Ok, so here is one for you all on this thread.
The local elk farmers regularly cut the horns off the Bull elk for
safety to the animals. The elk looses its horns ( which is shed
naturally by the bull in the fall )and the remaining part of the
horns that is still attatched to the skull falls to the ground. I
have been working with a couple elk farmers to get these buttons and
have now a steady source of these. This is a fantastic piece of
materials to work with. I am only now just getting some time to do
something with this materials, but it is easily worked, I have in my
posession about 10 “buttons” that are the shed antler from farmed
I also have the antler that they cut off! A steady source for my
Also Elk do not have upper teeth, but have 2 of a sort of "ivory"
like substance that is small but I have seen a ring set in silver
with this mounted and it looked like Ivory to me.
There are only 2 of these on each animal, and they can only be
removed when PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) get to eat them!
The one source I have secured has about 185 bull elk that has to be
dehorned every year. Slightly less than that get processed for
customers every year.
I have pictures available for anyone wanting to experiment with this
materials instead of trying to get ivory. I should be able to get
more “buttons” this spring when I get out into the pastures with the
animals. ( I know my food source!)
I did some work on securing ivory for my inlays, it is a hassle more
than it is worth. I still have legal shipments of piano keys tied up
in the US after a year of CIDAW clearance work. If I was a piano
maker, it would be a lot easier that is for sure, but my name is not
Bl�thner ( who now makes their keys out of Acrylics)
There is an enviromentally concious and tasty alternative to this
Cheers… Tim Randles