I am sure you must have heard the phrase “an egg a day keeps the doctor away” by a famous person. What, you don’t know who that famous person is? Well, it’s me. Joke apart, but we all are quite aware of the nutritive value of eggs, but did you ever even in your wildest of dreams imagine that the egg shell could be a canvas to art. If not, then I suggest you must read on. Gary LeMaster, a gifted sculptor knows the magic of converting egg shells into intricate pieces of art. Holding a teaching degree from the University of Northern Iowa in history and English, this ingenious artist was passionate about art from his childhood only. After his family moved to the States, he grew up learning how to use tools, and do woodworking alongside his father, while also listening to classical music and gaining a deep appreciation of the fine arts from his mother.
Although he wrote poetry and short stories, but did not forget to keep practicing drawing with pencil, charcoal, pen and ink. His color-blindness did make him turn down the scholarship he got learn music at the University of Iowa, but it certainly did not stop him from creating some extraordinary pieces of art.
This is what Gary has to say about his unusual choice of material:
I personally believe that the time-honored traditions of egg decorating are too exquisite to be lost in the hustle and bustle of modern life, and have tried to take the art to a new level. Each and every one of my EggZotica (TM) creations is meticulously designed and carved by hand and I am proud to be able to offer them to my customers and collectors. Even the commemorative issues are individually carved and signed.
Honestly, when I first saw these interesting and unbelievable artworks, I thought they were made from either ceramic or plastic, but to my surprise turned out to be real egg shells. These eggshells are real ones produced by geese, ostrich, rhea, emu, turkeys, chickens, etc. Gary just uses them and turns them into these mind-blowing pieces of art. But, what I like the best is the fact that he uses only eggs that are infertile or that have been fully incubated but have failed to hatch. The process of creating these artworks begins with emptying and cleaning of the eggs, which is then followed by drying them. He then sketches the details of the artwork directly on the shell using a pencil. Then, the actually sculpting starts by cutting the shell using a variety of diamond and carbide cutting tools and a compressor-powered dental handpiece that spins at 400,000 rpm.
Once the sculpting process is complete, Gary removes the remaing pencil marks with his hands and an abrasive cleanser. He then bathes the egg in bleach to disintegrate any membrane residue on the inside surface. Finally, the sculpture is signed and sealed with three or four coats of lacquer. The glass dome the sculpture comes in not only adds to the aesthetics, but also helps preserving it. Now the next time you are confused about what to gift your loved ones, you know what to buy.