Carving With Mammoth Tusk Ivory

If you are wondering about the beautiful status that you saw online with intricate details on pure mammoth ivory and how it was done. Here is a brief about carving antique ivory. You need to know that it is not done by amateur sculptors but only some of the very best sculptors in the world are capable of working on the precious mammoth tusk ivory.

The old techniques used adz, ax and chisel to remove the outer bark of the tusk while the bow saw is needed to cut the tusk into smaller sections. From gauges, hand chisels to fretsaws have been used to crave the mammoth ivory tusks. The changes came with the introduction of electric rotary saws of different sizes that cut and peeled away the tough bark of the ivory and dental drills are used for intricate carvings.

It is not easy to carve mammoth tusk ivory as it is solid yet delicate and easy to break due to the erosion of moisture under the permafrost. Some of the mammoth tusks have traces of minerals that are exhibited as blue and green pigmentation. Most of the artists use the coloring to their advantage by carving the design such that it highlights the beauty of the sculpture. If you are looking for expertly crafted mammoth ivory sculptures, figurines and artwork, check out the available collection at http://www.mammothivory.info

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More About Mammoth Ivory Seven Lucky Gods

The Seven Gods of Luck and Good Fortune, Shichi Fukujin are originally a part of Japanese tradition. They represent Dignity, Honesty, Amiability, Longevity, Fortune, Happiness and Wisdom. An amalgamation of Buddhist, Taoist, Hinduism and Shinto saints which became an integral part of the folklore of Japanese, the Gods were grouped around 17th century as Seven Lucky Gods.

As per the traditional representation of the legend as found in historical documents, the Seven Lucky Gods travel in a ship, Takarabune which was filled with precious gems and treasures, coming up from the sea, spreading happiness and good fortune to everyone. It is considered that if you put a picture of Shichi Fukujin under your pillow at night on 31st December for a better fortune in the New Year. The Seven Lucky Gods has Ebisu, Daikokuten, Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Hotei, Jurōjin, and Fukurokuju.

Laughing Buddha or Hotei is the God of Happiness and is known to be generous with gifts for people as is known as Japanese Santa.  While Jyuroujin (God of Longevity) is represented as old man with staff and has a few animals accompanying him.  Fukurokujuzin (God of happiness, wealth and longevity) is a vagabond and philosopher who survive without eating.

Bishimon (God of warriors) holding a pagoda and spear in each hand, symbolizes gifts and guards the treasures. While there is one Goddess, Benzai or Benten which means flowing water, she personifies art, beauty and charm. The God of fishermen and traders, Ebisu has a large belly and is usually happy and laughing. He carries a fishing rod and fish. And the last God in the pantheon is Daikoku. He is the God of the House especially the kitchen. This is considered the center of wealth and is seen carrying a mallet.   Check out the beautiful mammoth tusk ivory Lucky 7 Gods at http://www.mammothivory.info

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What Products Are Crafted From Mammoth Tusk Ivory?

Have you seen that beautiful antique wooden table with the delicate paisley designs in ivory, with the Oriental touch? Well, that is just one of the examples of what mammoth ivory produces.  The solid material which is soft enough to be carved in delicate designs, ivory is not restricted to just mammoth ivory but elephant ivory, fossil ivory like walrus and whale teeth have been used since time immemorial. Archeologists have found needles and crude sculptures made from ivory.

Today there are a plethora of objects that are carved from solid mammoth ivory including sculptures, netsuke, jewelry, scrimshaw, snuff bottles, religious symbols, knife handles, chess sets, hair sticks, guitar picks and even miniature dollhouses. High quality large tusks are sold raw or carved completely by highly skilled artists. These are sold for thousands of dollars while the tiny pieces are used as knife handles and piano keys. Nothing is wasted.

The centers for ivory carving remain in China and Hong Kong where traditional skilled ivory carvers have passed down these skills through the family. The impact of the Oriental themes is prevalent throughout the range of different sculptures. Today if you buy mammoth ivory products which are legal worldwide as the woolly mammoths are extinct, you are investing in an heirloom. This is due to the fact that mammoth ivory is a limited resource.

You can just walk into a jewelry store with contemporary designs and it is easy to spot the precious mammoth ivory beads. Or just look online and you’ll be amazed at the vast collection of mammoth ivory products and sculptures at http://www.mammothivory.info

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How To Date Colored Mammoth Ivory?

Intense studies and lab research has shown that mammoth tusks that were frozen in clear waters resulted in white ivory even after polishing and cutting has been done. The large crosshatch pattern or Schreger lines are clearly visible in mammoth ivory as compared to the inherent patterns on elephant ivory.

For minerals colors to seep in from the soil to the ivory takes at least 10,000 years and when you see a dark piece of ivory or hues of colors on the outer mammoth tusk, know that it has been there for a long, long time. The darker the color and penetration to the inner layers means that it has been buried in mineral rich permafrost for the longest number of years.

Another way to date mammoth ivory is by the hardness levels. Considering that mammoth ivory is not fossilized due to the fact that the core element still remains ivory and have not been replaced by minerals that lead to petrification, it can be carved. With the minerals of the soil in which the ivory is buried work up the ivory a few millimeters over thousands of years, dating colored ivory is easier than before. But if the permafrost melts and the mammoth tusks are exposed, the ivory dries up quickly and becomes useless and flaky. This is due to the exposure to direct sunlight which robs the ivory of its inherent moisture and temperature difference leads sudden brittleness. Usually ivory is dried very slowly and that stops it from crumbling.

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Repairing Mammoth Ivory Products

Though mammoth ivory is solid, sometime over a period of time, it may require some repair. Or if you have heirlooms of elephant ivory and mammoth ivory, they may have tiny cracks which need to be filled. Sometimes, even missing parts are again carved and attached to make it look like new.

When repairs are made, the closest possible colored ivory is used, matching the texture, color and density so that the repair goes unnoticed. Only extremely skilled artists work on restorations as they have innate understanding of legal elephant and mammoth ivory, apart from carvings. To start with, an estimation si provided to the customer and if it approved, the process starts. The ivory pieces are cleaned, unless the customer doesn’t want it. The remnant of old layers of glue and other add-ons are removed. Usually a skilled art restorer or sculptor working on restoring ivory takes about 1 to 2 weeks because it is delicate work requiring articulated work.

Ivory has been a precious material for artwork since ages and continues to be an upmarket material for sculptures. After elephant ivory was banned in 1989, mammoth ivory has replaced it completely but there are innumerable people in possession of pre-1989 elephant ivory that require care but sometimes, repairs. That is why it is important to only select elephant and mammoth ivory restorers that have extensive experience in the industry. Regardless of the ivory sculpture’s age, restorers and artists can repair the art piece. But if you are looking for  new mammoth ivory artifacts to add to your collection, don’t forget to check out an impressive range of handcrafted mammoth tusk ivory at http://www.mammothivory.info

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