How to Make an Ostrich Egg Lamp

Create an incredible ostrich egg lamp using beeswax and dye.

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About 20 years ago Ansley Larsson of Memphis, Tenn., was inspired to create hand-dyed eggs after talking with a woman in a shopping center who was making them. She bought all of the materials and books needed and started creating her own designs on eggs. A friend suggested making them into lamps, which proved to be a great idea. Larsson makes one of her beautiful ostrich egg lamps.

Materials and Tools:

ostrich eggs
blocks and strips of beeswax
manual and electric Kistka*
paper towels
tissues
white vinegar
soft children's toothbrush
dye containers and dyes
latex gloves
candle
lighter
melting pot for wax
fine craft sand
magnifying lamp
paintbrush
melting pan**
polyurethane
drying board***
lamp base
egg cup to hold egg on base
top washer
lamp weight
long hollow threaded tube
lamp neck
harp holder
socket set
cord
screwdriver
pliers
acrylic paint
tiles (to use for mixing paints)

*A Kistka is shaped like a stick with a funnel on the end

**Melting pan - use a board with dowels to hold the eggs that are placed in a broiling pan so that the waxed eggs can be put in the oven to melt the wax off.

***Drying board - use another board with dowels to put the eggs on so that the polyurethane can dry.

Steps:

1. Warm a chunk of beeswax in a candle flame to soften it. Plug the hole in the ostrich egg with wax.

2. Clean the ostrich egg by rolling it in white vinegar until the natural shine of the egg is dulled.

3. Roll the egg in a dye color of choice.

4. Using both the electric kistka and the manual kistka create a decorative design on the egg with beeswax.

5. Fill the egg with sand and plug the hole up with wax.

6. Soak the waxed egg in white vinegar with the plug positioned downward.

7. Take the egg out of the vinegar every 30 minutes or so and scrub with a toothbrush to etch the eggshell.

8. Empty the sand from the egg and plug it back up.

9. Roll the egg in the next dye color. (In the case, it will be the same color).

10. Finish the design with the manual kistka. Dip a paintbrush into the melted wax and paint it over the egg.

11. Roll the egg in a background color dye.

12. Put the egg on the melting pan and place the melting pan in a 200-degree oven.

13. Pull the egg halfway out of the oven and wipe with tissue until all the wax is eliminated.

14. Once the egg is cool, coat the egg with polyurethane and place it on a drying board.

15. Paint the stand, egg cup, top washer, neck and weight with acrylic paints and coat with polyurethane.

16. Screw a threaded tube into the neck and the bottom of the socket set. Assemble the lamp and make a mark where the threaded tube needs to be cut.

17. Cut the threaded tube.

18. Assemble the lamp and run a cord up through the hollow tube, connect the top of the socket set.

19. Add a shade to the lamp.

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