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Painting Artistically On Mammoth Ivory

Mar 29, 2008
Mammoth ivory is a very unique artistic material due to the fact that the animal, Woolly Mammoth is extinct now. While male tusks are denser and longer than female tusks, the rarest find are the baby mammoth tusks.

There are many artistic mediums for painting on mammoth ivory and tusks pieces are commercially bought all around the world. The original mammoth tusks have a brownish tint and finely cut into thin sheets, for artists to paint upon. Artists that have perfected the art of painting on mammoth ivory have over time found that the best paints to use are watercolors.

Mammoth ivory is a very unique artistic material due to the fact that the animal, Woolly Mammoth is extinct now. Each piece carries with it, a mysterious story of artistic artwork created on a material that is more than 20,000 years old. The last of the Woolly mammoths have been estimated to have now been extinct for approximately 10,000 years, but between undisturbed and icy preservations of the animal, people even today are able to enjoy the exquisite rarity and beauty of this limited source of ivory.

It is throughout the summer months of travel in the remote areas of Siberia and Alaska, that the Ivory is harvested. It is during these very extensive and expensive expeditions that approximately 1 to 2 tons of Mammoth Ivory is brought up deep from down below the permafrost each year. There are many pieces of the Mammoth Ivory tusks to be found, but there is too completely whole tusks occasionally being brought up from their original extinct spots from centuries ago. There have been Mammoth Ivory tusks reaching as far as 16 feet long, but these are the largest of the male tusks found so far. While male tusks are denser and longer than female tusks, the rarest find are the baby mammoth tusks.

There are many artistic mediums for painting on mammoth ivory and tusks pieces are commercially bought all around the world. The original mammoth tusks have a brownish tint and finely cut into thin sheets, for artists to paint upon. Artists that have perfected the art of painting on mammoth ivory have over time found that the best paints to use are watercolors. This is due to the fact that watercolors enhance the natural translucence of the ivory, when combined with the paints.

Even before the painting process begins, there is extra care to be taken of the various sizes of thin sheets. The material is kept lightly covered by a soft material in a dark room of consistent temperature and humidity. The thin sheets can be of either rectangular or oval shaped and vary in the prices of the sheet sizes and shapes. Of course some of the prices are higher because of bigger sizes, but other reason is because money is lost on wastage, when ivory is originally being cut. The paintings are exquisitely hand-crafted and rare while the work is of the highest quality, only done by the finest artists from around the world.
About the Author
Anita Satin Choudhary writes for Ivory and Art Gallery. Browse the gallery for unique collection of artifacts ranging from Mammoth Ivory to Jade Sculpture and Agate Sculpture
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