50 years all cooped up....egg #1- Nautical egg with lighthouse
I have started this project with a Nautical egg because it is now the middle of the month of July when most families take vacation and go to their favorite places.When my family took vacation, the destination was usually to the coast of Maine to visit the ocean. Below is an old photograph of my sister Cheryl and I enjoying the beach, playing in the sand and getting sunburned! (I am the one on the left)
I decided to start with all of the images that I associate with being near the ocean. The goose egg is a perfect choice for the size, as you can fit a lot of imagery on it. I started by drawing lightly with a .05 mechanical pencil with a 2H lead.
The egg has a vertical border flanked by a twisted naval rope, stopping half way at the equator of the egg. The band is filled with diamonds, and each diamond has a simple mariner's compass in it. There are four circles that are located at the bottom of the egg, and they touch each other at the widest part of the egg. The circles are surrounded by the naval rope that weave in and out and around each other. The circles on the front and back of the egg are filled with a larger mariner's compass, and the circles that are on the bottom of the vertical band are filled with a rope and anchor, a reminder of my Uncle John's naval service (my Godfather, who happens to reside in Maine as well). On the back of the egg, as you can see above, I have drawn three "Lobsta" (slang for Lobster) buoys, which is a common decoration on the sides of buildings, homes and restaurants when you are traveling through the Maine seacoast. The front of the egg in the upper quadrant depicts my favorite destination in Maine, Nubble Light House in York Beach. The bottom of the egg has a captain's wheel that is centered over the drain hole.
Now comes the tedious part. The rope is hand painted with the dye, using one of PUSA light brown dyes. When the dye is dry, I wax over the outlines of the rope, and some lines to indicate the fibers. I leave the rest for the next darkest dye to fill in the rope.
As you can see, there are two shades of brown to be waxed on the knotted ropes. I am also waxing the mariner's compass and the outline of the anchor.
The third darkest dye was hand painted on the ropes to give shading and dimension, then all was waxed over to save the work. I also completed the bottom of the buoys with the two colors of brown. I took a sea sponge and dabbed a medium gray all over the anchor, being careful to leave some white spaces to give the illusion of an aged anchor. I waxed over the entire anchor, not worrying about the excess sponging, as I will eventually wash away the extra color when I acid etch the egg. I have also waxed over the small mariner's compasses within the vertical band so everything will be saved as the white of the egg.
The image above shows the hand painting of dyes with shading as I work on the lobster buoys. I use the sea sponge and the medium gray dye to give the illusion of well-used and worn buoys. Again, I don't worry about the excess gray dabbling outside of the lines, as the etching later will remove unwanted dye. I wax over the buoys to preserve them.
Now to the front of the egg. I have waxed and shaded the white parts of the lighthouse. I then hand paint and shade the grass, hand paint the roof with red dye, and when dry, wax over and preserve before I move onto the next step.
I shade and paint the rocks with 3 shades of gray dye and a black, then wax over those sections. I hand paint in a light turquoise dye in the outer arms of the mariner's compass, and again, wax over. After I have completed this, I then etch the egg in muriatic acid, rinse the egg, give it a polish with a slurry of baking soda to neutralize the acid, then a quick dip into vinegar and rinse and let the egg rest and the pores close up. This cleans up the egg of any over painting of the dyes that I don't want, and prepares the egg for more colors.
The next step is to give the egg a wash of dyes (much like a watercolor) and blend the blues and turquoises to give a pleasing shaded effect. I let dry and then wax over these areas.
Next, I dip the whole egg in UGS yellow dye. I wax in arms of the mariner's compass. I hand paint UGS scarlet dye around the outside of the compass. I wax over that as well.
I also wax netting lines in yellow within the small triangles in the vertical band, as well as the arms of the small mariner's compass. I also hand paint with red dye over the netting and wax the area. I then do a cold water rinse to remove the yellow dye, and I am back to a white background.
I hand paint the blues on the background of the buoys, the anchor, the small diamonds on the vertical band and the last legs of the large mariner's compass. After letting the dyes soak in and dry, I wax over the entire egg, including the bottom, where a captain's wheel resides.
Waxed side of the egg with anchor...
Waxed back of egg with lobster buoys...
Waxed front of the egg with lighthouse....and now to unwax in the oven at 175 degrees F.
Front of egg unwaxed.
Side of egg unwaxed.
Back of egg unwaxed.
Bottom of egg unwaxed.
Finished egg. I have included a photo of my own children, Chelsea and Garrett on the very same beach that my sister and I enjoyed as children. This nautical egg is a wonderful reminder of trips to the Maine seacoast that have passed, and the many trips with my own family that have yet to come.