Obtaining antler is our first mission. I pick up some antler in the spring. I also buy antler from antler hunters, cowboys, and antler dealers, but most actually comes from ranchers who help feed moose in the winter.
Each carving begins on paper. Mistakes can be costly and so each carving must be well planned. In most cases, a drawing is suited for each antler (the antlers talk to me), then redrawn on the antler and carving begins.
Initially, a carbide router bit is used to cut out the open spaces of the carving. Pneumatic hand pieces, carbide and diamond burs are used to further and complete the carving. Many burs are needed to shape and detail each part.
Each carving, which is entirely one piece, is attached to a custom shaped walnut base using small hex lag screws.
The time required for each carving depends on the size and complexity (amount of carving). The entire process can take anywhere from one day to several months, but most fall between one to three weeks.
Every carving is an original. Though similar carvings can be made, each must be designed for a new and different antler, and no two antlers are just alike. Thus each carving has originality from artwork to frame as well as rich color and dramatic natural shape.