Eggs-perimenting with the heat press

I seem to have acquired a bit of a reputation for putting strange items in the heat press.

Last year it was sunflower seeds and pearl barley. Last week I was playing around with the turtle shape (hexagons, pentagons and quadrilaterals) in pelmet Vilene and wanted to introduce some more texture. So I added some cloves to the pentagons and eggshell to the hexagons.

The eggshell was really interesting. I put quite large pieces on the Vilene, and because it’s slightly convex there’s a satisfying crack as the heat press flattens it. It also means that the final shape is unpredictable – it depends on how it fragments. And as you can see from the white patches in the photo, the main problem is that some of the eggshell falls off as it cools.

So this week I coated the inside of the eggshell with PVA and experimented with different fabrics – felt, cotton scrim, lace, polyester organza with and without dye.

Of these, I think the felt was most effective – I like the contrast between the fragile hardness of the shell and the softness of the felt (although it tends to go quite papery in the heat press). The PVC definitely helps the shell stick more firmly, especially where there was still some membrane attached to the inside.