What Are the Different Types of Egg Art?

J.M. Densing

There are many different types of egg art, which is the practice of decorating eggs to produce beautiful creative works. The practice of decorating eggs dates back prior to recorded history and is present in many cultures, frequently symbolizing life and renewal. The decorating process can involve blowing out the contents of an egg, thereby leaving the shell which can then be painted, carved, or beaded. Examples include Ukrainian "pysanky" eggs, and creations in the style of Faberge. The resulting creation can have a folk art feel to it or can be a dazzling item worth a great deal of money.

Egg art can be very colorful during the Easter holiday.
Egg art can be very colorful during the Easter holiday.

As a traditional form of artistry, egg art has been in existence in some form since before recorded history. In many cultures around the world, people have created unique works of art by decorating eggs and giving them to others as gifts. Frequently this practice is related to the season of spring, and the Christian holiday of Easter, and many types of bird egg can be used such as goose or ostrich. In many instances, the egg has a traditional symbolism, representing life, renewal, and rebirth or resurrection. The egg contents are usually removed by blowing them out through tiny pinholes in the shell prior to the decorating process.

Food coloring is used to dye eggs.
Food coloring is used to dye eggs.

One of the many forms of egg art is known as pysanky that it originated in the Ukraine. These eggs are usually very colorful, with deep rich hues of red, blue, and black as well as lighter shades like yellow for contrast. Designs are varied, but they can be geometric or feature themes from nature such as animals and floral plants. The egg art is created with a technique called wax resist, in which the design is made in layers. The first layer of the design is drawn on each egg in wax, the egg is then dipped in the lightest color dye, and the steps are repeated several times, thereby adding more detail and increasingly deeper hues. Only the parts of the egg that aren't waxed absorb each new color, and finally the finished product is revealed after all the wax is removed.

Another form of egg art involves intricate carving of the shell, often creating incredibly detailed scenes on larger eggs. This can be done with hand tools, but contemporary laser cutting devices have increased the design possibilities. Delicate egg shells can be painted with colorful pictures and designs with precise details. Egg art can also be created in the style of Faberge by affixing gems or beads to the shells so that the creations resemble the famous jeweled eggs that were made for the Russian nobility in the time of the Czars. Some artists even create openings in the shells with carved, sculpted, or painted scenes on the inside

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


@bythewell - One of my favorite books when I was a child was called "The Wicked Enchantment" and featured a woman who made beautiful Easter eggs in a town where giving Easter eggs had been forbidden. Every year she would paint one egg in particular with an amazing, one of a kind scene for everyone to enjoy at the party she held, and then she would eat it.

I don't think I'd be able to do that. I would never even eat sugar art eggs when I was a kid, because they were so beautiful.


@pastanaga - I guess I've never thought about it, but a goose or an ostrich egg must have been an almost irresistible canvas for certain kinds of artists. Anyone who wanted a pure, delicate, relatively perfect shape to start from, for carving or embellishing, or anyone who wanted a unique place to paint pictures.

I actually do remember blowing eggs when I was a kid before we would dye them for Easter, because my mother was paranoid about us eating the eggs with too much dye on them. She would make us scrambled eggs, rather than boiling the eggs and we would use crayons to make patterns on the shells.

But that was fairly difficult, because the shells were empty and were crushed very easily. We learned a very light touch.


Some of the artworks I've seen online created by laser cutting goose eggs are just beyond belief. I can't imagine the time and skill it would take to make them by hand, if that was even possible. In fact, I assumed that they were made from plastic at first, because they were so delicate.

I would be terrified to own something like that. All it would take is one wrong move and your egg art carving would be shattered beyond repair forever.

Post your comments
Forgot password?