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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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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Determining The Age Of Mammoth Ivory Tusks

As they say, old is gold, same holds true for mammoth tusks, which is the only legal ivory worldwide. With elephant being completely banned in US, the demand for mammoth ivory has risen. The increasing popularity and ease of purchase and sale, legal ivory is very similar to elephant ivory, sharing the same texture, color and luster, making it even more precious.

Age of mammoth ivory

But do you know how old is the mammoth tusk that you intend buying? Most of the experts discern the age of the tusk from the rings in the tusk. These are quite the same as tree rings but are more detailed than that. The mammoth tusks have a major line for each year and minor lines for the days and the weeks, so it pretty much well-defined. Ivory experts and scientists can tell the season when the specific mammoth died. The thickness of the ring depends upon the health of the mammoth and is studied to know which season was more favorable for growth.

Only legal ivory for trade

With enhanced global warming, the permafrost is melting faster, leading to mammoth ivory hunters bountiful harvesting of precious, antique ivory into the global market. And that is why mammoth tusk ivory is traded easily worldwide without restrictions because wooly mammoths are extinct. But it is essential to only buy from reputed dealers with years into the business as fakes abound. Take a look at some of the most unique collection of genuine ivory artifacts and sculptures at http://www.mammothivory.info

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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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