Friday Egg this week is a duck egg. I rarely work with duck eggs because they are notoriously fussy and take the dyes unevenly and sometimes not at all. They are truly the most challenging egg to work with because they have very definite ideas about how they should be treated and the order in which things should be done. Unless the dyes are in the same color family, like green to blue or orange to red, I generally dye and wash color off before I dye the next color. This just doesn't work with duck eggs. The color doesn't wash off or it does wash off but the next dye bath takes unevenly or there are weird blotches where the dye particles are really concentrated compared to the rest of the egg, all kinds of things go wrong. There is a waxy cuticle on the outside of the egg, unlike other eggs, and that must be treated gently so as not to scratch or mar the surface because that can cause the dye to take unevenly.
"So," you must be thinking, "Why on earth would you work with a finicky egg like that?" Because once finished successfully, there is a depth of color that you won't get with any other kind of egg. It is almost like the glaze on a ceramic bowl, with an almost dimensional quality that is hard to explain and perhaps hard to photograph. You can also see how by the time I got to purple the egg was tired of me and didn't want to play anymore!
I think the dimensional look comes from the extra layer of the cuticle. Normally it is just eggshell with wax applied, but with a duck eggshell there is the shell, then the waxy cuticle onto which the wax is applied. I am thinking that this extra layer means the dye can seep under a bit more, creating a slightly blurred edge. If you look closely, you can see it in the darkest line of trees. This is a completely unfounded hypothesis but it's what I'm going with for the moment.
I started with a white duck egg, waxing all the white lines. Next I dipped in Golden Wheat and waxed the sun shape and yellow bars of each tree shape. Next was Key Lime and Light Green for one diagonal line of trees, then Emerald City and Mallard Green for the other diagonal line of trees. A final dip in Purple for the background/sky color. As always, I used Wax Art Supply kistky in Medium tip and Fine tip for the lines and for filling in larger areas, a delrin kistka heavy tip from the Ukrainian Gift Shop.