artist Michael Wilcoxen finds pleasure in the details. He's tried a variety of mediums over the years, but now enjoys hours
of delicate work carving or etching images into the fragile shells of goose and emu eggs.
Michael didn't begin carving
eggs until 2008, but he spent many years doing drawing, painting, creating clay sculptures and wood carving. In 2009
Michael's egg art was juried and accepted for display in galleries such as Tamarack in Beckley West Virginia, and The Ice
House Artists co-op in Berkeley Springs West Virginia. His work is also on display at North Mountain Arts located in
Historic Hedgesville West Virginia. North Mountain Arts features more than 40 local and regional artists.
in arts began, he says, taking normal art classes while in school. He was born in Honolulu Hawaii and graduated from London
Central High School in High Wycombe Buckinghamshire, England, in 1980.
Michael spent 15 plus years as a creative designer
and event manager for a company in Washington, D.C., where he did large-scale decorations and sculptures for corporate
At first Michael began doing filigree and scratch etching styles on goose eggs. This is done using a
high-speed turbine driven drill. It uses a 1/16th" carbide crosscut bit or diamond bits. There are additional bits
to use but he says these are his favorites. Now he also does relief or scratch etching designs on emu eggs as well.
Carving out images from a real egg shell is intricate, delicate work that can take several days to complete. It takes a very
light touch that is like gently stroking a butterfly.
All designs he creates are one-of-a- kind, some of his creations
include hummingbirds, eagles, roses and filigree images. The intention of Michaels work is to enhance the natural beauty
of the shell while striving to keep the original oval shape of the egg."
"Eggshell carving is a delicate art form that originated centuries ago in the Far East. The egg played an important part
in the life of the family. They were given as gifts for weddings, births and as collectibles. This tradition was and
still is honored in many Eastern countries. The egg is considered the source of life. Carved eggs are bestowed to honor life
and the life it uplifts."
(Eggs) combine nature's practical, yet delicate designs with the elements of fantasy
and craftsmanship. The egg is the most perfect canvas. Michael can't see himself growing weary of this new artistic
medium because there seems to be no boundaries to the ideas and creativity that can be produced on such a delicate canvas.