I hope everyone had some great holidays... I know I did! I also had a very busy countdown to the big day filling several custom orders for jewelry. My favourite and most elaborate job was requested of me by my father- in-law, who had come into possesion of some elk ivory.
What is elk ivory? I didn't know either. It isn't the teeth of the animal, and not every elk has these special "non-teeth". They are actually thought to be the expression of a very old trait from prehistoric times. Elk were believed to once have full tusks, and nowadays some elk are found to still have these "tusks", only much smaller but most definitely considered ivory.
I had a good friend of mine do some lapidary work on the ivory. He cut the root off and did some shaping and buffed it up nicely. By cutting the root off, it made a nice flat base on the ivory which made it much easier to set and took the bulk off the side that was not so nice anyway.
I rolled a 22k gold bezel out to set it in, and embellished with a few 22k blobs. I topped the setting off with a tubeset pink tourmaline (my mother-in-law's birthstone... she was the giftee). I finally built a hinge and sterling silver bracelet shank which made up a pretty nice bracelet if I do say so.
Taa-daa! The in-laws seemed happy with it, so I am happy too :)