How are the polymer clay covered art eggs made?
|First, the eggs are emptied by putting holes
and either end, then using a special hand pump device to blow the contents
out. Then, each egg is washed by using a cleaning solution, which is
pumped into the egg, the egg is shaken well, the liquid is pumped out
again. This is repeated twice, with a small amount of bleach added
to the second washing. This is followed by a good rinse.
After the eggs are cleaned, I bake them, to help them dry and strengthen the shell. After cooling and drying, I put the first layer of clay on, in sections, and smooth the seams. The color of this base clay depends on what the final design is going to be. I usually prep several eggs at a time, so when I'm in the actual creating mode, this hum drum preparation is done and all I have to worry about is the art and design.
I bake or "cure" the eggs for about an hour, after each layer is applied. I use a special material that holds and supports each egg, in a cupped manner, which prevents flat spots from forming while it is curing.
If I am applying what will be a repeating design, I make slices of canes that I've made, to apply to the egg. Depending on the look I am after, I will either leave the canes looking like individual tiles applied or blend the seams of the slices together, so it looks like it's all one piece.
After the baking of the final layer, if it is to have a glassy look, each egg is sanded four separate times (using four different grits of sandpaper) and then polished with a jewelry polisher. Occasionally, if the egg is sculpted or textured, small amounts of acrylic paint are used for accenting. Over 90% of the designs, however, are actually built in to the clay, using various techniques from using canes, to doing inlays and piecing to adding molded, sculpted components.
The Anatomy of a Polymer Clay Art Egg