Introduction: Goose on Geometry

Picture of Goose on Geometry

This was done simply to discover if I could do it. I went though a stage where my goal was to remove as much material from an egg shell as possible while still retaining the shape and image of the egg. Carving an egg shell like this is great fun and watching people's reactions when they seem something like this is even more fascinating.

Hope you like it.


likuidphreon (author)2011-04-21

I hate to sound like a jerk so let me start off by saying this egg and the others bbstudio has posted look beautiful! They are very nice works of art by a skilled sculptor. With that being said, I have to ask if I missed something? This site is called instructables and is meant for people to list HOW they did something so others can attempt it and/or modify the process to make something better/different. All I have seen with bbstudio's postings are that of an artist posting their work to attain the admiration of others. I don't see anything valuable from these posts, it's more like watching someone gloat...

I am sure this comment will be removed, I just had to add my $0.02

Miss Cabbit (author)likuidphreon2012-08-10

Instead of sounding like a jerk, which I think you enjoy rather then hate, why don't you try doing something and sharing the process. This site is made for people who create and share their processes with others who are interested in using processes to make something as beautiful as this absolutely amazing piece. Seems to me you prefer spending your time sending negative and demeaning comments. To be blunt: The egg is profoundly beautiful, your comments are plain ugly.

likuidphreon (author)Miss Cabbit2012-08-10

Congratulations on responding to something I wrote over a year ago... with that being said. I have great admiration for the original author responding and clarifying about his other instructable on how to actually carve an egg. I love the how-to's on this site. I just hate the frustration of clicking on a featured link, hoping to learn something from it, only to see someone just showcasing their work as if it were just another facebook post to gloat about it. As I have said before, I have been absolutely amazed by the creativity and amazing projects that people have shared and posted instructions on how to replicate. That kind of effort and hardwork should be applauded. Everything else just seems subpar. I am sorry that my comment on your "instructable" apparently irritated you enough to have to go and track down one of my other postings. To be blunt: You are a year late with the response, but thanks for trolling.

mortso (author)likuidphreon2011-04-21

He's using a super high speed rotary tool, like 250K+ or so.. Turbo Carver is a good one, very popular and 400K speed!!!

They spin so fast there is no drag or vibration to crack the eggshell. They'll cut thru material as thick as an Ostrich egg.

Brian Baity (author)mortso2011-08-17

Likuidphreon, you have the right to your opinion. I won't take it off. I did put an instructable on here on how to carve an emu egg. the other 4 were not for admiration from others, I don't care if people like them or not. I put them here as other examples of what can be done with the tool i use. Mortso writes about the Turbo Carver in his post. I have used that tool, but I prefer the Paragraver. Like you, he has the right to his opinion and I will leave his post here as well.

Thanks for sharing your opinion

mortso (author)Brian Baity2012-06-24

Thanks for the tip... paragraver eh? Looks great. Ever think about using laser cutter or adapt a plasma cutter? Just an idea... Great Work by the way. Truly wonderful!

ynneb (author)likuidphreon2011-04-21

Agreed !!

jeanmarm0429 (author)2012-04-10

It is you use anything to stabilize the shell as you cut it? If so, what do you use?

ladycroft108 (author)2011-04-16

That is just f***ing incredible!!!!!! It looks very sci-fi, just brilliant!

Brian Baity (author)ladycroft1082011-08-17

Thank you very much for sharing your comment!

cworthington1 (author)2011-04-20

Yes, awesome eggs. And it would be awesome to try carving a bucky ball egg. Thanks for sharing your talent!

Thank you for sharing

Lindie (author)2011-07-13

Very nice! You did a great job here!

Brian Baity (author)Lindie2011-08-17

thank you for taking the time to comment

drwu (author)2011-04-22

Instructions: The sport is ofcourse that the eggshell is natural and not enhanced or strengthened in any way. The author talks about carving and Dremel, but that may not be the whole story: Add wax, a toothpick and acid solution and you're there. Natural eggshell has unexpected properties, but mechanical approaches will mostly result in disaster:
Here's a couple of tips: Acid solutions dissolve eggshell. Draw the pattern, coat it by writing (correct expression) with lines of wax. Submerge the egg in acid, and watch the shell dissolve. The patterns remain because they are covered. Remove the wax coating by heating. Voila!
For "extreme" patterns: Try stabilizing the eggshell by filling it with melted candlewax before you begin. This also helps "sink" the egg in the acid solution. Melt all wax in the oven when you are finished. In the oven the egg should rest above the surface of the heated plate: use points- e.g. on three pinheads or nails standing vertically. Wax crayons are also fine, traditionally beeswax was used: The setup is a tablespoon to melt the wax in, rested over a candle to keep it warm. You write the pattern with any point dipped in wax, a toothpick will do. The technique is known from batique, and the tool is called a "kistka". The soot from the candle would colour the beeswax brown, so the pattern is easy to see while you are working.
You need to watch your timing: once the acid has eaten through the eggshell, it will also work from the INSIDE: SO the secret is to stop when it is ALMOST through, and THEN do the final by polishing with a fine-point set of delicate files. Use less concentrated acid by diluting with water.
Further tips: goose and duck eggs are often stronger than hen. Translumination gives an idea of weaknesses in the eggshell before you begin. The batique technique is mostly used for colouring, and coloured dyes are safer to make patterns than acid solutions: They are also more fun, because you can do sequential colouring (light-to-dark)... Good luck eggcrafting, everybody!

Brian Baity (author)drwu2011-08-17

thank you for all the information on acid etching eggs. I recently was inBulgaria and heard about this method. you give much more information than I found there (mostly due to the language barrier). I have not tried it to this time in my life. I like the challenge of carving so much that I don't know if I will try acid or not. Anyway, thank you again for sharing your knowledge

instruct39 (author)2011-04-15

this is so amazing, i just had to comment to say that!

Brian Baity (author)instruct392011-08-17

thank you!!

instruct39 (author)instruct392011-04-15

hey, you say these are goose eggs that you carve, is there a reason that you choose a goose egg over a store bought chicken egg?
also, i think you should make an instructable of how to do this type of artwork

a chicken egg would be so much harder to carve. Really you want something with a thick shell, like a goose egg or ostrich (?) x

drwu (author)mountain island2011-04-23

Use Duck eggs for hen-size eggs, they have a slightly different shape though (less pointed). Within the same species, larger eggs tend to be more fragile, smaller-mid size are stronger in the eggshell: So you need to change species: e.g. pheasant eggs for smaller (they are fairly robust for their size, compared to quail, etc). The wax-resist method works for chicken eggs too - you can dilute the acid solution, but remember: I can teach the technique or "giveaway" the materials, but true artists transcend the basics here...
Ostrich is our largest eggshell and strongest of-course. It has other challenges for eggcraft, because of the deep pores in the surface of the eggshell. This disturbs fine patterns for detailed decorations, so it needs sanding to smoothen in preparation: The resulting surface is a marvellous canvas, though!.
I have not seen the wax-resist method used with acid for these largest eggs, it works but takes longer time. Some egg artists have actually "carved", but it is hard with a high-speed rotating disk. The difference between hobby tools and more professional is speed and precision. Watch out for the dust, though - it may be allergenic: use mask/filter and ventilation.
I have tried the various species (ratites)- nandu/rhea, emu, cazuar and so on. Emu is the only eggshell that lends to layered carving (cameo-style)

good to know! thanks for your answer

sitearm (author)2011-04-21

Gad you are patient... I looked up the "how to" link from one of your other projects. Cheers! :)

Brian Baity (author)sitearm2011-08-17

Thank you Sitearm for taking the time to check it out and to comment

Mirime (author)2011-06-06

Holy Bleeping Mo-ly! This is so awesome!

Brian Baity (author)Mirime2011-08-17

thank you. You are too kind. I love carving things like this. Your reaction makes it all worth the effort to make one.

Fianor (author)2011-04-25

The work is very nice but this isn't an art gallery, please post your methods of working and instructions on how you did it, tools needed, preparations steps, etc. it's just not very "instrucable" if it's just pictures of finished work.

harizard (author)2008-10-15

Nice filigree work, I am an egger and do filigree work too. My question to you is how do you ship these eggs? I know very carefully....I just want to compare notes with you.

Brian Baity (author)harizard2008-10-15

Dear Harizard, I wish I had an answer for you. I have not yet had the need to ship one. I am asked often how I would ship one and I tell the folks who ask, "I don't know how I would do it, I guess I will just have to deliver it." I have asked the shipping folks where I work how they would ship carved eggs and they just looked at me like I had sprouted a third eye. I would welcome any thoughts you can offer on shipping methods. Maybe others who read this could chime in and offer their wisdom and experience. Thank you for your input of the filligree.

mbalogh (author)Brian Baity2011-04-20

You don't use a soft, but a hard packaging instead. A large block styrofoam would also do the trick, becouse it's not spongy. You cut a solid block in half, and the most important thing is to carve the EXACT shape out and when you put the two pieces together it can't move but also not squashed. Since it is light you can then throw the package around, even shock won't damage it.
Something like this, but cut it in length instead.
I've done this, shipped a carved egg without any problems. But how do you know the exact shape? That's a tough one, easier done before carving.

drwu (author)mbalogh2011-04-23

I have been able to transport similar items: that is move from exhibition to eggshibition: (but not sent by mail: the postal services have a pet elephant that sits on all packages we send. Courier services are better, at least they cut the pet elephant, but singular items are not worth the risk). Egg collectors need to travel!
I agree to the "hard" approach: I suspended the item on a centre nail. Then you need to minimize movement and pressure on the eggshell. The box must be very solid. The eggshell allows for some movement, and it is suprizingly elastic. (e.g. a complete "spiral" pattern will actually collapse on itself and "shake" a little). I have been able to find sylinders that give a near-perfect fit.
For special items, I prefer the metal sylinders, and give them a lining to fit: better to allow for a little "air" than to risk pressure: soft cotton or tissue in either end and I centre the egg on a custom-cut wire ( a tapered metal point like a nail on a wood or plastic base which enters the bottom hole and the top rests on the point)
My concern has been storage - whether this elastic property (which allows for some transport) is lost and the eggshell becomes more brittle after ageing: Old eggs are rare and I have few more than 15 years old. I watch for humidity, but have not solved this long-term effect.

drwu (author)Brian Baity2011-04-23

These marvels are worth a courier: They can only be hand-served: travel and pick it up at your own risk:I stopped collecting these extremes, apart from some "show cases", for the same reason.
Casting in a transparent medium solves the problem, but takes away the glory of the art/specimen.

paqrat (author)Brian Baity2011-04-21

I have seen tiny styrofoam beads. I think I'd get those, take a plastic or metal coffee can and fill the bottom of the can with a layer of beads then place the egg and while holding it in the center of the coffee can I would fill the can with the rest of the styrofoam beads. I would then seal the lid on the can and place the can in a cardboard box, first placing a layer of styrofoam peanuts on the bottom of the box, then placing the can then filling the rest of the box with peanuts. I bellieve this should protect the egg from most possible damage other than actual intent to do damage to it.

rdm_box (author)Brian Baity2011-04-21

How about putting it in a box, then filling the box with jelly, (sorry, jello), and then at the other end, removing it somehow. You might uses something else with the same properties though. Maybe something like this:

Biggsy (author)Brian Baity2011-04-18

aside from pre-fabricating some sort of foam packaging inserts to the shape of youregg i wouldn't kno wwhat to suggest

Great make though... deffinatly out of my skills range :)

GordieGii (author)Brian Baity2010-12-23

I have never shipped something like this but I think I would get a clear plastic box and some styrofoam beads (like those in beanbag chairs and beanie babies) and use them like miniature styrofoam packing peanuts allowing them to fill up the inside of the egg as well as all around it.
Then close the plastic box and pack it in styrofoam packing peanuts as well.
I guess the inner box wouldn't have to be clear, just easier to see what's going on while filling the egg and putting on the lid.
I assume that massive candle holder is separate.

mkaufmann (author)harizard2011-04-21

Just an idea: maybe you could ship it in a (plastic) container filled with water?

Narlo11 (author)mkaufmann2011-04-21

I would set it in Jello wrapped in cold packs then put in styro container, Ship then put at room temp and when liquified rinse.

Broom (author)harizard2011-04-21

Begin by fortifying the eggshell.

1) Coat in sugarpaste, allow to dry. Clean in warm water soak.

2) Dip in barely-liquid paraffin (petroleum-based wax; Brits use a different word for it that I forget). Clean by heat-soaking in warm oven.

wolfy_9005 (author)2008-10-19

Hey since eggs are porous, couldnt you let them sit in, say, a water-based clear resin of sorts? After you remove the yolk+ white and given it a bit of a clean of course. Hopefully it will go inside of the egg shell and help it retain it's strength. If your going to paint it though then you wont have to worry to much about the colour of the resin(you could also use a water based dye and soak the egg in it to make it completely coloured before you start cutting). just some idea's :)

Brian Baity (author)wolfy_90052008-10-20

Thanks for the ideas. Certainly more avenues to follow for future efforts. I have never painted any of the eggs I have done to this point. You are right about a colored resin not mattering if a colored finish was to be used. I did entertain dying some eggs with Easter egg colors before carving easter designs into them, just never followed through with it. I did not know if there would be much interest.

drwu (author)Brian Baity2011-04-23

Interesting - egg sculptors are often not painters, and vice-versa. Some cooperate - e.g. the dentist who carves and mounts eggshell and his wife that paints, so many find someone to deliver "opened" eggs and start from there.
Some prefer the white eggshell, like "marble" colour and others create trompe d'oeuil or magnificent effects by adding patterns, "shadows", see e.g. Gabriella Szutors books.
A technique that lends itself to carving is scraffiti: Scratching patterns with a point in addition to carving: a highly accurate method: and combining scratched, etched and carved is possibly the ultimate in eggcraft in this direction.

Dragonwolf (author)2011-04-22

I wonder if you could strengthen it using egg whites…

drwu (author)Dragonwolf2011-04-23

If you read below, many egg artists work with the full egg, when it has eggwhite etc inside, of-course - both for the support, the "weight" in your hand while you work and if your technique requires that it sinks: but then you may have to empty it later in the process. The membranes may be a problem in these steps.
In a sense, a layer of paint does add to the shell, yes - and some work in egg tempera but then you should varnish the surface afterwards. I have also seen some collect the eggshell dust from drilling, mixing it with glue and making decorative "points" on the surface - still true to the idea that this is all-eggshell.
I focus on the egg art itself, (originality of pattern or design, various angles, etc) not so much these special effects with "openings"/holes and hinges - and once you start glueing things to the eggshell you are departing from its natural origin.... It is not really that hard to add "special effects" by perforating an egg (make holes), just remember your tool has to rotate, use gentle/firm pressure. To go all the way, i.e. if you take away more than seen above, you may need to embed the result in a transparent medium (which works better for transport and collectors)... Not all have access to dentistry tools, though.

wolfy_9005 (author)2008-10-13

omg howd u do this? With a dremel? Is it actually an egg?(hmm.....sure looks like one )

Brian Baity (author)wolfy_90052008-10-13

Yes, it is a real goose egg shell. I use a high speed engraving tool called a paragraver and a very light touch. I hold them in my hand while I carve them.

wolfy_9005 (author)Brian Baity2008-10-13

Sweet as, do you draw the shape on, or do you make a sticker and print it from your computer? I voted for you aswell :)

Brian Baity (author)wolfy_90052008-10-13

I first draw a grid on the egg then work from the grid to get the design in place. If this rises the question of how did I get the pencil marks off, I will answer it here. I sanded them off after the carving was complete. Thank you very much for voting for me, you are very kind. The choice of which pieces to vote for is tough, there are many great entries to choose from.

RadBear (author)Brian Baity2008-10-13

How did you not break that shell while sanding it? You either have a light touch and steady hand or you fed that goose resin to toughen the shell. :) Nice work.

Brian Baity (author)RadBear2008-10-13

Hey RadBear, the correct choice is light touch. Combine this with the correct tools and it is possible. There is no resin involved. As a matter of fact, this egg is still not treated with anything. It sits in my display cabinet under a glass dome. I know I need to start treating them with something. Quite a few people had told me this. I prefer the natural look of the egg shells so I am still searching for a good finish to meet my needs. I know other folks may want a different finish and I would happily accomodate them if or when they might ask. From what you wrote I gather there is a resin I could use. Can you give some suggestions? I would certainly welcome any advice you or anyone else can offer. The tool I use is a tiny sanding wheel which is a Godsend to miniature detailing. thanks for the compliment.

About This Instructable




More by Brian Baity:Goose on GeometryScrimshaw Daisy on Cutaway Rhea Egg ShellCarving a lattice and acanthus pattern on an emu egg shell
Add instructable to: