Monday, February 14, 2011

Overdrawn at the Mandible Bank

They do withdrawals too!
I contacted the Wildlife Division last fall about getting 9 caribou mandibles and today I picked up a cardboard box with 19 caribou jawbones in it!  Its more than I need, although I'll need to do a little bit of re-arranging to get exactly the elements that I'm after.  Hunters in the province submit the jawbones of moose and caribou so that the age of the animal can be determined by provincial biologists.  Only two teeth are extracted for the aging study and the rest of the bones are disposed of.

Box of slightly used caribou jawbones
The reproduction that I'm working on has the front end of 9 caribou mandibles hanging from a leather belt.  The mandibles on the artifact have all of the teeth intact, so I need to swap some teeth around to fill in the missing incisors on that jawbones that I end up using.  These are the last pieces of hard to find animal parts on my shopping list, and except for a brass tuna harpoon head on its way from Florida, I have everything that I need in hand to finish all the reproductions in the Central Arctic set.

Faux polar bear (top) & real wolf teeth
I also need to use two of the extra caribou incisors as fish fins on an antler fishing lure.  The original lure was made on a polar bear tooth.  Polar bear teeth are possible to obtain, but they can be expensive.  To save on cost, the client asked me to use antler instead.  The larger "tooth" in the photo is a piece of antler that I'm in the process of finishing to look like a polar bear tooth.  The smaller tooth is from a wolf and I'm using it as a reference to match the colour and texture of my faux bear tooth.  Two of the caribou teeth will be tied to the lure with sinew threaded through the holes in the middle.  They would have flapped like fins in the water.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails