Swallow Hexagon Pendant
Hand carved from fossil mammoth tusk
Adjustable polyester cord (black <pictured> or beige, 24") hand braided and lashed in Kumihimo style the traditional Japanese art form of making braids and cords, literally meaning "gathered threads”
Hand carved (reclaimed wood) bird cinch bead slides to preferred necklace length
Silver chain (16", 18" or 20") also an option **please note that if you choose a silver chain there will be no wood cinch bead necessary or included
Carving measures 1" across, 1 1/4" tall and 3/8" thick
Birds always brighten my day. A little flick of the wing can catch the eye and bring you right into their feathery world. We have a wood block print on our wall of swallows swooping around lustrous, green hills with lines trailing behind to show the movement. This inspired me to try something similar in a carving. In the case of this pendant, instead of lines, I've carved ridges that form the landscape of the carving, making it as satisfying to touch as it is to look at. I especially enjoy the coronal effect created by the colouring and patterning innate in the tusk.
I have been fortunate to make a living from my carvings for the past 20 years. I carve from natural materials and often with themes from nature. This could be because spend a lot of time inside, in my workshop, and therefore make what I want to see, touch and walk amongst. I live in a beautiful area, Vancouver, British Columbia, as close to the wilderness as a big city can be. I do try to get out in the wilderness with my kids and breath the fresh air as often as possible. When I can't, I try to put that feeling into my work.
Fossil mammoth tusk is a magnificent medium to work with for many reasons. The material itself is very dense so it takes detail well. Mammoth tusk also has a specific grain, which is quite beautiful and differentiates it from other illegal ivory sources. The colouring is also an interesting aspect to work into a design. I like to use the surface of the tusk (called the "bark", much like a tree) as it offers a good contrast to the ivory underneath. The colour variation is endless, depending on what minerals and tannins the tusk was next to in the ground. The main reason that I like to carve from Mammoth tusk is that it has a certain mystique. Early North Americans used the whole woolly mammoth. I like to think that 10,000 to 60,000 years ago, a hunter fed his family with the meat of the mammoth and now I use its tusk to "feed" my family.
Please note that fossil mammoth is restricted in the following states: CA, DC, HI, IL, NV, NH, NJ, and NY.
It is also prohibited in India.