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Endangered species materials


#1
Anyone on this newsgroup know how to make a tortoise shell comb
from a real tortoise shell? Didn't think so. 

Anyone on this newsgroup want to make anything at all from an
endangered species? Didn’t think so.

More complicated issue as there are people who own materials from
endangered species before there were endangered species bans. If I
own material that predates the ban, I can make something out of
these materials, but I cannot sell them.

I have a whole elephant tusk that pre-dates the ban. I have a lot of
slabs, cross sections of tusk and chunks of tusk from when scrimshaw
was popular about 30-35 years ago. The CITES ban was started in 1989.
Google search shows that there has been consideration of lifting the
ban on elephant ivory. Theoretically I believe I can carve elephant
ivory that belongs to someone else, get paid for the work I do and
not breach the law, as the ivory is not being sold. Possession is
not illegal, it is the selling that is.

Richard Hart


#2

richard -

More complicated issue as there are people who own materials from
endangered species before there were endangered species bans. If I
own material that predates the ban, I can make something out of
these materials, but I cannot sell them 

yes, you can work with your ivory and sell it as long as you have
some provenance on its pre-ban origin. i work with and sell ivory
that was obviously old long before the ban - (yes, someone will pop
up and say “you can fake ivory to look old”, but get real, anyone
that clever has bigger fish to fillet.)

my philosophy on elephant ivory, poachers, seizure and destruction
is this: instead of destroying the confiscated ivory (which benefits
the poachers by limiting supply), they should store all of it and two
or three times a year have an auction to sell the confiscated
martial. the money gained from such auctions would then be divided
among the parks and rangers charged with the protection of elephants;
more, or better motivated, rangers should result in less poaching.

Press Article: Wildlife Conservation Society Magazine - 4 June 2005

  Not all trade in elephant ivory is illegal. U.S. law allows
  for the import and sale of elephant ivory that is antique and
  certified as being in trade before the 1989 CITES (Convention
  on International Trade in Endangered Species) ban was
  activated. 

so richard, do something beautiful with the legal ivory as a tribute
to them. they’re dead, you can’t bring them back, but you can try to
keep their image from being overshadowed by those more interested in
pointing fingers and showing their limited knowledge of the ban than
devising a workable solution to the problem.

just another point of view people -
ive

who wishes to let those who have taken upon themselves the job of
analyzing me through my posts and concluding that i display ‘anger’

  • wake up people - some of my posts express not anger but
    DISAPPOINTMENT with those of you who take the easy way instead of
    reaching just a little further.

#3

I have scrimmed pre-ban ivory and also bought figurines for resale
at local auctions. the elephants are gone not using the pre-ban ivory
and recycling it is a waste. In my opinion it is hard fact that
poaching will continue as long as there are people and elephants. I
hope the elephants outlive us.

Teri
www.corneliusspick.com


#4
they're dead, you can't bring them back, but you can try to keep
their image from being overshadowed by those more interested in
pointing fingers and showing their limited knowledge of the ban
than devising a workable solution to the problem. 

This being about ivory - Immeno1 (?). Those are true words - there’s
no arguing with the whole post, really. I used to work in a lot of
ivory, also tortoise shell. They are the most wonderful materials,
just a joy to work - I miss them, tortoise shell especially, it’s so
beautiful. However, I believe that the world at large has kicked the
ivory habit, and that’s a great thing. Probably even more so the
tortoise shell habit - even a greater thing. My take on it is simple:
Way back when, before there was plastic, if one wanted to make
something that was flexible, lightweight, non toxic, human friendly,
like a comb, say, one would use tortoise shell, which is about a close
to plastic as you’re going to find in nature. Pretty much the same
with ivory, but different uses - piano keys, billiard balls, chess
pieces (warm to the touch) - those were the main industrial (ie-large
scale) uses of ivory. Now that we have plastic, we just don’t need to
kill animals to put keys on pianos anymore, or anything else, for
that matter. I agree with the “snob” aspect - "But this is GENUINE
ivory, not {shudder} eeoooww! plastic! But then again, what is
it? It’s flexible, lightweight, non-toxic, human friendly - what’s
the big deal? Why kill a magnificent creature to make combs> that are
MORE easily made with plastic, and do the job actually even better?
Now, what the post is actually about, I believe, is artwork, which
means what to do with the 1/2 pound of old ivory in the bottom drawer,
and that’s not an issue really at all - just try to sell it!! How
many galleries here are going to show ivory pieces of any kind? The
big picture is the ivory trade, and that’s different. I agree with
almost everything Mr. Immeno1 says - that was a very rational post -
except for one thing. I don’t believe that poached ivory should be
warehoused, or sold, or metered out to the world or anything of the
kind. I think it should be burned. I am far from the bleeding-heart
anything - quite the opposite, mostly, but the less ivory (and other
such things) in circulation the better.


#5

HI Ive,

my philosophy on elephant ivory, poachers, seizure and destruction
is this: instead of destroying the confiscated ivory (which
benefits the poachers by limiting supply), they should store all of
it and two or three times a year have an auction to sell the
confiscated martial. the money gained from such auctions would then
be divided among the parks and rangers charged with the protection
of elephants; more, or better motivated, rangers should result in
less poaching. 

So you reckon that paying the rangers a bonus based upon the amount
of iv ory poached from their parks will make them stop the poachers
who are pro viding that bonus?? I think not… Also, there is a
high probability t hat many of the poachers in the African game parks
are actually relatives of the rangers. So, how about the opposite -
penalise the rangers for ev ery elephant killed in their reserve -
would that work or would the poach ers learn to tip the rangers so
that they were no worse off?? I have a sm all stock of ivory which I
obtained about 15 years ago from a closed-down cutlery factory and,
whilst I know from talking to a former employee tha t, from its
position in the back corner of a dusty and long-unused attic
storeroom, that it originates from at least the 1920’s or 30’s, I
have no way of proving that and thus cannot use it commercially -
except, perhap s, for repairing antiques where it can be blended in
with original old st uff. This is a real shame as, you might say, the
animal died in vain - ev en though I would personally never condone
killing an animal just for so small a part of its anatomy. The sooner
someone develops a reliable, affo rdable and accurate dating test,
the better. There should also be a way o f determining whether an
animal died a natural death or not as, again, be ing unable to use
parts of an animal found dead already is a real waste.

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
SHEFFIELD UK


#6
I don't believe that poached ivory should be warehoused, or sold,
or metered out to the world or anything of the kind. 

my opinion/suggestion that ivory confiscated from poachers should be
auctioned still holds: the more ‘legal’ ivory is in circulation, the
less ‘ivory exclusivity’ there will be, and there will be less profit
going to poachers. results: more live elephants.

and - again, there should be something beautiful made to mark those
already dead - put on an analogous level, look at all the gravestones
in cemeteries. my partner and i paddle to barrier islands in the gulf
of mexico in our canoe and camp on those still dry at high tide
(ocean’s rising all year round, people). on one trip i found a
manatee skull - a huge full-size adult skull. i knew immediately what
had to be done with it but considered other possibilities (at that
time i had no knowledge of any studies on manatees) - but nothing
could be justified except picking up a paddle and digging a very
deep hole and putting the skull at the bottom. so we did.

some will find fault - but, you know people, it was my personal
ethic - on the skull, and the ivory - and after developing it for so
long, i trust it enough to follow it’s path.

as my email address says: i’m me, no one else.

ive -
who asks: people, when you’re all by yourself, are you in good, enjoyable
company?


#7

Hi all,

Since this has become an “ivory” thread and nobody else has brought
it up, I will: tagua nuts have become an increasingly popular
substitute for ivory, and while you can’t carve monumental things
from them (without a lot of nuts, and glue), it seems that harvesting
"ivory" from trees would be better than harvesting it from dead
elephants. I’ll weigh in with those who feel that as long as there is
a market for real elephant ivory, regardless of its origin, there
will always be poaching. Basically, nobody needs ivory badly enough
to contribute to the decimation of a species, especially when there’s
other hard, white, carvable stuff available.

Has anybody here worked with tagua? I’ve got six tagua nuts in a box
in the basement, but haven’t tried anything with them yet.

Cheers,

Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, OH


#8

Yes, I have been working with Tagua nut for some time. Hard material
but with a lot of potential. The supply is not always consistent
:some are whiter than others.

Actually I donated a ring made out of a Tagua nut at the last SNAG
conference auction. Who did it go to ???

Linda Savineau


#9

here are some sites for the nut and legal ivory

http://www.carvingworld.com
http://www.oneworldprojects.com
http://www.ivoryworksltd.com

Also here are some wood tool supply sites that have the nut for sale
and other interesting natural and man made materials.

http://www.leevalley.com
http://woodcraft.com
http://www.pennstateind.com

Before you dismiss the wood supply check it out. They have come up
with a plastic based ivory that works about the same, the woods come
in small pieces. so the cost isn’t a lot. The acrylic material used
for pens and botle stoppers makes eye catching ear rings ect.

The closet and probably easiest source for faux ivory is the local
game supply store a standard cue ball new under $10.00US most
places. Cuts into flat disks and can be scrimshawed. If you are
going to slice the ball into slabs you need to make a wooden holding
fixture for cutting or use lapidary wax and some modified form of a
dopping block. Probably the best book for working ivory real or faux
is:

Scrishaw, Paszxiewicz S & Schroeder,
http://www.ganoksin.com/jewelry-books/us/product/1565232410.htm , Fox
Chapel Publishing 2005 around $14.95 US They also show how to cut the
cue ball.

Another source for same legal ivory is piano keys from old pre
cities treaty days. Most piano repair places used to take the ivory
off the keys when they were getting rid of the piano’s. They do sell
them check locally as the ones on flea bay tend to run higher. If you
do use the piano key slab ivory soak it water for about 20 minutes
before cutting. if cut dry it tends to split. Use a fine tooth blade
in your favorite saw frame and go slow it cuts very well. The Tagua
works just like ivory, polishes well and when you work one that is
browning it is hard for the general public to tell it is not old
ivory. Google tagua nut and it will return more about the nut and
working of it than you will want to know.

The ivory related sites have the current up to date info on working
and selling ivory and related fossil material.

glen been there done that, and probably broke it!