After my appearance on The Martha Stewart Show I got a lot of questions about how to empty an eggshell. There is more than one method. For example I know the show page suggests using a plastic device made by Blas-Fix designed especially for this. I have never tried it. I have my own quirky method that I have been using for years and years. It works for me and I am not likely to change my ways now! I find that my method keeps the shell from cracking while I am smoothing out the seams between poly clay pieces applied to the surface. If you are curious how I do it, please read on:
1. Purchase pretty eggs at the store. I really do pick my eggs by shape at the grocery!
2. Once I have them home I choose the most pleasingly shaped eggs from the carton and leave them out for an hour or so to warm up a bit. Warmer eggs are much easier to blow out than cold ones.
3. I use this salt and pepper drill from Kemper Tools . This drill has two sizes of drill bits. Using the smaller bit, drill a hole at the top of the egg. You may have to use some pressure to get the drill started but try not to punch a hole all the way through, twist the drill to create the hole.
TIP: Hold the egg up and twist it back and forth a little while positioning the drill to find the true center at the top.
The drill creates a perfectly round hole. It is my theory that having the hole be perfectly round helps the shell maintain its integrity therefore making it less susceptible to cracking later on. In fact if I do crack an egg, it is usually while drilling the hole. In the 15 or 20 years I have been making poly clay eggs I have cracked no more than 4 shells while applying the clay.
4. Using the other end of the Kemper tool, drill a larger hole in the bottom of the egg.
5. Poke a wire (this is an unfolded paper clip) inside to break the membrane around the yolk.
6. Blow! I used to play trumpet so I may have an advantage :) I know it's better not to puff your cheeks out or you will get that soreness up around your ears. You don't have to get all the egg out in one breath. The membrane will probably get caught up in the hole and plug it. You can stop, tilt the egg sideways to clear the blockage, wipe the top hole with a paper towel and continue or...
...if the membrane is already coming out the bottom hole you may have to pinch it and pull it out by hand.
7. Once the shell is empty, under running water, gently twist the drill bit in and out of the holes to clear away any membrane from blocking the holes which would trap water inside and prevent the shell from drying out properly
8. Plug the bottom hole with your finger and run a tiny bead of water into the shell. Shake the water around for a bit to clean it out. Blow the water out and dry the shell with a paper towel.
9. Dry the shells for a few days in an egg carton. Any water trapped in an eggshell will ruin your poly clay application.
That's it! Cheers :)