Monday, April 19, 2010

Creating with ivory

I'm pretty sure most people will think this is gross.

I'm also pretty sure I should think it's gross, except I'm pretty much over that.

Back when my husband had his elk skull mounted, they gave him the ivory teeth along with it. They've since been sitting on my dresser, still kind of nasty looking with bits of dried tissue on them, etc.

I decided I should go ahead and attempt to do something with one of them. The first step was to get all that dried tissue off, which is easier said than done. I tried the most logical thing first - I brushed it with a tooth brush. (The one I use for scrubbing faucets, not my own. Because I know you thought it.) The tooth brush was useless. I even tried it with some Comet. (Hey, it works on faucets.) Comet does not remove dried elk gum tissue. Just for future reference.

I took my dirty, now slightly damp tooth to my neighbor's house. This is an example of just how cool my neighbor is. I can show up at his door with a dirty elk tooth in my hand, and ask him how to clean it, and he doesn't think I'm the least bit odd. In fact, he got kind of excited, whipped out his pocket knife, and in the process of showing me how, pretty much scraped it all clean for me. I brought it home, found my husband's pocket knife, and went to town. Then I sanded it (with nail files. Finally found a use for nail files.) And buffed it. (With a nail buffer.)

When it was all clean and shiny, I took it back to my neighbor and borrowed a file to make notches in each side so the wire I was using wouldn't slide off. I just used some jewelry wire I bought at Michael's. Then I strung it with some ceramic and shell beads on some necklace memory wire. (I have no idea how to bead. I've never really done it. I realize there's an art to it. I probably failed.)

But what I have looks pretty darn cool, it seems pretty sturdy, and now I can proudly wear an elk tooth around my neck.






12 comments:

Deb said...

Oh Julie, you sincerely crack me up!!! Only YOU would think it's so cool to wear a what was it, elk? tooth??? Mercy me...

p.s. I love reading your blog!

Julie said...

LOL Deb, thanks... I think. ;o)

Just Me said...

I think it's pretty. And cool.

It's Jan! said...

How cool! You said teeth, as in plural. Does that mean you'll be making them for the girls too?

Julie said...

Thanks guys! Jan - yes, there are two ivory teeth. I'm going to make the other one into another necklace too, hubby says he doesn't really want anything made from them. If he gets another bull this year, I'll make the girls each a necklace or something.

janene said...

love it!

Crazy Homeschool Mama said...

COOOOOL!!!!

Wendy said...

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie, really nice work! Most of the male hunters I know think that having an elk's tooth is really cool. If you ever get more and might like to make me some to sell, I would love it. I love your creative ambition and attitude for life... what a wonderful woman you are!
hugs,
Aunt Diane

Julie said...

Hi Diane, thanks! Honestly, if we end up with more ivory, I'll probably keep finding ways to use it and keep it - there's something nice about having that "trophy" from a successful hunt!

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site jules138.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

Julie said...

Anonymous - I have no way of knowing who you are! Please post a link to your blog, and we can discuss a link swap. Thanks!