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Re: Eggshells

Sorry about the mis placed book reference. I saw but did not "read" your
original reference.


A note first. I have seen where Japanese artists remove the membrane first
and then apply the eggshell. But even they note that there is alot of work
involved removing misplaced and overlapping pieces of shell as well as
having to fill in gaps. Knowing that the membrane is actually permeable to a
point (I was an avian veterinarian in a previous life) I decided to
experement with leaving the membrane intact. I found that is has many
advatages and to date I have never had a panel seperate. The advantages are
is that with due care while pushing the egg flat the only seperation and
fractures that take place are along the edges (where you might expect them).
It holds all the fragments in close proximity and very few become misplaced.
When you are using seperated fragments (as in the designs of Canape &
Corriez and Dunand) removing the membrane first is of course the best
course. In this method the individual pieces can be positioned on the panels
using bamboo skewers from the grocery store (they have a nice point).

First lay out the design or picture on your panel. (I have used both insets
and put this directly on the board to be covered. What you use depends on
youcovering material and its thickness). When you apply you "pieces" of egg
follow the ebb and flow of the design as you can use the natural lines (or
cut lines as the case may be)  of these pieces to bring out the features
(see Semet et Plumelle). Accent lines can also be made by using thin leather
inlays or palladium wire etc..

I cut the eggs open with a scissors. (saving the contents for culinary
purposes) and wash them well. Only go one egg at a time and kkep it moist in
water while you move through the next step. Cut the egg to the roughly to
the desired shape. I press them flat with the end of a stick on a moistened
glass plate. I then cut the panel to shape with a rolling cutter, like you
find in a fabric store.  I then paint the area that the panel is to be
applied to with Japanese brown lacquer. Lift the panel up, dry it LIGHTLY on
a towel, and gently push it in place on to the board. I f necessary you can
trim pieces on the board with a sharp knife (I find the roller is infintely
better). Fill in your area as appropriate. Place your accents and allow to

Tinting, if you desire can be done at this point. I wouldn't suggest
painting as it ditracts from the natural texture and beauty of the shell. I
have tintied only with dilute water color based tints that I brushed on
lightly. If not over done it looks nice.

If you use scattered shell fragments placing them on black or dark opaque
lacquers looks nice,

To finish I use either Japanese brown or white lacquer (they dry clear
though the white accentuates the whiteness of the eggshell) This process is
complex but is described better than I can do in little space in other
sources. Try wood working or art manuals. Needless to say it requires an
application of 10 - 20 coats with polishing etc in between.

The finished board can then be covered or the inlay may be placed.

A good Japanese lacquer is very hard and resistent to staining and
scratching, to a reasonable degree.

I have used this technique both to provide decorative illustration and to
provide lettering to the front and rear panels.

If you have specific questions or want more details please contact me or my
assistant Mark.


Kurt Klappenbach
Loud Creek Books & Bindery
P.O. Box 405
Ballantine, SC   29002

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Verheyen <pdverhey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wednesday, September 30, 1998 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: Eggshells

>Thank you for your description. I have the Art Nouveau / Deco book, but
>there was also a book specifically about Dunand which went into his laquer
>technique. It's a great, unfortuately costly book, but fun to read.
>When you say the membrane must be intact, wouldn't that cause problems
>since it would seperate from the shell itself. Even if an exterior laquer
>was applied, how would it stay down? Id' be interested to hear more from
>you on the techniques including information about the laquer.
>Peter Verheyen, Listowner: Book_Arts-L

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