This week's blog is brought to you by Ammi Brooks. Among other things, Ammi creates the most amazing diorama scenes in real egg shells! Read on!
I’ve been thinking lately about my first creative endeavor. It was sewing! My mother was a great seamstress but I wasn’t interested in having her teach me, so when I went to college I took a sewing course. On my own I made Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for my nieces. Although I made some clothes for myself it never really stuck as an inspired craft.
I made resin grapes as a young wife for my in-laws’ coffee table…they were big in the 70’s. Again not something I was inspired by.
Then while my husband was stationed in North Carolina at Pope Air Force Base in 1971 I took a class in eggery! The focus of the class was on making Christmas tree ornaments out of egg shells. I learned to make ostrich egg clocks and duck eggs with doors and hinges. To tell the truth those things were fun to make but weren’t something I would ever have in my own home. The little chicken egg Christmas ornaments, however, were a delight to make, so that creative endeavor lasted for a long time. Everyone in my extended family received these little treasures ,and I sold them at a local shop and Christmas bazaars in Carmel, California in the 1980s. In 2014 after 35 years I started making my little egg ornaments again and then sold them at Artistic Portland.
Most of my themes are of Spring and Christmas, but I have expanded them now to include Portland bridges, food trucks, and Voodoo Doughnuts!
The questions I get asked most on these decorations are: how do I get the fabric so smooth around the eggs, and how do I get the background pictures in the back of the egg, and how do you get the egg out of the shell?
The trick to the fabric is to cut a strip of fabric on the bias (perpendicular to the edge) so that it stretches over the shell.
The trick with the background picture is to find a picture with a white background so that it fades into the back of the egg. How do your get the egg out of the shell? I use curved cuticle scissors. I tap the egg and cut the hole the size I want it. Usually when I shake out the egg it does not break the yoke.
In addition to creating one-of-a-kind egg diorama's, I also make felted scarves, felted cat balls, felted soaps and hand dyed silk scarves! You can find my art at Artistic Portland, Monday through Saturday from 10 to 6 and on Sundays from noon until 5!