Are these real eggshells?
Yes, they are. Most are goose eggs, but I also use ostrich, rhea, emu, finch, quail, duck, and whatever else I can find, with the exception of wild bird eggs. They are protected by law.
How fragile are they?
Not as fragile as one would think. Most of these are goose eggs, and the bird that would have sat on them would have weighed from 30 to 45 pounds. Once the eggs have been cut, everything that is added for decoration will add strength as well. They are breakable, but not delicate. Treat them as any piece of glass or fine ceramic, and they will be fine.
Are these like the Faberge eggs?
No. Faberge did not use real eggshells. His were made of gold, silver, platinum, ground rock crystal, and other such materials. They were often enameled and were embellished with real diamonds, pearls, and other precious stones. All of the royal eggs are real eggs.
How do you cut an egg without breaking it?
I have several small tools that are specifically made for cutting eggshells. I sometimes use a Dremel. The one I use most often is very similar to a dentist's drill, except it is much faster. A Dremel spins about 30,000 rpm, and a dentist's drill at about 250,000-300,000 rpm. My egg cutter runs at 485,000 rpm. At that speed, there is virtually no vibration. The egg is powderized without the edges cracking at all.
How far in advance should I order an egg?
It would be best to give a couple of months. If Yolonda is in the middle of a show, it may be that long before she has the time to get to any new orders. But if you don't have that long, contact her anyway. Oftentimes she can have something for you within a week or two, or she may already have something made that will suit your needs.