Here are the steps I use to cover an egg. For this egg, I will be using slices of my anemone canes for my design.
Here is a prepared medium sized egg, along with the tools I will use; clay blades, small ruler, and a thin acrylic rod for smoothing cane slices onto the egg.
Next, I roll out a thin sheet of scrap clay on the #6 setting of my Atlas pasta machine. The height of the strip is approximately the same as the egg, + 1"/2.5cm on each end. the width is the same as the widest part of the egg, or 'equator'.
Since I will not be covering the entire egg surface with cane slices, I roll out a very thin sheet of black clay on setting #7, then trim off the excess black so it is the same size as the scrap.
I wrap the clay sheet around the egg, black side facing out, and smooth the seam where they join by using my acrylic rod and my fingers.
Then I cut 8 vertical slits on the top and bottom of the egg.
Starting at either end, I fold over each slit and trim the overlapping pieces with my clay blade. I smooth each seam with my acrylic rod before trimming the next piece. Sometimes I trim the top overlapping piece, sometimes the bottom, whichever is easiest.
Once the bottom and top of the egg are covered, and the seams 'erased', I roll the egg (gently!!) between my palms to smooth it further. If there are any air bubbles, I slice through them with my blade and press the air out.
although I will be applying the cane slices randomly, I use the side of my ruler to lightly score sections of the egg to indicate approximately where I will place the different cane designs.
I have selected 4 of my 'anemone canes' and reduce these to a small size, approximately 1/4" (.63cm) in diameter.
I cut very thin cane slices and apply each pattern to a scored section of the egg. I use my acrylic rod to smooth each slice onto the egg. I work on 3-4 slices at a time and try not to overlap them.
Once the egg is covered with cane slices, I look for any lumps, bumps, and fingernail marks, and use my acrylic rod and/or fingers to smooth them out. I then do a final smoothing by carefully rolling the egg between my palms.
Before baking the egg, I use a very fine sewing or beading needle to poke a tiny hole through the clay and the hole underneath to allow for air expansion inside the egg.
The egg is baked for 20-25 minutes at 265 degrees F/130 degrees C. Once it has cooled, I sand it with medium, fine, and super-fine grit sanding sponges. I frequently run my fingers over the egg surface to check for rough spots or raised areas. It pays to be fussy !
When the egg is sanded smooth, I buff it with my Foredom bench grinder using an unstitched muslin buffing wheel. As you can see, the egg is nice and shiny, no varnish needed !
Looks good, huh ? What you cannot see in the photo, however, is the dent I made when I dropped the egg on the floor while I was taking it out of the oven ! I highly recommend the use of potholders !