| Antler Carving by Bruce Bird
Hi and welcome to my site! My name is Bruce Bird and I'm a self-taught Metis antler carver, with Cree and English heritage. I live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and have always had an interest in the outdoors and in making things using hand tools.
Why I love carving with antler
Antler can be carved, filed, sanded, scraped, and polished. When the rough outer surface is removed, the antler underneath is sometimes greyish white, creamy or a colour resembling ivory. It is a hard material but carves easily and has a lustrous appearance when polished. All antlers are shed in the spring, therefore antlers are a natural renewable resource.
Why I prefer carving with moose antler
All antlers are solid close to the tip. However, deer and elk have a soft inner marrow reminiscent of a spider web, whereas moose antler has a solid core that can be carved. Since moose antler is much larger than deer or elk antler, it provides more area to work with. The thickness of moose antler also enables me to carve "in the round" for a more sculptured look, in contrast to the two-dimensional relief carving style associated with many antler carvings. To learn more about my antler carving methods, visit Tools and Methods.
Why antler carving is part of my identity
My connection to the land and my Metis heritage have helped me to be grounded and listen to my inner voice while carving. Native indigenous peoples have used antler to make tools for thousands of years. It feels natural for me to carry on with that tradition. Moose are one of the main food sources for the Cree people, and using the antler for carving follows our tradition of wasting nothing when a natural resource is used. To learn more about my story, visit About the Artist.
To see some of my favourite websites from kindred spirits, visit Links.
Comments and suggestions are valuable to me, and personal exchanges often give me ideas and inspiration. Please feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
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