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The Last Page

 

 

 

Artist:  Gary Gunn

First Place - Carved/Etched/Sculpted
(click on photos to enlarge)

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"Indian Wolf Egg"
This carved emu egg features two different wolves, one on each side of the Nez Percé Shaman, Yellow Bull.  The carving utilizes all three colors of shell.  The eyes of the wolves have been tinted.   

Due to a back injury which resulted in a spinal fusion, Artist Gary Gunn is unable to sit forGarygunn.jpg (23378 bytes) long periods of time in comfort.  Because of this, his art studio is equipped with a day bed in addition to a chair.  When actually sculpting an egg, he lies on his right side, propped up on the right elbow, holds the egg in his right hand and cuts with his left.  Fortunately, most of the work is merely preparatory and can be done a little at a time.  However, once the actual carving begins, the portrait must be completed.  There is no stopping point and "getting back to it later".  As you can imagine, this is an exhausting, albeit rewarding endeavor -  especially when an portrait takes 6 or more hours to complete.  

While the creative process is exciting, there is tedium.  Finding the right egg is not enough, several hours are spend sanding the area to be carved smooth.  "First you have to find a smooth emu egg.  The rough outer surface will not allow you to do a portrait.  These eggs are 1 in 50, so they are very hard to find.  Sand the dark area where the photo is to be carved with 320 grit sandpaper and then with 600 grit."  Gary goes on to say that he does a lot of custom family portraits and uses EZ transfer to apply the picture to the egg.

GeronimoYoung Chief JosephScabby BullZebra

The son of a carpenter, Gary started off playing around with left over wood scraps.  CurleyDull Knife In high school he took wood shop and later learned automotive refinishing.   As an adult he became interested in hot air ballooning and eventually found himself carving instrument panels for a growing number of balloon enthusiasts.  He took an interest in carving emu eggs when he saw the work of another artist at a show.  "I was intimidated by the delicate medium, I mean, I had been working with wood!"  Because he raises emu, he had a plentiful supply of eggs to practice on.  Several broken eggs later, he had the hang of working with the many layers of shell color (the center, teal color, may have as many as 7 layers).  Gary tells us that he uses whatever tool it takes to bring his vision to life.  A dremel will remove large areas of shell quickly, a high speed air drill is used for most of the fine work.  He will use files, knives and sandpaper as needed to blend areas and "smooth things up" to finish the egg.

Wolf
Gary's maternal Grandfather, George Hoover, was a full blooded Cherokee.  It was through him that he developed a love for American Indian history and his heritage pride.  His favorite egg to carve is one with an American Indian on it.  His website reflects this and offers a short bio of each of his subjects.  

The most difficult egg to carve?  One with fur.  

To see more of Gary Gunn's artwork, and perhaps share his talent with others by sending a post card with one of his creations on it, visit his website, Carved Eggs by Gary Gunn.

 

        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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ISSN: 1528-4395
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