Friday, July 11, 2008

eggs and other mysteries

I think this week set a record: I was in the studio every day. Hooray! I have work on the wall, I finished writing an article, I have mailed every book that was ordered, I sent off my donation to the SDA auction, and I had a wonderful two-day visit from Cindy Shaw a textile and book artist whose beautiful work you must see. Cindy lives in Thailand and we met seven years ago when we both studied with Kerr Grabowski. We've kept in touch but each summer I have been somewhere else when she came to to visit her family. This year, our schedules meshed - so she came for a play date. She brought me these hand-printed napkins in a divine box that she made, which I couldn't get a good picture of. Cindy had a chance to use soy wax, which is not available in Thailand. Naturally, she loved it. And we both screenprinted with thickened dyes using a variety of resists. I had a really mysterious result and neither of us can figure out how it happened. I decided to deconstruct a red screen over a piece of blue fabric I had printed with what looks like flour paste resist. here I am putting sodium alginate paste on the screen to release the dye. I also used some yellow thickened dye to deconstruct the screen. Here is what the fabric looks like after the thickened dye has dried. Then I steamed, rinsed, and washed the fabric. Here's what I got. Discharge? Looks that way! Since I didn't use discharge paste and didn't smell Thiox, this remains a mystery. It's in the category of "I couldn't have done this if I'd tried" - and it is very interesting, indeed. I am still scratching my head over this. Stay tuned for the next layer. Then, on the way home, we stopped at Whole Foods to pick up some necessities: kalamata olives, 12 grain bread, heavy cream, espresso coffee, and zucchini. Now I've seen all kinds of things at Whole Foods, but this beautiful display in the produce aisle stopped me cold. The sign said duck eggs. What would anybody want with duck eggs? And why were they not refrigerated? Right below the future quackers was another display: this time, teensy eggs followed by some huge ones. Dinosaur eggs? The teensy ones had a sign that said quail eggs (another mystery: what do you do with them and why would you want to have them?). And the dinosaur eggs merely had a sign that said LOCAL. Here is brave Cindy holding one of them. I was laughing so hard I am surprised the camera stayed still. We finally saw another sign that said "ostrich eggs." OSTRICH eggs? LOCAL ostriches? Another mystery. If the sign had said wild turkey eggs, I might believe it. But I haven't seen any ostriches locally - and in fact, I don't believe I have ever seen an ostrich, except in cartoons. So besides the mystery of local ostriches, the more important question is - what on earth do you do with an ostrich egg? And why would you want one?


Karoda said...

Now the egg thing has me very very curious...there are some farms here that raise ostriches but I've not seen any of the meat or eggs at any of the farmer's markets or in the stores.

I guess you can scramble the eggs or use them in omelets, possibly.

alicia said...

Quail eggs are delicious and so pretty, and often used in England as delicacies. The best way is to hard-boil them, peel them, cut them in half, put a little mayonnaise or other flavouring, and use them as little snacks with a drink before dinner.

To cook them, put them in a pan, cover with cold water, bring it to the boil, turn it off and leave them in the hot water for between one and three minutes - depending on how hard-boiled you wan them. Then run a lot of cold water on them. Peel them by cracking them all over - they are harder to peel than ordinary eggs.

Duck eggs are a bit tasteless (my daughter had some ducks!), and I have never had ostrich eggs!

Deirdre said...

If you blew out the insides (for a huge omelet) you could make some Pysanky Eggs. I bet you could even do it with soya wax.

:-D eirdre

Sandy said...

Hey- eggshells are great fun to work with! Go here:

I had collected a bowl of quail eggs (usually only available in the fall!) from WF and saved them to make a necklace. Would have loved to see all the eggs together.

As for the ostrich eggs, I guess you could make a pair of shoes after eating a huge omelet!

Gerrie said...

Question? Where are you introducing soda ash to your process (deconstructing)? fabric? dye? (I doubt it), print paste?

Just wondering?

BTW, as a former farm girl, eggs do not need to be refrigerated unless you are going to keep them around for a long time. I used to have the job of grading eggs and putting them in their proper container for sale to markets. We never refrigerated the eggs nor did the stores. I think refrigerating eggs is a phenom that came with super markets and super farms. JMHO!!

Jan said...

I used to raise ducks and find them to be just as good as chicken eggs, you wouldn't know the difference if you didn't know it was a duck egg, unless you were just frying it. They have more and whiter white. Plus they are lower in cholesterol. Someone else mentioned being able to use the ostrich egg shells for art, I am going to go take a look at the site she posted right now. I still have some peacock egg shells I have been saving for something. I never tried eating them because I was never sure how long they had been laying there when I found a nest.

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