Collectable Egg Baskets Are Not Just for Easter

San Angelo, TX - While we usually think of Egg Baskets as containers for the brightly colored chicken eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny; the ones created by artist Tina Boes are much more adult. The Muskegon Michigan artist is one of a growing number of carvers that utilize the most delicate of all mediums – the eggshell. Using a high-speed drill, Boes turns ostrich and other ratite eggs into collectable baskets and other works of art.

According to Boes, ostrich eggs are more forgiving of mistakes than emu eggs. “With emu eggs, if you err on the top layer, it is just gone,” says Tina. “Because ostrich eggs are so much thicker, they can be worked with if you make a mistake with the drill.” On the downside, she says that working with ostrich and rhea eggs can be difficult due to the similarity of color throughout the thick shell. “Unless you are doing a filigree style cutting, you have to get very close to the ostrich or rhea shell to see what is happening,” says Tina. The subtle differences between the creams and whites of the egg may be difficult to see during the actual carving due to the egg dust, but the detail is exquisite in the finished basket.

According to Boes, she enjoys working with emu eggs because of the different color layers. The dark green outer covering varies from hunter green to almost black. The middle color is a teal green, the inside a bright white. The teal is actually as many as 7 subtle layers of color, each about the thickness of a sheet of paper. These different layers of color can be utilized to add texture and depth to artwork and make even a simple design dramatic.

Boes teaches egg carving one-on-one in her home studio, but she recently agreed to teach six classes of ten students each. The classes are being sponsored by the Montana Emu Association and will be held in conjunction with the American Emu Association Convention in Missoula, MT July 5-7. Students do not have to be members of AEA, but do have to pre-register for the class. The classes will deal only with emu eggs, which have three layers of color with which to work. Although Tina now uses a high-speed drill, she will be teaching the class using a Dremel. “High speed drills are faster than Dremel,” says Tina, “but the burrs used are the same and what you learn in the class can be applied to working with the high-speed drills.”

For more information on Tina Boes and her art, visit her website at For more information on the emu egg carving classes sponsored by the Montana Emu Association, call Myra Glick at 360-491-2349 or email

The American Emu Association is a non-profit trade association representing the emu industry. The emu industry is an alternative agricultural industry, dominated by the small farmer, who is devoted to humane and environmentally positive practices that will produce beneficial products for society. For more information about the American Emu Association (AEA) or the emu industry visit or call 541-332-0675.