Monday, May 19, 2014
From the Vault: A Shaman's Necklace...
I was told that harvesting walrus ivory was illegal now, but that these pieces were dug up from old hunting sites. These pieces had been grandfathered in. They could only be procured by the native tribes and had to be traded for.
I put them in my plastic organizer and there they sat for almost ten years. They traveled with me up and down the eastern seaboard and through the wilds of Brooklyn. I would take them out on occasion and would think of the things I would make with them, but then would scoop them up in the baggies and put them away again.
And then a friend named Kathy Van Kleeck mentioned a site where she got her diamond-head drill bits. I ordered some and put them away with the shards of fossilized walrus ivory. And there they sat a little longer.
Finally the day came where I drilled the pieces. Some turned out better than others. The ivory has a natural grain to it and the rough pieces would sometimes crack. I did manage to get a handful of nice specimens. I put them back in the bag and there they sat a little while longer.
Recently I was cleaning out my toolbox, when I came across the drilled shards. I poured them out and started to arrange the irregular daggers... and then I made this piece. I paired the fossilized walrus ivory with faceted fuchsia labradorite, aluminum-banded ebony, sterling silver and garnet rondelles. The clasp is an old sterling silver one from my family at Green Girl Studios that I harvested off of an old design that was in a magazine.
I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. It took awhile... much longer than I thought it would, but it finally came together many years later.