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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Fossil Ivory Bracelets
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Fossil Ivory Bracelets
MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-06 02:46 am   Permalink

I live in the upper regions of the Arctic in Alaska. Most of the small Inupiaq Eskimo villages have 80% unemployment; How do large families survive ? Arts & Crafts !

I would like to post samples of our work. We teach many children in many different villages in the Arctic; Point Hope (home) Kotzebue & Barrow.

How do you take fossil ivory that looks like this:



These are the 3 slices of ivory that were used to make this gorgeous stunning fossil bracelet

Want to learn a simple secret about ivory that not too many people know ?

How do you suppose that saturated color change took place? Any ideas ??

It happens overnight; when you .. .. soak the pieces of ivory in 'baby oil' it brings out the faint hues that are present in fossil ivory!!



Anyone can do this; We have been teaching children for many years; Believe it or not; It only takes less than two days to become very proficient at doing this.



If possible I sure would love to teach members how to do this @ home.



 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 855
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2011-07-06 03:04 am   Permalink

I am so far from Alaska, you have no idea. However, i like your work.

 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-06 12:13 pm   Permalink

Location has nothing to do with Ivory!

You are "down under" Swizzle.

I am @ "The top"! (of the world). Who would ever think, that you & I would ever meet ? But thanks to the new technologies that are present. We get to share!

If you can read these words; then you can purchase ivory and learn how easy it is to make gorgeous fossil ivory bracelets in your spare time.

For those that are not sure: Yes there are laws concerning ivory; Let me make it very simple for you to easily understand and comprehend.

Fossil Ivory; Mastodon Ivory; & Mammoth Ivory have no laws or restrictions of any type.
Anyone may purchase, sell, carve, possess. etc. There are no laws.

Elephant ivory is world wide ban ! pre-1972 estate sales are considered legal.

RAW WHITE WALRUS IVORY: that is against the law for anyone to own, sell, possess, or carve: EXCEPT an Inupiaq or Yupik Eskimo. NOTICE: the key word here is RAW (meaning there is no art work on it).

Anyone may purchase white ivory in two different forms. Beach Washed ivory is ivory that washes up on a beach. If a person finds some. Just bring it to fish & game and they will tag it and it is yours to keep and use and sell and it is all 100% legal.

White(walrus)Ivory that has art work on it; may be purchased by anyone. There are no laws or restrictions of any-type.

You can buy it and cut it up and do what ever you want with it. It is yours!

I taught my 4 Inupiaq (In you pack) sons; how to carve ivory and make bracelets, just by speaking 5 sentences to them. That is all I did (In the beginning) i.e. 2004

1. Slice a piece of ivory 1/4" inch thick using a coping saw or hack saw.

2. Draw shapes on that slice of ivory

3. Cut out the simple shapes you drew and smooth them all out using sandpaper.

4. Drill 1/16" holes in the pieces and string them up using elastic shock cord.

5. Polish to a brilliant shine & pack into a box.

Its that simple, Now let me illustrate and provide some examples.

There are many places you can purchase Ivory on the internet and it is legal. Alaska Fur Exchange is one such place. Invest in a small piece of fossil ivory. Lets say that the piece you purchase costs $75.

The profit margin = 10 ! That piece when sliced up and made into bracelets will yield $750 there about in profit. Quite a nice return on your investment for 7 hours work.

What do you need to begin ? a few supplies - a 6" vise & A dremel tool, a coping saw, sandpaper,superglue, bracelet cord and polishing compound.

When you slice ivory, do not just slice one piece. You will not learn how to cut straight using that method. Instead, make many slices 1/4" thick and learn how to use your eyes to make the pieces exact. We use no rules to measure anything!!



When you purchase a piece of ivory and cut it open and it is all white, do not despair, merely place the pieces overnight in baby oil or mineral oil and you will see a profound difference the next day.





We use clip-boards to mount our sand paper on for a hard surface in which to sand upon thus assuring the piece is flat and all scratches are removed.



Notice: his finger over the end of the piece he is drilling. We cut the drill bits in half so they can only go into the piece half way, then it is turned over and drilled from the other side.



Who would ever think you could make big bucks by making simple shapes out of ivory ? Squares,rectangles, ovals and hearts.

Here is a heart bracelet of consisting of ten hearts. 3 additional heart insets were added to each piece making a total of FORTY hearts in this one bracelet.







 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-07 02:27 am   Permalink

Now let me run some simple numbers past you to peak your interest.

It only takes 3 1/2 hours to make a bracelet. With two people working as a 'team' you can make four bracelets per day no problem at all.

By pre-fabricating some of your work, It is easy for two people to make 25 bracelets in a couple/ three days time.

You will not believe this but I PROMISE it is the truth.

4 bracelets per day = 120 bracelets @ the end of the month. Times $200 each = $24,000 in just one month, working @ home!!

We have sold (currently) Exactly 3,540+ bracelets

Now let me show you what 'children' / teenagers did.. .. they learned how to do this in less than a weeks time. Hundreds of families all over the dozens of villages in the arctic do this and many other type native arts & crafts to survive. Gasoline is over $6.00 per gallon in the villages.

Ivory is much sought after all over the world. All you have to do is just show it and people want to buy it at any cost.







Take any piece of material; draw a template shape on it.



We are considered the number one bracelets makers in all of Alaska. Our bracelets are sold all over the Arctic in Anchorage, Fairbanks and beyond.

My purpose here is to TEACH YOU: how to make outrageous money where-ever you live.

Cut them out and smooth them with sandpaper. Guess what? It requires 9, or 10 or more pieces to make one bracelet. In other words, by the time you finish your first bracelet, you are very proficient @ duplicating each piece with no problems at all.

Repeat - repeat - all the same simple steps.






 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4747
Posted: 2011-07-07 08:56 am   Permalink

I've really enjoyed reading your thread. When I was young and a tour guide in Yellowstone national park there was a bar we went to in Gardener Montana. Everyone got a free elk antler key chain made by the owner. It was sawed antler, a disk like yours. It was also sanded. Then one day the bar owner was in intensive care in the hospital a result of breathing in the dust from sawing and sanding.

As a ceramicist I always wear a mask when working with dry clay. You need to always wear a mask. The dust accumulates and later on maybe months, maybe years, you could develop all sorts of lung disease.

Your work is beautiful but so are you, protect yourself. Now I hope you write back and say you always wear a mask but not in photos! Cheers, Wendy





_________________


 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-07 3:41 pm   Permalink

Danlovestikis: Thanks for the very important information Dan.

Back up a few photographs where that young boy (Khris) is drilling the piece of black baleen. An extremely powerful 220 volt, dust collection system is sucking all the air away from him down into that chute. Along with any dust.

Ivory dust is cancerous, will cause heart disease (LOL)& emphysema and whole slew of other respiratory problems big time.

Please don't get me wrong, (LOL) I sure appreciate your concern, But (lol)you & others will just never believe this. I am 63 years YOUNG. Younger than anyone on this forum. doctors look at me and just shake their heads. I have a 40 year history of working heavy industrial construction projects in atmospheres' of breathing concrete, asbestos (in closed manholes) and many other toxic substances that everyone is afraid of. I don't trust man, or what man can offer me for protection as such. (in those days it was unheard of).
Who are you ??? many doctors have exclaimed. I have actually survived 15.. .. heart attacks!! surgery 2 times. 3 Strokes, the last one in 2003 left me with very little sight. I had to fly 200 miles to Kotzebue on my own dime. They would not medivac me. So two months later. I was able to fly to the nearest hospital, to get my eyes checked. After two whole long days of eye testing with all sorts of chemicals and other tests. The two doctors stated. Mr. Eves. You have lost 90% of your eyesight in the right eye and more than 70% in your left eye. They went on to say.. "you, will never re-gain your total eyesight back. I laughed in their face and said you two need to go back to school! Really.!! They were shocked as they looked at each other and then back at me and asked. "Is there something you know that we don't know?? I laughed hard and said quite boldly. I sure do.. my Creator can fix anything!! One month later. ALL of my eyesight in both eyes was completely restored.

I haven't had any heart issues in over a year and a half.

DUST COLLECTION SYSTEMS, sucker hoses, downdraft tables are all ESSENTIAL part of Carving with ANY MATERIAL.



This was our very first shop. 2004 - 4 boys sitting on a couch with these shelves in front of them. This is where the boys first learned how to carve. The mud room; just inside our small house in Kotzebue Alaska.

I Lost 2 computers 3 printers to the massive amounts of ivory dust when we first began.

We moved from Kotzebue back to Point Hope - 2006 (we moved around a lot).



We learned a lot in Kotz. Especially what not to do and we adjusted our work habits.

3 boys @home. The Oldest son (Isaiah) is married with children, he also still carves & makes these same type bracelets as we do. This is our style. Remove a shape from a piece of ivory and re-insert a different material of the same (exact) shape with no gaps!! PERFECT ... is close enough for me!!





I am going to take the time to post all this information up here, step by step for each and every detail on how simple this is to accomplish.







 
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danlovestikis
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4747
Posted: 2011-07-08 5:00 pm   Permalink

Hi, I so glad to see how you all work to protect yourselves. By the way I'm
Wendy-danlovestikis. My husband Dan is wendylovestikis but he doesn't type and never posts notes.

I'm glad you recover so well. I'm enjoying your posts, Wendy


 
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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2816
Posted: 2011-07-09 7:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

[i]On 2011-07-07 15:41, MajikImaje wrote:[]





Great post! Thank you!
Your work is awesome.
How do you do this?
Is the black ivory as well?
Keep posting!!!



 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-09 8:39 pm   Permalink

Hello Tikiskip! Thank you very much for your comments.

I shall take the time to show & tell and explain through photos, videos, and detailed text; to teach you how easy this is to accomplish in your spare time.


Black: = 'Baleen' It is a natural, black plastic like substance that is derived from the mouth of a BowHead Whale. It grows to lengths of up to 14' or longer. On each side of the bowheads mouth begining at the lip 350, vertical slats on each side of the mouth sift the plankton through the hairs on these slats, to eat.



Now lets cut it up, using a coping saw or hack saw. This is easy to cut, it is flexible,

Here is an end view showing the thickness



You can scratch the surface with a pin or a nail or anything, to mark or scrimshaw (draw) upon it as shown. It will reach glass like mirrored shine when polished properly.



Now we have some cut up. we take a piece and draw a simple shape on it, as you could see in earlier photos.




 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-09 9:42 pm   Permalink

Step by step, lets continue;

You do not need baleen or ivory, you can use any material, But anyone can purchase ivory & baleen @ Alaska Fur Exchange in Anchorage.

Ivory bracelet w/baleen lines inset into the ivory.



Draw the shape, (on any material) smooth out the edges to match the template shape, now repeat 10 times.

Bracelets can be made using any amount of pieces begining with 8,9,10. It all depends on the shape & the size of the wrist.




Do you know how long it is going to take you to become an expert? At making simple shapes ??





Once you have the required amount of pieces and the edges are all smooth, now it is time to draw lines on the pieces so that we can drill the holes to string up the bracelet properly.




The next photo in the next post will show you how to wrap the piece of cardboard around the piece to draw lines on each side of the piece of cardboard template.













 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-09 10:41 pm   Permalink



Once the lines are all drawn we use a dremel tool to draw the lines. But we break or cut the drill bit in half.

Or use a special collet that allows us to shorten the bit so that it only penetrates 1/2 way, then we flip the piece over and drill from the other end. We do it in this manner so we will not accidently drill through our finger which is held over the end of the piece for stability.









Now that seems simple enough. It will only take you one bracelet to learn how to do this!!

But now we are going to make it a little bit more interesting by cutting out a shape and re-inserting a different shape.

Draw the new shape on your bracelet piece and follow along in the next set of images.

There is nothing complicated about drilling, it takes practice, because as we have learned, it is possible to slant that drill bit and go through the top or bottom of the bracelet piece. If that happens, do not dispair, it is easily fixed!! Learning how to drill perfectly straight will be mastered in no time, if you pay attention. If you go through the top or bottom of the piece. stop, back the bit out. Insert a drop of super glue and add some ivory dust or baleen dust. That spot will become invisible as we proceed to sand / polish the bracelet piece.




 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-10 12:04 am   Permalink

38 videos on drilling, how to create the insets, shaping & sanding the pieces.

Here is one of the many different videos on drilling pieces properly.

DRILLING





Using burr bits we cut out the new shape by removing that shape from the baleen, cut / hollow it all out.

I am going to show you a series of cutting out photographs that clearly illustrate how this is done in great detail. Also videos of this are available as well. Showing the entire process of making insets.













Lots more of the same. coming soon.





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tikiskip
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2816
Posted: 2011-07-13 1:13 pm   Permalink

Hey thanks for getting back to me!
Is that you holding the baleen?
You don't look 60.
I find it very cool that you use found items native
to where you live and retool them to make money.
This is what Hawaiians did in the early days of Hawaii
tourist gift shop trade.
They used Coconut shells, Starfish, Palm fronds, And more to make their goods.
Look at the feet on the one lamp, They are STARFISH!
I've seen photos of old shacks on the beach that have many of
the lights and smoke stands I posted here.
Not many tiki nuts collect these don't know why.
Keep posting!!!
Great stuff.







[ This Message was edited by: tikiskip 2011-07-13 13:14 ]


 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-13 2:46 pm   Permalink

Very impressive Tikiskip;

I am ..63 years young; I should be 64, but was kept back, in the fifth grade.

The person holding the baleen is Jesse. He is the 'J' in Majik Imaje

MarkAndrew; Jesse, Isaiah, Khristopher = MAJIK

Isaiah, MarkAndrew, Jesse, Eves = IMAJE



 
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MajikImaje
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 06, 2011
Posts: 25
From: Barrow Alaska
Posted: 2011-07-13 11:24 pm   Permalink

Not everyone has the skills or patience to sit there and slice ivory for hours; Some people prefer a different approach. Can you TRACE with a pencil and some paper ??? Virtually anyone can do that - even a child;

So with that in mind; this next section is meant to inspire you in a different manner; i.e. tracing! or drawing. What do you need ? ONE NAIL ! hows that for a shopping list ??? No; I am not speaking about a 'finger' nail but a nail to put a hammer to - and bang it in. That type of nail. go find one !!

SIMPLE DRAWINGS; OR - tracing !! believe it or not; Big bucks are easy to make working at home. Baleen is easy to get; and it is not very expensive.



I purchased this from Henry Koonuk for $300 bux. We always purchase a lot from Henry a.k.a 'Hanko'. He is one incredible gifted artist in many different areas. He works at home and makes outrageous money (six figures) every year. A lot of carvers - artists in many different villages this is the norm for them.

As I said in the beginning; Hundreds of people (families) are doing this in lots of villages all over the entire state of Alaska. I know natives from Pont Hope that have lived in Anchorage for 30 years. This is all they do - stay @ home - create arts & crafts and then go out and sell them EVERY DAY!! Money flows in - every single day - but you gotta do the work!!

Here is the very first piece I purchased from Hanko in 1981. - $250 bux

A polar bear mounted on a mastodon tooth fragment. It was Hanko who taught me, that all bears.. .. are left handed - they will always strike with the left paw first !! That is something only a hunter would be aware of.



Did you know ?? That if & when a polar bear is killed; Stone cold dead. That bear can easily kill that hunter if he is not extremely careful.. when they skin the bear and open it up. If you get any of that juice on your skin - you are dead!! No two ways about it. No second chance. Too much Vitamin A
It is so concentrated, the liver must be carefully removed. the tubes tied to prevent leakage. The liver is burned so animals or what ever can not attempt to eat it. All gloves and outer clothing that has any juice residue must be burnt also.






 
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