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Topic: War Collars x2, made with real taxidermy items  (Read 1451 times)
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Garnet Bear
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« on: August 18, 2007 10:32:17 PM »

My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Alaska!  While we were up there, I found my way to pretty much every taxidermy shop in every stop along our trip, and collected goodies for my treasure pile (bead collection).

It's a long story, but my husband and I really came together because we both share Bear as our totem.  It's a very important part of who we are individually, and I am very thankful and happy to be able to show off my "bear-ness" to the rest of the world. Smiley  Hematite has been a special stone to me for almost 10 years now, so I was very excited to find a carved hematite bear pendant!
This necklace is remarkably comfortable, given all of the bumps and curves of the foot bones.  The taxidermy place did a wonderful job preserving the bones and keeping them free of scratchy bits and nicks.  Not surprisingly, my bear necklace gets lots of attention. Smiley

Anyways, here's my supply list:
-Two real black bear claws from MicMac Crafts (great guy to do business with).
-Real black bear foot bones from Moscow Hide and Fur.  I had to drill them myself, but bone is a really nice material to work with.  It's like butter when you're going through with a Dremel.
-Camel bone 3-hole spacers (available here)
-Dyed green camel bone hairpipes
-10mm Hematite rounds (with a few 12mm next to the claws)
-Hematite bear pendant
-Strung on artificial sinew, ties with deer suede




While we were in Alaska, we had the opportunity to take a day tour into the heart of Denali National Park.  If you ever have the chance - go!  We were SO lucky, we got to see a wild Denali wolf walking right along the road with us, he was beautiful.  To thank the wolf spirit for allowing us that wonderful bit of Alaska magic, I made this necklace.

Supplies:
-10mm Lapis Lazuli rounds, mixed randomly with 10mm sodalite rounds.
-Camel bone hairpipe (antiqued)
-Camel bone 3-hole spacers (available here)
-Dyed blue bone hairpipes
-.925 Silver native wolf / wild wolf pendant
-Wild Alaskan wolf claws (Moscow Hide and Fur sells wolf claws)
-Strung on artificial sinew and tied with deersuede



I have a couple of other war collars that I'll get pictures of in the next few days.  They're my favorite kind of necklace to make, just because there aren't many people who do custom work.  I am so tired of seeing the mass produced tourist trap pieces that are everywhere in gift shops and online.
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sanekook
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007 01:30:09 AM »

That is seriousely awesome.  Do the claws scratch or sit funny on your neck at all?  I have a thin neck and I feel like they would almost be scratching right at my collar bone on each side... Huh
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Garnet Bear
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007 03:10:26 AM »

The claws actually rest very comfortably on my chest/neck.  The wolf claws were coated with clear nail polish before I got them, so I think it helped smooth out the little burs and nicks that are naturally part of the claws.

I usually wear a t-shirt, so the claws tend to sit on the outside, on the collar of the shirt.  I've worn my bear necklace with dresses a few times and once the bone and hematite have heated up to my body temperature, the "wierd collar feeling" vanishes immediately.  There have been nights that I've accidentally gone to bed wearing it, because it's that easy to forget that it's on!
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007 06:05:42 AM »

Those are so beautiful Garnet Bear! I can't believe the perfect little bones! They are fantastic! And I love the stories behind them.
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007 09:11:39 AM »

i love your war collars!!!  are there any laws in the US about selling bear claws? 
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Garnet Bear
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2007 01:17:47 PM »

i love your war collars!!!  are there any laws in the US about selling bear claws? 

Yeah, the legality is tricky, that's for sure.  Here is a page that has most of the bear regulations, but it's always a good idea to talk with local wildlife officers personally.
I know here in Washington I'm okay with my black bear parts, but would be in trouble if I had anything from a grizzly bear.  Nevermind that a nice grizzly rug is like $10,000 anyways!

I had friends who drove up to Alaska a few summers ago, and were given a wolf skin rug from a friend up there.  When they came back to customs on the Canada/US border, they mentioned that they had a wolf skin, some other stuff, and some beanie babies (back when they were a huge deal).  The customs agents questioned them intensely about the beanie babies and could care less about the wolf!

I don't worry too much about the legal stuff since I'm not reselling any of my pieces with taxidermy work on them.  There's so much paperwork and logging everything that I have no interest in starting!  I just keep all of the tags, pins, and markers from my furs in a little box in case I need to prove something in my collection is legitimate.
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RondaS
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2007 01:42:59 PM »

those are so awesome Garnet Bear!

thank you for sharing!

I have hand carved bone beads from India, pipes and rounds, and they are really nice to have next to your skin. I was thinking of trying to do a weaving to make a collar, but I like yours better!

have no claws, however....

My dad passed away in 1995, but he was a hunter/trapper and made some trips up north (we are in Iowa) trapping in the winter. Never thought to get claws off of anything! They always ended up staying attached to the hides when he sold them.

I do have arctic fox ear muffs he brought me one year, which I will cherish all my life - though they do need cleaned as I wear them every winter. they make me look like a sheep dog, but very warm!

I will dream about this I am sure and then end up making something similar - hope that is OK with you?

Ronda
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2007 08:07:26 PM »

those are so awesome Garnet Bear!

thank you for sharing!

I have hand carved bone beads from India, pipes and rounds, and they are really nice to have next to your skin. I was thinking of trying to do a weaving to make a collar, but I like yours better!

have no claws, however....

My dad passed away in 1995, but he was a hunter/trapper and made some trips up north (we are in Iowa) trapping in the winter. Never thought to get claws off of anything! They always ended up staying attached to the hides when he sold them.

I do have arctic fox ear muffs he brought me one year, which I will cherish all my life - though they do need cleaned as I wear them every winter. they make me look like a sheep dog, but very warm!

I will dream about this I am sure and then end up making something similar - hope that is OK with you?

Ronda

Thanks for the feedback!  It's always such a good feeling to get compliments on my craft work, even if it's something I'm not planning on selling. Smiley

There's nothing like the way bone feels against warm skin.  It's so organic and comfortable, I don't have many necklaces without bone beads!  If you're in the market for claws, Moscow Hide and Fur has a whole section just dedicated to teeth / bones / claws, and really reasonable prices. 

I think it's cool that you're interested in making a similar kind of necklace.  Not enough people work in this style of jewelry, so I love to see how other people interpret it.  I've been making them now for about 15  years and they have been given as gifts many times.  I always get a kick out of seeing my friends still wearing the necklaces that I made them forever ago.  People seem to enjoy having that one special "trademark" necklace that is uniquely theirs.  Of course, I sometimes have to groan at some of my old work that is abysmal compared to more recent stuff. Wink

As for the arctic fox fur, have you considered snipping a few pieces off and preserving them in a small resin pendant (like something in this mold)?  It'd be a way to wear a small piece of that gift from your father all year round, and would make for an interesting conversation piece.  It'd be cool to make a tribute piece to remember your dad with, and you could even frame it with some fox claws, like I've done with my bear and wolf pieces.
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007 09:22:35 PM »

Thanks for the feedback!  It's always such a good feeling to get compliments on my craft work, even if it's something I'm not planning on selling. Smiley

There's nothing like the way bone feels against warm skin.  It's so organic and comfortable, I don't have many necklaces without bone beads!  If you're in the market for claws, Moscow Hide and Fur has a whole section just dedicated to teeth / bones / claws, and really reasonable prices. 

I think it's cool that you're interested in making a similar kind of necklace.  Not enough people work in this style of jewelry, so I love to see how other people interpret it.  I've been making them now for about 15  years and they have been given as gifts many times.  I always get a kick out of seeing my friends still wearing the necklaces that I made them forever ago.  People seem to enjoy having that one special "trademark" necklace that is uniquely theirs.  Of course, I sometimes have to groan at some of my old work that is abysmal compared to more recent stuff. Wink

As for the arctic fox fur, have you considered snipping a few pieces off and preserving them in a small resin pendant (like something in this mold)?  It'd be a way to wear a small piece of that gift from your father all year round, and would make for an interesting conversation piece.  It'd be cool to make a tribute piece to remember your dad with, and you could even frame it with some fox claws, like I've done with my bear and wolf pieces.

actually - what I think I need is the multi-hole dividers... got pretty much all the rest of it

as for the resin with my fox fur, that is a great idea!

Actually, I have been trying to figure out how to make a bead or something similar out of the small tiny short hairs that my little rat terrier left scattered all over the house so we could give my daughter a gift of something from her to keep. We had to have her put to sleep in July, as she was 13 years old, health was failing and she was going deaf in addition to lifelong cataracts - then she started to get a bit crotchety (as in tried to go for my daughter's friend's crotch).

this may be a good solution to how to preserve short hairs of a beloved pet....

mind always a-whirly with ideas and not enough time to get it all done!

will explore this when my craft shows are over, LOL!
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feel I've been sick forever - still tired and RUNNING LATE!!!

WARNING: MAGNETS, EVEN SMALL ONES, CAN INTERFERE WITH OR DAMAGE COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS LIKE CELL PHONES, AND ERASE DATA CODES ON CREDIT CARDS!

Give me a bag of tumbled stones and I will play for hours! Wink

Brightest Blessings!
Garnet Bear
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2007 02:22:00 AM »

actually - what I think I need is the multi-hole dividers... got pretty much all the rest of it

as for the resin with my fox fur, that is a great idea!

Actually, I have been trying to figure out how to make a bead or something similar out of the small tiny short hairs that my little rat terrier left scattered all over the house so we could give my daughter a gift of something from her to keep. We had to have her put to sleep in July, as she was 13 years old, health was failing and she was going deaf in addition to lifelong cataracts - then she started to get a bit crotchety (as in tried to go for my daughter's friend's crotch).

this may be a good solution to how to preserve short hairs of a beloved pet....

mind always a-whirly with ideas and not enough time to get it all done!

will explore this when my craft shows are over, LOL!

You should be able to pick up the dividers all sorts of places online, and I've seen them in the Tandy leather section part of Michaels crafts.  Nice and cheap!

One could almost make a business out of preserving pet hairs in resin pendants.  Having two cats and two dogs, I know the place animals have in people's hearts.   Reminds me of a favorite old quote -
Leo Dworken:
No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.


As for having the opportunity to explore new crafts after your shows are over, best of luck, sister!  You're going to end the season with two dozen more ideas and crafty wants!
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