There are four layers that make up the thickness of this shell. The first is the thickest and it is the dark green that a person recognizes when seeing an emu egg. Under the dark green surface is a grayish layer that is softer than the rest of the shell. I don't typically use this layer for other than highlighting the layer beneath as it is kind of dull. The third layer is the turquoise that you see in front view of this piece. It is hard and very capable of being polished to shine. Finally, beneath the turquoise layer is a very white layer that is also hard enough to shine nicely. The difficulty in using the white layer is that it is extremely thin. This project was done to show all the possibilities that an emu egg shell has to offer. The front of this piece is carved in an Art Nouveau form to expose the various layers. The remainder of the shell has been pierced to frame the oval containing the iris forms. Many people are fascinated by pierced egg shells so with that in mind the image on the front is held by flowing lines like those of the Art Nouveau era. An Additional benefit of piercing the back of the shell is that it allows light to shine from the rear thus illuminating the thin white layer that makes up the iris blooms. There are two photos here that attempt to show the light penetrating the thin white layer. The shell is held by antique silver which was chosen to give an aged appearance to the over all presentation.