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The Last Page





Etching a simple design using
Larry’s Kistky

By Larry Hagedon

When Myra asked me to do an article on etching Emu eggs using my Kistky to apply the wax resist, I was delighted at the opportunity.  I got the idea for my Vertical Kistka when I watched Pysanka artists holding their traditional Kistka like a fountain pen.   Clearly there was a need here.  I make no claims to be an expert Etcher however, and a quick (but perhaps tardy) check of the elegantly etched Emu eggs on some of the web sites made me wonder if I was in over my head.

But I had already agreed, and the eggs were in the mail, sooooo.

Emu eggs proved to be a delight to work with, the natural deep green suggesting many projects.  I have done a lot of Unicorns in other media so I decided to do a simple Unicorn head for my first Emu egg etching.  I first sketched in a rough outline with a white wax based quilter’s pencil.  I was a little worried that the quilter’s pencil outline would show after etching, but this proved not to be the case.

For my Kistka I chose a medium tip, my #3 size, to apply all of the wax.  With the vertical design of this non-traditional Kistka, you can comfortably write somewhat on the side of the egg.  This is not only a pleasant position to use but is doubly desirable as it also lessens the tendency for electric Kistky to drip.  If you have ever used the traditional style, the one you hold like a butter knife, you know the problem.  I used natural color beeswax and it was easy to see against the green.

The Unicorn was easy to draw using simple bold strokes, and a goof or two proved easy enough to conceal.  One does want to watch that the heel of the Kistka doesn’t brush the egg, especially when I forget to wipe any excess wax off after filling the tip.  A couple of extra lines hid these OK.

After I was done waxing the design, I used my Kistka to close the hole in the egg.  I simply kept running a wax bead around the hole until it was gone.

Then for the acid. This is clearly an “experience is the best teacher” kind of thing.  I donned a rubber glove and held the egg under for a half-minute or so, then brushed it down good.  I had heard that you need to be careful to not brush the wax off but I had no problem with that.  After letting it dry, I learned to not rush the acid bath.  Perhaps my acid was weak.  Back for another bath and several brushings.  Now it is etched.  Next to let it dry, yes it is turning lighter.  Yet to come, a Naptha wash to get the wax off, rinse and dry and spray with a clear coat and it will be finished.

I have more unetched Emu eggs, the creative juices are bubbling, my Kistka is hot, I am a happy camper.

Happy Etching,

Take a look at Larry's second attempt at etching - an old milk barn.

Larry Hagedon designs and manufactures tools for the egg arts. These tools include Electric Kistky in both the traditional Horizontal Pysanky design and his own exclusive Vertical Kistky. Larry also makes heavy duty Stainless Steel Lathes in four egg sizes; Pigeon to Ostrich and custom egg stands in all sizes.   All of of Larry's Kistky have easily interchangeable tips, changeable while working by using his tip tool.  These tips come in 6 sizes.  Kistky prices start at $32.00 plus shipping.

Larry Hagedon
14090 Appleton Ave. NW
Monticello, MN 55362

Ph. 612-859-8060, Fax 763-878-1376, E-mail and PayPal,

        Emu's Zine does not diagnose, prescribe or dispense medical advice.  We report and attempt to educate the public about the possible health benefits derived through the use of emu oil based products and consumption of low cholesterol, low fat emu meat.   This site contains personal testimonies and professional observations.   We encourage people to contact their family physicians regarding any health problems they may have for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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