Although mammoth ivory is one of the popular materials for luxury carvings coveted by art connoisseurs all over the world, there are hosts of other ivory or near ivory materials that are popularly collected. One of them is the ivory tusks and teeth of walrus. But another collectible is the walrus oosik, the penile bone. Though it is not exactly ivory, but the bone has been in use for centuries by the Eskimos. They had used the oosik for making tools, knife handles and picks as it is extremely dense. Found naturally in colors of dark brown to cream colors, most of these are polished at an additional cost. Some of these are carved while others are set on wood as conversational pieces.
Many artists prefer it over mammoth ivory as it is cheaper and are excellent for carving. Other artists use walrus ivory and oosik to create scrimshaws. Most of the time the broken pieces of oosik are used as knife handles while the natural shape is broad at one end and tapered at the other. This is what makes it a coveted by artists as knife handles.
Although mammoth ivory is more precious and dense, varying colors due to absorption of minerals in the soil, lends it hues of grey to green, blue and browns. Most of the ivory carvers use the natural pigmentation to highlight the carvings. The splintered ivory pieces of varying degrees are also used by carvers as handles for spoons, knives. Take a look at some of the exquisite products available in mammoth ivory and other fossil ivories.
If you are looking to know more about jewelry designing with mammoth ivory, there are systematic steps that need to be adhered to. Some of these are:
• Partial drying the ivory pieces and cutting it into smaller pieces
• Complete removal of moisture by heating it within an vacuum oven
• Steps taken to ensure the ivory remains moisture free and then the gemstones are added in predetermined spaces.
• Adhesives are used to ensure that the gemstones bond with the mammoth tusk ivory pieces.
• Polishing and shaping the jewelry pieces for sale
Though mammoth ivory jewelry is popular, but manufacturers and artists have to face the problem of cracking in mammoth ivory. From cracking ivory to popping out of the inlaid gemstones, and join separations is a common issue that artists deal with on a regular basis. This is one of the reasons that high-quality mammoth ivory jewelry is expensive.
The main reason that experts give is the exposure of mammoth ivory to permafrost, water and minerals in the ground that lead to years of expansion and contractions in the organic material making it weak and prone to warping and cracks. Additionally it has led to higher moisture content and has contaminated the pure ivory.
Another reason that makes mammoth tusk ivory jewelry fragile is the different expansion rates of the different materials like adhesives, gemstones, ivory and that leads to the separation of the different joints. However, despite the problems and care taken to ensure that mammoth ivory jewelry remains pristine, the demand has constantly grown over the years. Check out arange of unique mammoth ivory jewelry at http://www.mammothivory.info