Learn how an artist turns eggs from the hatchery into jewelry boxes, baskets and more.
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Carol Ganzi used to cook eggs to order for a luxury airline company; today she still makes eggs to order, but not the kind you’d ever want to eat! Her egg artwork ranges from functional jewelry boxes, purses and baskets to ornate mini-sculptures, often filigreed with beads, porcelain flowers and other metallic trims. She even has a working gumball-machine egg!
She gets most of the ostrich, rhea, emu and goose eggs direct from a hatchery, so she doesn’t usually have to blow the egg clean. Instead she can take her fragile "canvas" straight to the marker, which holds the egg in place and makes pencil marks to section it off. Once it’s divided into sections, she uses the marker to create her design by hand, directly on the egg. This is her only sketching/design phase.
Next it’s over to the air compressor drill, which is a dental-grade tool used for cutting and grinding out sections of the design. She also uses a small handheld rotary tool for some of this work, always careful to wear safety goggles and a mask while doing so. In the jewelry box, the lid has a trellis cut on the top, revealing an inset porcelain rose within the lid itself. She cuts out that lattice work and the scalloped shapes on the top and bottom. She then secures the hinge with a five-minute epoxy. She fills the bottom of the jewelry box with pale pink velvet to make it soft and to protect the inner eggshell from metal jewelry.
Then it’s time for embellishment. Ganzi uses an array of beads, glitter and jewels to bedazzle her creations. For this one, the egg is completely beaded with size 12 "three-cut" seed beads and trimmed with rose-colored Swarovski Austrian crystal rhinestone chain. The beads and chain are adhered to the egg with white craft glue. Ganzi has over a hundred different intricately cut and filigreed eggs on hand, some even with working clock parts.
Use everyday food products to create a decorative egg with these step-by-step instructions.