Which holiday is it? Valentine’s Day? Easter? I’m so confused.
I was etching valentine candy hearts earlier. Then a fellow laserist gave me a dozen raw eggs he was done etching and I played in the open spaces.
I tried to put my face on them but it didn’t come out so well. (I’m sure the crack was there beforehand!) Out of 6 tries, this was the best.
So I reverted back to simple text (above).
What to say on an egg …
For the curious, I first tried setting the egg on a little round indentation of acrylic but the indentation didn’t keep the egg from rocking back and forth as the laser moved quickly so closely above it. Of course I’ll have to investigate this later for inspiring specifically laser-blurry printing options. But for now I wanted to recognize my face.
So I arranged small heavy pieces of steel right up against the egg and that worked. I also brought the speed way down (as well as the power) which I think helped as well.
My fellow laserist used the egg carton as a jig. That’s usually fine if the carton material is safe to get hit with the laser (some materials like this will flash fire.)
His etchings looked better than mine. But since I started out close to his parameters, I suspect, as has been the case before, that my artwork needed to be modified. But by the time I’d done enough samples to conclude that, I was out of white spaces.
Well, it’s a pretty slew of mistakes. Displayed on eggshell silk no less.
I wanted to etch a painted unshelled hard boiled egg. So I painted one. orange. Did it in 3 parts since I didn’t want fingerprints in the paint. Took a day.
Then it took about 5 days to get it together with the laser. After a few days I put it in a small plastic container and stored it in the fridge. When I pulled it out to place it on the laser table, I noticed it was kinda slimy. But with no cracks. Was hard boiledness oozing out through the shell? Had the paint dissolved something? I washed it off … a bit too much … and the acrylic paint started to come off. I stopped and preserved as much paint as I could, drying it with a paper towel and gentle pressure.
I was going to have it tell a story, rolling it 15 degrees between line etchings.
Then decided to just see how it went with three lines of text in a one inch square. It’s kinda bearing out the message “and they / all rolled / over” but the “over” way at the bottom of the egg was a subsequent run. The “over” from this run was right under the “all rolled” that you can see and was barely visible in my original higher res image.
I often get the question about how an etching will come out on a curved surface. Well, here’s your answer. For an eggshell. Painted with acrylics. Ok, it’s a grade A large egg. But I don’t know the specs on curvature variances allowed per grade. I think acrylic would do a bit better. But not glass. Or coated metal (edge of laptop). You just gotta try it.
At left – you can see that sometimes it burns all the paint away, sometimes it leaves the paint burnt, sometimes it barely marks the paint. This was all during curvature etch testing, which, if it really mattered, I’d have to have a better setup than this to measure what I did so I could explain it and pass it on.
The cracks are orange. But the orange paint didn’t penetrate the thin membrane around the egg itself.
As I was peeling, I realized I’d forgotten all about this curve that I’d cut with cold vector settings. Shows promise for future trials. If only I could get that jig to work to spin it on the rotary attachment.
Someday I will stop this.
But for now, I continue to take whatever permitted substances I can find and stick them in the laser to see how they will be affected.
Yesterday was no different with a hard boiled egg. The question always is … what mark should I make? Every item is a Rorschach test for my brain … what kind of joke will it make this time. I don’t even feel in control. I just present it with these items and it responds. I know nothing.
A couple guys were in the room at the time. As soon as one of them heard what I was going to do, he bolted, afraid of the ensuing smell. That didn’t even occur to me and I’m happy to report it didn’t do that.
It did smell burnt with a hint of egg but you had to get your nose within a few inches of it.
A pristine freshly peeled (and wet) hard boiled egg awaits its hot fate.
Above: in between declaring its laid fate, it also talked about being fried.
You can see a lighter burn on the bottom and a darker one on the top of the egg.
I had originally etched “I have been laid” and when I changed it to “I was laid” I got a lesson in the latter being better grammar thanks to the other guy in the room whose mom used to obsessively correct his grammar as a kid.
I talked with more people about this point and can’t swear I totally get it but gee, the conversations that can ensue when one tries to etch a hard boiled egg.