Eggshell Carving

Pushing the limits of art with something as fragile as an empy eggshell

Types of Eggs

The cheapest choice is most likely to be chicken eggs, although goose eggs have a bigger shell to deal with. Once confident, feel free to try more difficult eggs like tiny robin's eggs or thick ostrich eggs once you've mastered chicken or goose eggs.


Using a pencil, sketch a design lightly on the outside of the egg. When you are ready to carve, grab a dust mask and safety goggles for protection. A fine bit engraving tool can be purchased at craft and hobby stores to etch and carve into an eggshell.

Stiffening the Egg

It is up to you how firm you want your eggshell to be. Quick dry nail polish is a good hardener. If you're making a big number of eggs, polyurethane or acrylic might be a good choice. Craft glue that dries watertight can provide the inside a thicker, somewhat flexible layer.


The Process of Carving Eggs

Why Carve Eggs?

The time-honored traditions of egg decoration are far too beautiful to be forgotten in the rush and bustle of modern day life, and it is important to elevate the craft through patience.

Are The Eggs Real?

The majority of people notice that they are "egg-shaped," but they think they are made of ceramic or plastic. Despite this, they are actual eggshells, made mostly of calcium carbonate and formed in their natural state by geese, ostriches, rheas, emus, turkeys, chickens, as well as other animals. It is imperative that you work exclusively work with infertile eggs or eggs that have been fully incubated but did not hatch.

How Are They Made?

Start by emptying and cleaning each egg. After the egg has dried, sketch the features of your artwork right on the shell with a lead pencil.

Second, using a combination of diamond and carbide cutting tools, cut away relevant parts of the pattern or engrave the surface of the shell (or both). A good tool to use is a dental hand-piece driven by an air compressor that spins at over 400,000 rpms to keep the burs revolving.

Then use your hands and an abrasive cleaner to erase any leftover pencil lines once the egg has been thoroughly worked.

After that, the egg is immersed in two bleach baths to dissolve any membrane remnant on the inner surface. Finally, three or four coats of lacquer are applied to the egg before it is signed and sealed. To maintain and enhance its beauty, it is then put on a stand inside a glass dome.

Each egg is signed and dated by the artist, and it comes with a signed and dated certificate of authenticity that states the title of the egg and confirms that it was produced by hand.

Eggs As Traditional Gifts

For millennia, eggs have been used as fertility symbols in the Far East. According to Hinduism, traditional Easter eggs evolved from an ancient Druid ritual of celebrating the arrival of Spring with beautifully decorated eggs. In today's world, eggs are still a popular gift to friends and family for a variety of reasons. Whatever the reason, it will have them asking you "How did you do that?"