Kathy Mand Beck's immersion in egg artistry began with the purchase of a high-speed dental drill.
After reading an article about a woman who used a similar device to carve designs in glass, the Wauwatosa native thought the tool could be used to create a new form of egg art.
Beck uses the drill to imprint designs into a hollowed out egg and adds color to the carved shells with acrylic paint. An egg's surface, she says, is "very durable" and can easily withstand the pressure of a drill.
"Egg is the strongest shape in the world," she said. "It's nature's perfect package."
Beck designs and sells a variety of birds' eggs, including goose, duck, swan, rhea, emu and ostrich. She also owns Dovetail Gallery in Egg Harbor, off Highway 42. Her work is featured at retail shops and galleries around the world.
"Egg art is one of the oldest decorative mediums in the world and people aren't very aware of it except for a few of the people that do it at Easter," Beck said. "Easter seems to be the time for nature and new beginnings."
Beck's eggs sell for $45 to $60, depending on whether they're carved, painted or both.