Working with “Way Back When”…

During the Ice Age Mastodon roamed the earth from the Arctic to what is now the Tropics. To hold Mastodon bone in my hands and work with a piece that has been excavated after having been buried for thousands of years is almost overwhelming! This bone feels much like a sacred relic and I feel honored to be able to use it in my work! I have several pieces of raw bone that I’m presently refining to use in my jewelry pieces. Bringing the bone to a finished state requires a lot of elbow grease…sawing, filing, sanding, and burnishing to a glow. I also use a torch to add a bit of color to some of the pieces. Torching the bone imparts a bit of color from a warm tan to rich dark brown. It is a difficult material to drill as it can split from heat that is generated by the action of drilling and if too much pressure is applied. I have lost several pieces even though I deliberately proceed with caution as I drill the bone, which is always disappointing. Shown below are pieces of raw Mastodon bone in the process of being torched and filed.

I’ll be using these pieces as components in earrings and pendants. Stay tuned for a showing of finished works in the coming week!

~ by BarbaraBriggsDesigns on July 15, 2021.

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