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Eggs - Carved & Painted

On this page we are introducing you to a unique Australian Art medium, which is Emu Egg Carving and arguably the "Best Emu Egg Carver in the World" - Maurice Mickelo.

At Tjuringa, we are especially conscious of maintaining the involvement of Australian aboriginal people with the emu industry.  Consequently we are honoured to have Maurice Mickelo from Wondai in Queensland as the person who carves our emu eggs.  (However he also paints and at the bottom of this page is an example of a commissioned painting which was 1 of a set of 3 of the Barambah Dreamtime Legend.)

                  

Maurice was born at the Cherbourg Community near Murgon in 1965 and has since spent the last 37 years working and living in many places in Queensland.

Over the years he has:

  • * worked in a boomerang factory painting aboriginal designs
  • * started Bralbin Arts with 3 other artists from Cherbourg;
  • * had an aboriginal art exhibition at Noosa as well as being involved with the Brisbane EXPO in 1988;
  • * taught aboriginal art.

However it was in 1981 when he discovered his greatest talent when he started working at the Cherbourg Emu Farm - which was the first Emu Farm in Queensland. It was here, whilst watching one of the older workers on the farm carving emu eggs with a pocket knife, that he taught himself to carve emu eggs.

The egg shell itself contains up to seven different shades of colour, ranging from white to deep emerald green, therefore making it ideal for carving.  The shell has a smooth surface perfect for painting or sculpture in decorative art work.

Look at this example of a series of eggs representing the Glasshouse Mountains Legend portrayed in Carved images on 3 emu eggs:

              

You can see from these examples of Maurices’ work included at this site (and on the shop pages) that Maurice creates carvings with amazing detail, which is so lifelike that you can almost feel his images looking at you.  Maurice can also carve images on to Eggs.  However these are more expensive as they take a lot more time and his natural artistic talent is not allowed to express itself.  Here are some other examples:

   

These carved eggs make a fantastic gift and we have one major buyer of Maurice's carved eggs that buy them as a "Unique Australian Gift for their Corporate Overseas Executives".

“Since 2011 we have purchased a variety of carved emu eggs from Tjuringa Emu Farm.  They have been used as gifts for departing senior executive staff who have continued their international oil and gas industry careers after their time with Arrow Energy.  These unique gifts have been very well received and remain treasured reminders of time working in Australia.  We have been happy with the quality of each egg purchased.”

 -Arrow Energy-

Prices vary depending on whether they have been commissioned (around $1,100.00 per egg) or eggs that have been carved of Indigenous Australian people and wildlife (between $660.00 to $770.00 per egg).

Please visit the shop to see what eggs are currently available or contact us direct to place an order for an egg to be carved.

For people interested in learning how to carve Maurice can also be contracted to teach.

Emu Eggs Background Information

A pair of emu breeders can lay up to 15 eggs in their first year and 20 plus in subsequent years.  However this varies from season to season and a budgeted figure of around 8-10 eggs per year is a safer target.

               

As a food, emu egg  is a culinary delight being the equivalent of 10 to 12 standard 50 gram poultry eggs and lighter in consistency. Delicious for use in quiches, omelettes and sponge cakes. (Imagine how many people you could feed with just 1 egg!).  If refrigerated, eggs stay fresh for up to one year, which means that continuity of supply can be maintained, even though emus only lay in the winter months.

(As emu eggs are more valuable converted to chickens, availability of eggs for food is strictly limited.  They are only obtainable from farmers wanting to impress guests with exotic foods that are not obtainable at restaurants and other food outlets.)

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