Turquoise Dragon Egg

Turquoise dragon egg in its holder. They are both very shiny. The egg is smooth and covered in square patterns formed by horizontal and vertical ridges.

Primary materials for egg: Newspaper, tape, toilet paper, glue, joint compound, wood filler, acrylic paint, epoxy.
For holder: Toilet paper, glue, joint compound, rocks, acrylic paint, epoxy.

Just about on the day I finished my first dragon egg, I went to an art-supply store and learned about interference paint, which changes color and opacity depending on the angle of view. I immediately thought that would look cool on an egg shape, because the curves would mean that sections are always coming in and out of opacity.

Besides using the new paint, I also wanted to try making this out of toilet paper instead of paper napkins like the first one.

The basics of the construction are pretty simple: a newspaper and tape core, covered in toilet-paper mache. Because the first egg was so rough and irregular, I wanted to make this one much more smooth, even, and symmetrical.

Dragon egg rotated slightly, surrounded by dry leaves with mossy stones in the background.
Dragon egg inside a hollow formed by cedar tree trunks.

For extra smoothness I decided to try coating it with wood filler. That worked great to even out imperfections in the papier mache, but it created a new problem: wood filler is more designed for knot holes than for thin cosmetic coatings, and it was on so thin in parts that it could flake off quite easily. On top of this, my design has bumps on the egg where it fits into the holder, and I could foresee the bumps quickly losing their wood filler and paint.

To seal in the wood filler I coated the egg in layers of glue and then primer, which did the trick, but then the paint wouldn’t soak in! Yeah I could paint it, but it was way too fragile to be practical even as an art piece.

That’s when I got the idea of completely eliminating the problem by coating the whole thing in liquid epoxy. This was its own learning experience, but in the end, I’m happy with the result and feel like I’ve expanded my skill set.

Here’s a funny thing with this project—it has almost no interference paint! By the time I got to that step, I had painted the egg turquoise and liked how it looked, so I didn’t want to cover it up. There’s only a very light layer of lilac interference paint. This actually provides an interesting subtle visual element, but it’s too faint to really see here. For the look I originally envisioned I’ll probably have to make a third egg. We’ll see!

Top of dragon egg close up. Speckling details visible.
See those hints of purple on the ridges? That's the interference paint.

Side view of holder without the egg. It is blackish with golden metallic highlights, shaped like a bowl with claws on its base, and interwoven ridges up the side.

As for the holder, it went through various design iterations. I didn’t want to repeat what I did for the first egg, and I thought of making a triangle or cube for the base, but in the end decided to go for a bowl shape. I glued rocks to the bottom for its feet. I then built up some fairly simple designs on the bowl and around the rocks. I wanted it to look good, but the egg is the star.

All steps relating to wood filler and sealing and epoxy are the same here as for the egg.