Monday, March 7, 2011

Mandible Fired, EFA Treasury, Showing Some Love

I've had a low couple of days, but I did manage to fire the galago mandible, as well as a medallion I made using an antique vulture button. I'm really happy with how they came out, and just need to make some final touches. These will be put on sterling chain like my other bones and medallion, but for a lot of my silver pendants I also have plans for more elaborate designs using beads and natural bones. A little something for everyone maybe, and I really enjoy putting together pieces that have a theme or are just a little more complicated to make. The mandible pic is not great, so I'll put that at the bottom after I share a couple of treasuries.

This first is an Etsy for Animals Team collection of bees including my silver and gold bumble bee:

This is a collection I made including some of my favorite people on Etsy.

And the galago mandible:

Thanks for reading, and I'll try to be cheerier next time!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Today's Project

It's all about phalanges today. I'm going to use my Christmas/Birthday present, a new Dremel, to drill holes in the toe bones from my second found fox so I can make more Dancing Phalanges earrings. At four pairs sold, they're officially my best seller, so gotta keep those stocked! This is my most recent pair, and if you click the pic you'll find a link in my listing for a cute video snippet on YouTube.

Dancing Phalanges

I also currently have more pieces molding for some kind of silver toe bones and claws creation, maybe a necklace and earrings set. These are from a king penguin, and the biggest claw is over an inch long! I made the mistake of not using enough molding compound in an effort to conserve, so I actually had to roll some extra onto the bottom of four of the molds to thicken them. A phalanx had gone through one, but it seems to have made a nice seamless patch and hopefully won't affect the surface of the silver. Anyway, here's the set in the lovely blue silicone compound. You can see how good I am at keeping my nails from digging into it.

I woke up this morning to a nice surprise, and I hope you'll take a few moments to check it out in support of the curator and all the wonderful Etsy shops. Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Newest Mandible

The last few weeks have been an exciting time for me thanks to a very kind person who offered to share some of their teaching collection of natural bones and Bone Clones®. Bone Clones® are resin replicas cast from real bone, and the brand has become highly respected by educators for their exacting standards and detailed reproductions. The natural bones, many exotic, were obtained legally and humanely. This is important to me, and I trust my source, who has good reason to have the bones in the first place.

I've been doing a lot of molding, but I'm anxious to have a finished piece, a gift of thanks for the opportunity. My first project is a galago, or bushbaby, mandible. I had to go with this one first, because it's so interesting compared with other mammal jaw bones. Galagos, along with lemurs and lorises, are in a special group of primates which have a toothcomb. The structure is in the front of the mandible, and in the galago consists of four lower incisors and two canines [three on each side]. These teeth aid in grooming by removing dirt and matted hair. In the topmost picture below, you can see the incisors peeking out from behind the largest forward pointing tooth, which is the canine.

It would be nice to have a casting machine so I could make true 3D reproductions, but I really enjoy the process of molding by hand. Even though it's more work to pick up the details of the bone, trim the excess clay, and angle and smooth the edges, there's a connection to the bone that I think I'd miss using a machine. I can only hope there are people out there who appreciate that aspect of my pieces enough to maybe buy someday! In the meantime, I'm having a lot of fun, and am so grateful for the inner motivation and external opportunities which allow me to do it.

My dad has dubbed my mandibles the 'Jaws Line', imagine that! I know there are more popular items out there, but I just love that I have enough jaws to continue to develop a little line. If you're interested, you can see my finished ones by clicking the pics below.

Fine Silver Hedgehog Mandible

Fine Silver Squirrel Mandible

Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

My Dear Readers