How to make Pretty Eggs

Of all the decorated eggs celebrating Easter, surly none surpasses the bejeweled and enameled god, platinum and silver creations from the workshop of Peter Carl Faberge Russian jeweler to the Czars, each of Faberge's fifty imperial eggs, commissioned between 1885 and 1915 is a marvel of what the imagination can conceive and the human hand can fashion.

Blowing & Taping
If you don't order already blown eggs from suppliers, you'll need to blow out your own; Make a pinhole in each end, puncturing the eggyoulk in the process. Gently an firmly express the eggs contents by blowing with your mouth or an egg blower against the top hole. Rinse well ith water and let dry before cutting. To mark the eggshells, you will need adhesive tape and sharp scissors. Colored tape is easier to see, use it to mark and stabilize the area to be cut. For narrower strips, cut pieces of tape in half lengthwise. Eggs here are marked for the basket design (opposite, far right) and vertical and horizontal cuts.

To halve an egg, you can use sharp cuticle scissors. More complicated cuts require using a Dermal drill, which takes a little know-how. Practice on a few blown eggs just to get a feel for the amount of pressure to apply and what angle works best for you. You will have to hold the egg in one hand while drilling with the other. Use the Dermal drill fitted with a diamond wheel, and wear goggles and a mask to protect against eggshell dust. After the cuts are made, gently remove the tape and file rough edges with an emery board. Shell prices can be used as bases, so don't' be too quick to throw away your mistakes.

Painting & Hinging
If you plan to paint the egg, do so before adding a hinge or any other decoration, and let the paint dry completely. To hing the egg halves you will have to tape the egg back together to hold it in place while the adhesive cement used to attach the hinge dries. A hinge might be made of ribbon or of minute decorative hardware such as that used on dollhouse furniture.

Let your fancy tell you what materials you might employ to decorate your eggs; we used gold leaf, gold-embossed paper (available from art supply or crafts stores). sewing braid, rickrack, ribbons, trim, beads, paper and velvet flower. The gold trim is from made from paper as well as cord and ribbon; an eggshell filled with embossed paper flowers honors the arrival of spring.

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