As an artist who specializes in creating handmade wooden jewelry, I have always been drawn to natural materials like elk antler. These materials add unique textures, patterns, and colors to my pieces that simply can't be replicated with man-made materials.
One of my favorite materials to work with is elk antler. Elk antler is the fastest-growing mammal tissue and the only tissue that regenerates completely every year. Each year, elk grow new antlers, which are covered in a soft, velvety skin. Once the antlers have hardened, the elk will rub the velvet off on trees, leaving the antlers bare. Elk will then shed their antlers naturally and it is at this point that the antlers are collected, cleaned, and then used for various purposes.
I am always struck by the unique shape and natural beauty of elk antler. The warm tones and intricate patterns found in each piece are truly mesmerizing. The antlers also have a unique history and story to tell, as each one came from a wild animal that roamed the forest.
When using elk antler in my jewelry designs, I try to highlight its natural beauty by keeping the pieces as close to their original state as possible. I might sand down any rough spots or smooth out any jagged edges, but I try to retain as much of the natural texture and color as possible. This gives my jewelry a rustic, organic feel that I think is quite beautiful.
One of the best things about working with elk antler is that it is a sustainable and renewable resource. Elk are not harmed in the process of collecting their antlers, and the antlers will grow back each year. Additionally, elk antlers are a by-product of the hunting industry, so by using them in my jewelry, I am helping to reduce waste.
Overall, I find working with natural materials like elk antler to be both challenging and rewarding. Each piece of material has its own unique character and beauty, and it is my job as an artist to bring that out in my jewelry designs. I love being able to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces that are not only pleasing to the eye, but also sustainable and ethically sourced.