Here’s an art form you might not be familiar with: eggshell carving. There’s a growing population of sculptors who specialize in hand-carving eggs into fanciful works of art. Alan Rabon has been named the official Egg Artist for Georgia (2005, 2007) and for Illinois (2008). What happened in 2006? He was commissioned by the American Egg Board to carve an egg for First Lady Laura Bush. Intricacy and therefore price vary according to egg – chicken ($25), goose ($90), emu ($150), ostrich ($250) – and design– flying eagles, a couple in a gazebo, dolphins in the moonlight. Artist Tina Kannapel carves and sculpts portraits and pet portraits for about $300-400. She’s practically oviparous, selling about 1600 a year.
A drill similar to a dentist’s is used to impale and drain the egg, and then the artist carves a design she’s penciled on the shell. It’s not a hobby for those with heavy hands or compromised immune systems. Amateurs and experts alike are advised to wear surgical masks to avoid the possibility of a salmonella infection.