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About the eggs
Ostrich: The largest single cells currently on earth. Each egg holds the equivalent of 20-24 chicken eggs. The chick that hatches from this egg is the size of some full grown chickens. It takes a chick approximately three days to break out of the egg. Mom and Dad ostrich can weigh 300-350 pounds, have brains smaller than their eyeballs and reproduce during summer months. Therefore, their eggs are white to dark ivory and thick enough for a 250 pound man to stand on without breaking one. When they are carved the underlayer is a pure white. I often compare the ostrich egg to bone china. It's strong enough to hold your coffee, but don't drop it on your Saltillo tiles.
Emu: Each emu egg holds the equivalent of 8-10 chicken eggs. Mom and Dad emu weigh between 100 and 125 pounds or so. They are no more intelligent than ostriches and lay their eggs during fall and winter months. As a result, the eggs are still much thicker than chicken eggs and range in color from nearly black to a beautiful teal green. There is a story (probably untrue) that Doctor Suess wrote Green Eggs and Ham after seeing the emus and their eggs (and some of his characters have decidedly emu looking hair styles.)
When emu eggs are carved, the dark outer layer gives way to a lighter layer that varies from blue-grey to turquoise and that layer in turn is followed by a deeper layer of pure white. The dark outer layer and the pure white layers are the thinnest.
Since emu shell is thinner than ostrich, I almost always laminate it on the ostrich shell (not possible with whole eggs , of course.)
We started with just two "employees", working out of our home. Originally we had a different name, Aborigine Originals, and a presence at one small gift shop in Scottsdale and at the Chandler Ostrich Festival. Our name changed in 2000 when we became accepted as vendors at the Arizona and Sterling (NY) Renaissance Festivals. All these years later, we are still two, Claire, the artist,and TJ, husband and helper, and we are still to be found at the Renaissance Festivals although we have increased our scope in recent years. Everything is made in the USA by Claire.
Ostrich picture by Ferreri.