Yes I have often wondered what I was to do with the small deer antler given to me by a friend and hunter. I had expressed interest in the antler head dress found at Star Carr, the oldest English settlement known to exist, right here on our doorstep just past the village of Seamer, Nr Scarborough along the A64; There’s a lay by and a walk down the river, it’s easy to get to. We did go and explore the area when the dig was on, most of the artifacts had been removed except some little bits and pieces, bit’s of flint and so on in margarine boxes clearly labeled. You could see the footings of the buildings quite easily and imagine the scene. The more interesting artifacts, that of barbed spears and antler head dress are currently on display at York Museum. A fascinating part of our history I’m sure you agree. Anyway I digress, Whilst I was chatting with my friend the other day who happens to be a re-en actor and local historian he spotted the antler and told me a little about it’s uses, which of course there are many; handles, needles, catapults, hooks, pendants, hangers, ornamentation, lamp stands, sacred runes, you name it, and that it was in fact bone, I didn’t realize this I felt I should have known. He himself has a chinese bone chess set, possibly water deer, and immediately gave me the idea to carve it, although I’m a little bit concerned about the dust, I may whittle a little piece of something whilst sat out in the fresh air one day, but what to carve? A chess piece? A handle for a dinner knife? Or something which has more meaning? A hunter perhaps. Or a small deer.
“How to Carve Deer Antlers Written by jessica kolifrath
How to Carve Deer Antlers
Large antlers can be carved into a variety of decorative and useful items. Male deer, or bucks, naturally shed their antlers each year after the mating season is over. Interested carvers find these antlers lying on the ground in heavily wooded areas. According to Suwanee River Ranch, deer antlers are made of bone and not keratin. Carving a deer antler into a decorative pendant or knife handle is similar to the process of carving any other type of bone, but a few differences do exist.
Things you need
Soak the antler in a 3 per cent to 9 per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension recommends this step to bleach any marks or discolouration out of the antlers, and to remove the oils that can make carving more difficult. Sit the antlers in full sun until they are completely dry.
Saw off the part of the antler you wish to carve with a hacksaw. Wear the respirator while doing so to prevent inhalation of the bone dust, which leads to a lung infection. Use a jeweller’s saw to make smaller and more detailed cuts.
Draw the design onto the bone. A soft-leaded pencil will mark the antler easily, but can be erased if the design changes or a mistake is made during the drawing.
Carve in the rough shape of the design, using a set of woodcarving knives. Antler carving enthusiast Mohawk also recommends using a craft knife. Craft knives are sharp enough to carve into the bone, and have replaceable blades that save time over having to sharpen dull edges.
Smooth out sharp edges and carve finer details into the design, using a Dremel tool. A diamond or ruby burr will create a smooth finish on the antler’s surface, and can carve the material quickly.
Seal the antler with a thin coat of linseed oil. According to Dennis Walrod, author of “Antlers: A Guide To Collecting, Scoring, Mounting, And Carving”, this will prevent the antler from cracking or peeling. The oil should be reapplied yearly, or more often if the antler is exposed to direct sunlight or rests on skin.”
This article can be found over at EHow, Thank You Jessica I may well have a go!