Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Working Antler Today

The original artifact has an impact fracture
There are a half dozen or so bone and antler pieces in the set of reproductions that I'm working on now.  Because its bound for the US, we're sticking with caribou bone and antler and avoiding all sea mammal parts.  I'm trying to get all of the pieces blanked out and started this week.  There are usually drying stages after the bone or antler is worked and again when its antiqued, so the earlier I can get those pieces finished the more likely it is that I can ship the completed set on schedule.

The pinkish versions of the artifacts in each set of 3 are the photo patterns that I made to work from.  I have many other reference photos from other angles to compare the reproductions to as the work goes on, but I find one or two paper cut outs help a lot in the workshop.  Printing these on the laser printer helps keep them legible even when I'm working wet materials.

I always hate cutting into a pristine antler for the first time, but I couldn't find any other caribou antler scraps in my work shop that would give me the shape and cross-section that I needed.  The lower beam had to come off to make a chopped section of antler.  You can probably make out the paper pattern lying on the deck and the pencil marks on the antler where I had to make the cuts.
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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