . BJ
....using molded items would work the same way...

MORE IDEAS
--dioramas (leaving half of the egg or only a window of it uncovered, so that things could be placed in the egg, or be hatching/rising out of it)
--use the egg as a form for something else (to make a lacy skirt, vase with a small opening, etc.)
.......http://members.tripod.com/~LuJS/dolleggs.html
--could make an ocarina, etc.? by dissolving out the shell from a few blow holes
(see Kids > Toys >Other Ideas for lesson)
--one person made a little airplane with an egg
..... animal or figure bodies, etc.... like this cat (which is also a shaker)
......... http://www.dancinghanddesigns.com/images/swirlycat.jpg
--use some of the same ideas you might with the broken-out-bulb technique
(see Covering > Glass > lightbulbs)
--link hearts, shamrocks, etc., for a themed egg . . . . .or make a light-weight ornament
(see more on dioramas, etc. below in Dioramas)

I've created the same effect with hollow paperclay balls, and soaked the balls in water to remove the paper clay. To make the polymer clay stick to the paperclay, I used a glue stick here and there on the design. Katherine Dewey
(see also Cornstarch for using cornstarch and other melt-able armatures)
(see also: Canes/Instructions/ Using Wax to Make Holes)
(see also Beads > Holey Beads)

Bev's lesson on partly covering a blown egg with Balinese Filigree-type ropes of clay (on a dried layer of white glue)... before soaking in vinegar
... after embellishing half of the egg, she baked it in order to be able to handle doing the second half without squishing it
... before the last bake, she brushed a bit of liquid clay on all the joined areas to strengthen them
http://www.gapcguild.com/lessons/filigreeeggs.htm

Flo's many "filigree" eggs (not much open space); she used vinegar and dental picks to get the shell out
...also dioramas, etc.
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=297873&uid=155794
*Gail's openwork eggs (leaves and vines with bugs, and a leafy tree with fruit)
http://members7.clubphoto.com/gail412387/Gail_Clay_Eggs/ (gone)
Pat S's openwork eggs (only wide vertical strips... with a few flowers, vines, leaves onlaid)
http://www.brpcg.com/Galleries/pat/eggsforswap03.jpg
Gilda's various vinegar and other eggs (Medieval egg has only two arch shapes removed from it)
http://members2.clubphoto.com/gilda220950/1037648/guest.phtml (gone)
Darla's filigree vinegar eggs
http://home.comcast.net/~puffinalia/commentspagepics/dsargeant.jpg
Charleen's (canejane) mostly dissolved egg, with four bands of clay around egg and flowers, embellishment on top
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=690120&uid=502621 (gone)
Marina's openwork eggs (and other eggs)
http://www.marieidraghi.it/uova_eggs.htm
Marie S's diorama eggs, with simple sculpts, flowers,etc. inside
... opening cut oval (or with top swag), outlined with braiding/etc., embellished with rhinestones, etc... some interiors coated with opalescent glitter
http://www.clayfactory.net/marie/oldstuff2.htm

Darla's 3 eggs with areas cut out of the raw clay before baking (with a cutting tool or little cutters?)
http://polymerclaycentral.com/eggs2.html
Denita's partly covered eggs...some have open tops, or lots of open space! etc.
http://djoneofakindcrafts.com/eggs.html
Felicia's partly covered egg, with two large face cane slices on the upright sides
http://polymerisland.com/eggs.html (click on the faces)
Deb's (fromtherightbrain's) Easter-type basket made on an egg with handle, the egg removed
http://community.webshots.com/photo/18564524/18565541UjkUPgtves

Kathy's 2 vinegar eggs ...one diorama & one ropey vinegar egg (with flowers on top)
http://www.kathyweinberg.com/eggs.html

Mary V's openwork eggs (leaves/vines/flowers/bugs and dragons, etc.)
..also textured baroque egg w/ embedded sishka mirrors + glass pebbles, heavily highlighted w/ gold http://hobbystage.net/art/airliefairy/ http://hobbystage.net/art/mysecretgarden (hobbystage gone)

Dioramas

Bev's diorama eggs (cane slices on outside) and her hints on how to make them
(she gently drills a hole in the baked cane-covered egg, then gently bites little pieces at a time off with needlenose pliers; then gently smooths the edge with sandpaper or files before adding a bit of trim)
http://www.yeoldouthouse.com/polymerclay.html and http://www.yeoldouthouse.com/clayhints.html (gone)
PolymerClayCentral egg challenge, with several dioramas including Kim K's dragon in "castle window" egg
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/chall_apr01.html
Korena's diorama of easter bunny scene (sideways)... with faux icing (twisted white rope) outlining window in egg like sugar egg
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/chall_mar05.html
Denita's fancy unusually-shaped cutout and framing for diorama egg
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/clayday/egg_denita1.jpg
Marie Segal's eggs, some with cutouts as "dioramas"
http://www.clayfactory.net/marie/gallery8.htm

Kathy's many beautiful vinegar eggs, some dioramas
NOW AT? .... http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumList?u=4153008hyweinberg/eggs.htm
Norajean's Day of the Dead diorama.. hinged egg
http://albums.photo.epson.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=1751108&a=13492257&f=0
Hobbit Hollow's Puff the Magic Dragon and small scene diorama...the part removed is the whole top half (just in front)... then scene is then placed on an area level with the bottom of the window (on top of some filler) (in an ostrich egg)
http://www.hobbit-hollow.com/ (click on Gallery 2)

egg "house" in tree (back side is diorama to show interior 2 floors, door and window could be open spaces for those items, or their frames--not polymer, but could be?)
http://www.minimotion.com/minipage/egghouse/eggpage.html

diorama with egg... mouse and wooded scene inside (not polymer)
http://members.tripod.com/~LuJS/TreeBark.html
Susan's kid's eggs (cutout dioramas) --not polymer, but could be (website gone)

see more on dioramas (and ways of making them with vinegar dissolving out the eggshell) above . . . also see Cutting shells, etc., on this page

I wanted to ask if you knew anything about the kind of eggs my great aunt used to make for xmas (my sisters and I joined in a bit sometimes) back in the 50's. They were tree ornaments, but sometimes she would glue a curtain ring on the bottom of one for stand-up display.. . . After blowing out the egg she cut a large oval opening in one side (with curved fingernail scissors?). Inside she placed an oval cut-out picture from the front of one of last year's xmas cards; on the interior bottom she glued a bit of cotton then glued into that an arrrangment of flowers and leaves made from small (dyed?) shell pieces (bowl and flake shaped) in green, pink, and coral, etc., which she'd made and dried separately on a sheet of glass with Duco Cement (these shell pieces were purchased). Then she'd glue pearls all around the outside rim of the opening and behind that a layer of gathered lace. And lastly, she crocheted a hanger for the top hole from very thin cording. There may be more, but those are the parts that stick in my mind. I'd love to see some examples of what she did if it was a popular style at the time, or to know how much of it she made up. Does that ring any bells with you? Diane B.

I'll make the "floor" inside the diorama from a clay disk
...for the smaller items I want to add inside the egg, I'll bake them right onto the disk .... but for the larger things, I'll bake them separately and then glue into the egg through the window.

I have also done eggs with the egg "laying down", and a small window ... it can be done

enclosed dioramas

" Sugar eggs" often have dioramas inside a hollow egg shape ... there's a hole for viewing at one end, and often a hole (or translucent hole) in the top of the egg so the more light can get into the diorama ..here's a lesson for making sugar eggs: http://www.recipegoldmine.com/holidayeaster/easter77.html
(...the recipe and lesson for making sugar skulls is similar, adding meringue powder for hardness: http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/mexicansugarskull/recipe.htm)
...4 1/2 c (or 5 lbs) of superfine (or regular) sugar, plus 3 Tbsp water (plus 1/4 c mergingue powder) (pulse reg. sugar in blender few sec's for superfine, or buy it)…
........some tips: cover sugar with damp paper towel to prevent drying out while working . . . humidity can be a problem and will retard drying (can take 10 min, or lots longer...or bake to dry them at 200 degrees (eggs 6" or more = 20 min, smaller eggs = 10 min)... (invert molded sugar onto cardboard or baking sheet...breaks or cracks appear, re-pack and try again) .…surface will feel firm... let stand at room temperature for about 2 min... gently hollow out the interior of the sugar egg (which isn't yet set) till the shell is 1/4-1/2" thick....rub rough edges of sugar halves on sandpaper in circles

We should be able to do similar things with polymer clay:
...we could put our own polymer items into diorama sugar eggs
...we could make polymer egg halves instead of using sugar, and then add polymer or non-polymer items ...the holes could be cut out while the clay is raw
...if the (half) mold itself were created from polymer clay, then the mold could be used for making either a sugar or polymer egg (using a plastic egg half for the form or something else) ...after mold is baked and cooled, it could then be lined with a sheet of aluminum foil which would allow the inside polymer items to be built right into the egg half and also baked in the mold to retain the correct shape (after baking, remove foil and glue polymer parts back in, or lift out and gently reinsert with liquid clay) ...a clay ring or other clay bit could be added to the bottom of the egg as a stand
(...see also Vinegar Eggs above, Beads > Hollow or Molds, and Halloween for more on skulls)

for simulating icing decorations, see Clay Guns > Icing tips...and also Korena's easter bunny diorama above

More Ideas

figures

bodies or heads or body-head units could be created by covering an egg to look like a human or animal figure
....glass ball ornaments and solid wood shapes are used this way as well (see Covering >Glass or >Wood for some of those)
... would make a lightweight figure

*Karen's lesson on face-and-body figure (Santa, etc.), made over wooden egg--could use regular blown egg or papier mache egg tho
http://www.sculpey.com/Projects/projects_WoodenEggSanta.htm
Dawn Sch's fish with egg? as body... added fins, tail (or could be egg)
http://members.aol.com/rhaiven/critter_fish.jpg
lesson on making penguin with all-clay egg shape (could cover an eggshell instead of making solid)
http://www.michaels.com/art/online/projectsheet?pid=c00139
Michaels' lesson on making Mr/Mrs Bunny on an egg with onlays of clothing, noses, feet (use polymer clay instead of Makins')
http://www.michaels.com/art/online/projectsheet?pid=e03890
Ellen's old man face over egg body
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/clayday/egg_ellen4.jpg
Dawn Sch's egg armatures under heavily sculpted caricature heads, on whimsical long legs, Humpty
http://www.pacificnet.net/~rhaiven/eggcentric.html
tallmouse's snowman, reindeer, penguin eggs ... onlays on egg with many materials, but could be polymer
http://www.tallmouse.com/projects/xmas/xmaseggs/index.htm

Jenny's fat cats built on ceramic eggs, with "clothing" (website gone)
Joanie's horned eggs ("jackalopes") (website gone)
.......(see more in Sculpting?)

other ideas

Treebelly has many creative ideas for eggs... including egg" houses," "cats," rattle, boxes, onlay, mosaics, etc.!!
http://www.treebelly.com/art/eggs/eggs.html
(click on each photo for many more photos!)

Maura's very fancy doll and flowers on top of egg?
http://bussola.supereva.it/italyclay/book/foto/maura3.jpg
Deb's (fromtherightbrain's) chrysanthemum cane-covered egg, with spider on top
http://community.webshots.com/photo/18564524/18683178llXhKlJggW
Bob's flat, layered egg shape
http://www.crosswinds.net/~rwiley/clay_gallery.html
Tallulah's egg box, on stand
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=750687&uid=527261
Valerie's egg-artichoke layered with cane slices in relief
http://www.homestead.com/falczx/Eggs.html
*Chryse Laukkonen's mosaic eggs & backfilled eggs
http://members.aol.com/Laukkonen/index.html

Nae has backfilled the depressions left on a Balinese Filigree egg with a contrasting clay, then sanded
.....(a photo will eventually be at her website? http://home.earthlink.net/~thenae/eggs.html)

Claire's twisted square rope Balinese filigree egg . . .I made a rainbow skinner blend using Premo fuschia, zinc yellow, and cobalt blue, and then combined a strip of the rainbow with a pearl/silver blend (Mike Buesseler "platinum") ...Kellie suggested using TLS as you go to improve the strength of the touching filigree spirals
http://pic2.picturetrail.com/VOL9/125958/222697/8583348.ptp
Claire's flat noodle egg
http://pic2.picturetrail.com/VOL9/125958/222697/8583342.ptp

Corgi's translucent egg! with cane slices (she only had two small holes to let the egg out)
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/clayday/egg_corgi.jpg

slices from translucent canes can be onlaid onto an egg covered wtih base clay or with patterned clay... because they use both translucent and opaque clays in one cane, these (very thin) slices will appear to float above the surface . . . the translucent parts will not show up
(for more on translucent canes, see Canes-Instr.>Translucent Canes)

I like to use real eggs and cover them with a design that includes translucent clay so you can see the real egg inside. obirtasil
...Oooo, neat. If doing this, you might be able to light them from inside perhaps by inserting a tiny white or colored xmas light...these could be stabilized somehow with a base, or placed in a bowl or table- or mantle-top nest of raffia, in among a horn of plenty or flowers/veggies, etc., for decoration or centerpiece. . . . I can see them stamped/carved, covered with translucent canes, stained glass-ed with clays or TLS, decal-ed, etc., etc.! . . . any holiday or special occasion would work too for themes. Diane B.

flat onlay . . . placing individual slices one at a time on a base to create a "picture" or design can be used for eggs too
--see Canes-Instr.>Overall Techniqes for more on this method

Margaret Regan introduced me to "acoustic eggs". She puts sand, beads, or other materials that rattle inside the eggshell before covering. Another wonderful sensory reaction.
....Mary Lyon's lesson on covering an egg, stamping with powders, then filling with small beads, BBs or small plastic pellets ... . ..she says organic materials such as rice and unpopped popcorn may also be used but don't produce as crisp a sound as manmade products or other manmade bits
http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/nh_other/article/0,2025,DIY_14147_2269547,00.html
.....I make tiny balls of clay (& bake them)... then put in 5 or 6 in through the drain hole (on a raw covered ? egg) ... then close up that end the same as the other end....(tip: roll raw clay covered egg around in your hands and on a surface to smooth it)... pierce thru clay where the drain hole is with the needle tool to release the air while it bakes ...bake

...some of the eggs had sand or something inside them ...and she made stands for each egg to sit on
....
Jodie's were cut out...really neat mosaic cut out designs...great work!
...we had kaleidescope eggs, mokume gane eggs, caned eggs, and even a free form with flower sculpture on the egg, eggs..

make a curved image transfer on an egg using Lazertran Silk paper (see Transfers/Color Images):
Spray the image with 3M photo spray mount and apply to polyclay. Allow to dry, wet backing paper and the image releases in 1 minute. This allows the polyclay to be shaped after
the image has transferred. Mick

when doing mokume gane on eggs I use a translucent base. Then I take my mokume slices and place them slightly overlapping on a piece of waxed paper until I have a big enough sheet of them to cover the egg. Dotty (see above in Raw Base Layer for more on her technique)

" ghost " images (on eggs):.... I rolled out a sheet of pearl green #4 on p.m..... rubber stamped a pattern (with baby powder and a deep stamp, lifting stamp out several times, stamping almost all the way through) (on a piece of patty paper).... smooshed it back mostly flat (by pressing seams back together, NOT rolling over)
... cut the sheet to fit the egg.... pressed the top side to the egg (NOT the stamped side!).... closed the seams (by gently rolling fingers over to avoid a mark)... poked a hole, baked, sanded,sanded,sanded (nothing will show up at first, until the "bottom" of the stamped area begins to show),and finally, Futured.
....the lines from the stamp are a dark green the unstamped areas are pearl. The neat thing is that the mica flakes tilt upwards as they reach a line, so there appears to be a dished effect in the spaces.


Flint’s lesson for ghost images on eggs (sanded mokume technique):
...In brief, I rolled out a sheet of pearl green, rubber stamped a pattern, smooshed it back mostly flat, cut the sheet to fit the egg, pressed the _top_ side to the egg, closed the seams, poked a hole, baked, sanded,sanded,sanded,and finally, Futured. The lines from the stamp are a dark green the unstamped areas are pearl. The neat thing is that the mica flakes tilt upwards as they reach a line, so there appears to be a dished effect in the spaces.
Details: CFC Pearl green worked really well. Pearl Red worked less well and Fimo didn't work well at all. By this I mean that with the green I got a big difference in color between the lines and the areas. I used a # 4 setting on my Italian Pasta Queen. I used the geometric stamps which are especially deep.
Measure the egg. With these stamps and fairly small eggs I need 5 stamps around and three long.
Later we will cut the clay to make it fit, but think "5 wedges will come together to make the final pattern". You might have to add an eighth between each.
Put baby powder on a washcloth and pat the stamp on the cloth before each stamp. Press it nearly through the clay. It seemed that lifting several times helped reduce sticking. The surface you are working will contact the egg, so don't powder it. On my most successful egg I put baby powder on my work surface so the clay wouldn't stick. I am not convinced yet that this is a good idea: a tissue blade would probably separate it without disturbing the mica. (--or better, do this on Patty papers.)
With the sheet still flat on the table, gently push the clay back into the lines. Try to close the grooves rather than squash them flat.
Using a tissue blade, cut curves so you wind up with this pattern:
/ \ / \ / \ / \ / \
( )( )( )( )( ) (all one piece)
\ / \ / \ / \ / \ /
For a good idea of what it should look like, cover an egg, cut the cover into 5 slices, remove and press flat. Remember the ends taper differently
Cover your egg. Take your time putting it in the right place. Wrap the clay around the egg, check that the points will come together at both ends. Gently close the seams. The cut surfaces should pe pressed together, NOT smushed. If you smoosh them you will get dark spots where the mica was disturbed, instead, stretch the wedge. If you find this too dificult, you can cut the ends off and leave a patterned band and replace the end with a contrasting solid color #4 sheet (Tomato Red looks nice with Pearl Green)
Gently massage the seams until you are convinced they're closed.
Make a pinhole in one egg. You can close it up so it is barely visible but don't close it entirely.
Bake. Preheat the oven, rest the egg on batting.
Sand. When you start there will be no pattern evident, All the pattern is in the bulk of the clay so you have to go down a ways, so start out with coarse paper. I use 120 grit drywall sanding mesh with cold water. Watch the pattern emerge. The colors won't be fully evident with this coarse paper. I shift down to 220 (dry) then 320, 400, and 600 (all wet) coat with Future. Enjoy !! Flint

 

WEBSITES

PolymerClayCentral's 5 pages of eggs from Egg Clay Day
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/eggs1.html
many eggs from ClayPen clayers http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/claypen_eggs1.html (click also on pg. 2)
Egg Swap 1998 (many caned eggs) http://polymerclaycentral.com/pcc/swapegg1998.html
Great Egg Swap 1—Delphi,
http://polymerclaycentral.com/pcc/eggswap1.html
Treebelly’s many different! eggs (houses, rattle, "boxes", onlay)
http://www.treebelly.com/art/eggs/eggs.html

Marie Segal's many eggs, covered, as "dioramas", with embellishments, etc.
http://www.clayfactory.net/marie/gallery8.htm
M.Reid’s eggs, http://members.aol.com/polyopoly/misc.htm
Nae's many eggs http://home.earthlink.net/~thenae/eggs.html (click on pages 2 & 3 also)

*Denita's many kinds of mica effects (on wood? eggs)
http://djoneofakindcrafts.com/micashift.html

CZC: frame, shadings, "eggs" http://www.cityzencane.com/
*Chryse Laukkonen's many beautiful eggs (backfilled, mosaic, etc.)
http://members.aol.com/Laukkonen/index.html

Charleen's various eggs http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=690120&uid=502621
Joanie’s mokume and other beautiful eggs http://www.pbase.com/joanie/eggs_gallery
Kathy W's textured eggs covered with mica powders
http://people.delphiforums.com/kkephart/eggs.htm
Sarajane’s *onlay and powdered eggs, http://www.polyclay.com/eggs.htm
Linda Goff’s mosaic ostrich egg (soon to be at) http://www.lindagoff.com/


Kim K's various eggs
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=283679&uid=144121
Denita's various eggs
http://djoneofakindcrafts.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=3&cat=Eggs
Felicia's various eggs
http://polymerisland.com/eggs.html
Lisa P's mostly carved eggs (cutting through, relief carving, etching/scrimshaw)
http://www.heartinhandstudio.com/egg_gallery.htm

Lucille's carved & misc. eggs (website gone)
Darlene K's fancy eggs, some with sculpted dragons around, etc.
http://www.artistryineggs.com/ (click on Gallery 9)
Miki’s open-work and animal-armature eggs
http://members.xoom.com/mikizeggs/

Martha Stewart's photos and small lesson on (pussy willow or twisted wire) trees for hanging eggs
http://marthastewart.com/page.jhtml?type=content&id=channel1530&catid=cat290

*Desiree's caned, onlaid, textured eggs (website gone) (DB re-add my photo of it)
*Debbie Anderson's horizontal strips egg, each strip with a different pattern (website gone) (DB re-add my photo of it)
Byrd’s caned diagonal-wound eggs (website gone)
Lisa's marbled,spiraled,mica-ed, Elissa-ed eggs (website gone) (DB re-add)
Susan Larussi's many different, very fancy eggs (carved, diorama, mixed media, Faberge-type, etc.) (website gone)
LynnDel's many eggs(website gone)
Leap year egg swap, (website gone)
lori's? eggs for swap, (website gone)

Flo's eggs with many techniques (website gone)

all kinds of eggs (polymer & not).... message board ... etc.
http://www.creativeside.com/

NON-polymer eggs
*Lucille's gathered info on doing all kinds of things to eggs
http://members.tripod.com/~LuJS/EggLessons-INDEX.HTML
pysanky lessons
http://www3.ns.sympatico.ca/amorash/ukregg.html
http://www.hgtv.com/HGTV/project/0,1158,CRHO_project_18346,00.html
psyanky and other egg supplies (but no photos!..boohoo)
http://pages.prodigy.com/esuark/pysanky.htm
templates for psyanky (or caned?) eggs, plus "craft lathe" for holding eggs and turning them against a pencil to mark straight divisions on eggs
http://www.atu1.com/Supplies/aids.htm

To join the eggers' mailing list group:

e-mail majordomo@creativeside.com ....& in the body type subscribe eggdomo (your e-mail address) end
(example: subscribe eggdomo yanez@bright.com end)

EGG SUPPLIERS

LOCAL:
... for quail eggs, go to a health food or organic grocery store. Buy them and blow them out. Michele
...If you have a Japanese grocery store near you, you can purchase tiny quail eggs there. Stephanie

ONLINE:

The eggers 'mailing list has advertising day on the 10th and 25th of each month. That is for egging supplies. Lucille

(Lucille S.) Since I'm the supply list keeper on the egger's list, here's what I have where all kinds of eggs are available. I buy all my eggs by mail.
HOW TO MEASURE AN EGG: With a flexible measuring tape, start at one end lenthwise and go around the whole egg back to the beginning. That will give you the size of the egg.
IF NOT NOTED, BE SURE TO ASK IF THE EGGS ARE EMPTY AND CLEANED.

Janet Marie Birney Ostrich eggs for sale one hole and cleaned eggs are $10 to $12, averaging 16 to 17 inches. A few smaller ones are available. Shipping is extra. (Ohio) Email me for more information. jmb@raex.com
farmwoman@usa.net
Small white goose eggs, Large white duck eggs, Medium green and blue-green eggs, Beige bantam eggs, Tiny bantam pullet eggs Buyer pays shipping within the United States Email directly for information farmwoman@usa.net Visit Atomic Women's site: http://members.tripod.com/~LittleRed_2/
gbetsivs@infinet.com Rhea and Goose Shells cleaned and sterilized. Shipping is actual cost of US postal service.
Mary's Menagerie Goose eggs, duck rheas, turkey, ostrich, bobwhitte, emu and crocodile eggs Mary Pruett 11810 Oakwood Drive Austin, TX 78753 (512) 836-0294 10 am to 9 pm (central)
Gary Gunn gwgunn@airmail.net Emu eggs for sale $4 ea + s&h cleaned and sterilized
borobbins@seidata.com emu eggs cleaned, disinfected $5.00 each + s/h. Bonnie Robbins Tub Creek Emu Farm Greensburg, IN
RheaShell@aol.com clean and sterilized rhea eggs Prices are: 1 to 12 @ $10.00 13 to 24@ $ 9.00 25 or more@$ 8.00 ea. plus postage Julie
d'Shae - DSHAEV@aol.com Blown Emu, Rhea and Ostrich Eggs, egg stands, video - Scratch Art on Emu Eggs
Jeff Bridges - Blown Eggs, Feathers Rocky Mountain Specialty Quail 725 Mathews Fort Collins,Colorado 80524 bridgesj@wingedwonders.com http://www.wingedwonders.com/eggs/craft.htm
hunney@hunneysnest.com I have bob white quail, duck and pheasant (I have different species of pheasant, resulting in colors ranging from a creamy color to green to chocolate brown) Limited supply of pigeon and turkey and very few chukar Visit Hunney's Nest http://www.hunneysnest.com
KINGEMU1@aol.com Have a large supply of emu eggs. Buy 10 or more at $3 each plus shipping and handling. For extra large eggs they are $7 each plus shipping. We guarantee our eggs. Marsha King Divine Dromaius, LLC
minisr4me@home.com Come visit my new website: http://www.shell-a-brations.com/ Rhea Eggs $8.00. All eggs have 1 hole in the large end. Buyer pays shipping & handling.
Rhonda, Tennessee Rhonda's Egg Shell-A-Brations Dorothy D. Bodenhamer dotb1@flash.net all sizes, and assorted eggs chicken, guinea,turkey, peacock, goose,emu, rhea, and Ostrich. All have one hole centered and clean. email for the prices on the different eggs...
Ridgewood Ratites http://www.bigbirds.com/ridgewood for sale Ostrich and emu eggs, emu oil soap Bill Spainhoward Ridgewood Ratites 9282 Ridgewood Rd. Henderson,KY 42420 tel. 270-826-6239 oe1@henderson.net


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