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Bev Michie's Panoramic Eggs

I'm Bev Michie, and I've been on a couple month's break from my miniatures and been enjoying myself immensely with polymer clay. I've been using Fimo for over 10 years, but it has been entirely for miniatures until a few months ago!
The egg is in 3 parts - a stand, the egg (duh!) and a finch egg (yes - there's a real zebra finch egg under that clay!). I put my finch egg on the leaf in the big egg, but you can place it how you wish, or keep it separate. I also use a bit of blu-tac to anchor the egg on the stand.
I originally envisioned the egg looking like crazy lace or banded agate, but it looks more like petrified wood to me. Oh well. Here is how I made the eggs - if you want more details or have questions, please feel free to e-mail me at gmichie@concentric. net.
To empty my chicken eggs I use an egg pump from Germany. I got mine while in the Air Force, so don't ask me where to find one now! It leaves a tiny hole in one end of the egg, but blowing the egg out works great too.
I start by covering my egg with a layer of transparent Sculpy Ill. I use Sculpy for this because I like the stickiness for covering the egg. After smoothing the egg between my hands, I cut a window in the unbaked clay and remove the clay. (I make a template out of paper and cut around the edge with a razor blade). Then I drill a hole in the middle of the window and then using needlenose pliers, I break away a hole about the size of a dime. I resmooth the egg, and then bake it window down, resting the egg on the dime size hole.
After the egg is cool, I then file the Sculpy with a wax file and then using the needlenose pliers again, I "nibble" the egg shell away until the window is entirely open.
To create the agate look, I conditioned Fimo with transparent Promat (that gives it the wonderful glittery look). I used 3 colors of brown, and rolled them out to size 7 on the pasta machine, and stacked the colored bands on my working surface (I use a tile). I used a wide band of the transparent Promat for the middle band. When the layers were to my liking, I then ran the sheet through the pasta machine all the way to the smallest setting.
At this point I made the loaf for the caterpillars. I trimmed slices of this loaf to make the center stripe around the eggs.
I cut the sheet of agate clay in half, through the middle of the transparent center. I rubbed some Sculpy Diluent on the egg, and then covered half the egg with the agate. Then I placed the caterjpillar loaf strips against the transparent, and then the covered the bottom half of the egg with the agate. After smoothing and cutting away the window with a razor blade, I bake it window down again.
After the egg is cool, I smooth the window with the sanding drum on my dremal tool. Then I file, sand and sand again the egg. Then I paint Sculpy Diluent around the window, and apply the border and leaves to the edge of the window. If I didn't sand first, I'd have to sand around the leaves - forget that!!! Then I bake the egg laying on polyfill, window side up.
Once the egg is cool, I finish it with 2 coats of Future. Then I paint the inside with acrylic paint, and the "ground" is made from foamcore board, glued in with Sobo glue.
The caterpillar is made from a loaf, with florist wire for the feet and feelers. The grass is transparent Fimo with a touch of green. The leave and caterpillar are glued down with E6000.
The Finch eggs are fun! First, I do candle my eggs, so I guarantee they are infertile! Some of them raffle - it's just the dried yolk knocking around in there. I keep my infertile eggs in a box in the closet for a year or so until they dry naturally through the pores in the shell. You can't pump or blow a finch egg - they are just too delicate! And be careful - if one breaks before it's entirely dry, you have an instant stink bomb, and an instantly irate husband. Trust me on this. Then I cover them with a layer of transparent Sculpy, but GENTLY!!!! They are so fragile! I only crushed 2 out of the 16 1 started with, so it's not too bad ... I then put a pin hole in one end for escaping air and bake on polyfill.
Once cool, I rough sand them (but again, gently!) and then coat with Sculpy Diluent, and cover with cane slices. I don't bother with the pinhole this time, and one or two had a tiny air bubble, but it sanded off just fine. After sanding, I coat with Future again.
One of the eggs did crack after baking - I could feel it moving while working the cane layer of clay, but it baked fine. I suppose I could get the same effect by making a Fimo egg and putting cane slices on it, but I know there is a real finch egg under there, and it makes me feel good!

Drop Bev a line and tell her all about it!