Elk Antler/ Ivory/ Buttons

i normally don’t respond to posting here - but I feel that I need to
on this one. Tim - you need to check with your local wildlife and
game officials about the legality of selling the elk horns and teeth.
If you are not careful you could get in very BIG trouble. In some
states it is not legal for non Native Americans(Indians) to sell
these kind of supplies - there are also federal regulations regarding
some of these things - Please double check everything before you start
seeling them - I wouldn’t want to see you get in trouble for just
trying to make a few dollars - ok! DM

Hi Tim, I am also interested in the Elk products, a friend of mine
will be in Edmonton soon and I would like to send her your way to
pick up some if possible. Your email address didn’t go through for
some reason, if I can send her to meet with you, please email me
directly with how to get in touch with you locally.

Thanks! Marta in Sacramento, CA

Hi Folks,

A lot of the conversation on this topic has followed the line about
the teeth, but I think the antler “buttons” are the prize! There was
an article I clearly remember from a 70’s issue of Rock & Gem
magazine using one, from a deer, to make a great bola tie. It could
obviously be adapted to other projects, as well.

At the base of the antler, where it separates from the head, the
antler flares out into a flower-like form that’s really amazing. You
can cut it off the antler with a hack saw, and flatten the two sides,
ending up with a disk shape, with a wild, organic fringe on it. Sand
and smooth the flat surfaces. Even polish with ZAM, and if desired,
stain with shoe polish… wiping off excess after the desired color
tone is achieved.

Use a gemstone template to scribe an appropriate size circle on the
flat (previously cut) surface, and grind it out with in inverted cone
burr, to create a vertical wall “seat” for a stone. Then use the same
template to mark a stone to be cut for the hole. I recall the
original project used chrysocolla… I did one last year using
Deschuttes jasper (no photo handy :frowning: ). The stone can be epoxied into
place, or drill four small holes around the perimeter of the seat and
epoxy wire prongs into place to secure the stone. Epoxy or rivet the
appropriate finding(s) to the back side.

The bola tips were also made from the antler tips. A section (~1.5
inches) is cut from the tip of the antler and the cut end ground
smooth and flat. A short section of stone (slab thickness), slightly
larger than the diameter of the tip, is epoxied onto the end. After
the epoxy has cured, the stone section is ground to be like a smooth
continuation of the antler segment, then polished. The tips were
attached to the bola cord using a section of silver tubing that was
cut and flared (like a squash blossom) and riveted or epoxied to the
point of the antler tip.

One of the cool things about this project is that the “button” is
obviously organic in nature, but few people will recognize what it
actually is. I hope this helps give someone out there a creative
“jolt!” :slight_smile:

All the best,


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)