Each pendant is individually carved from natural bone. All pendants are my own interpretation and design except the Aum (Om) and Peace symbols. Variation in shape, texture and color are part of what make each pendant unique. As you wear it, your body oils will give it a rich golden hue. According to tradition the carving then carries your essence. If you ever decide to pass it on to someone else, you will be sharing yourself in the process. It is also tradition that the pendant’s karma is passed on by having the carver or someone else put your necklace on you the first time you wear it. Since I don't ship with the necklace, hopefully you have someone important or special (maybe potentially special) to put it on you.
What kind of bone is it? The old tradition was to use whale bone, which of course is inappropriate today. The hooks and other pendants found in Hawaii, New Zealand and other Pacific islands are primarily carved from cow bone, which is what I use. The cow bone is a byproduct of other processes, is denser and whiter than whale bone, closer to the look of ivory. I have carved tagua nut (vegetable ivory), wood, fossilized whale bone, semi-precious stones, used resin and seen the hybrid products made in China or elsewhere. For me, real bone is the only thing that has the heart and soul for authentic pendants. Other bone you may find used for pendants includes boar, buffalo, ox, and camel (in the middle east). Sharks and fish don’t have don't have bones large enough to carve.
What is the process? I get the bone already cleaned and bleached. I cut and shape the pendant using diamond dremel bits and diamond files. The pendant is then sanded using 220 through 1500 grit sandpaper. Rubbing compound is used to give the pendant the final shine.
How do I care for the necklace? There is little to no care required. I want you to be able to wear your necklace 24/7, in the ocean, taking a shower, etc. I often meet people who have never taken them off since purchasing them. For the traditional look of the black cord I use a polyester line, not waxed cotton or leather which will both rot. I hand whip the ends and use a hairpipe bone for the hook and loop. If there is a bead on the black cord necklace, it is bone as well. The beaded necklaces use only sterling silver ends and a 49 strand stainless steel line coated in plastic. The long beads are either bamboo or bone. The round beads are always a jasper stone. The only special recommendation for beaded necklaces is to be sure to rinse after wearing them in salt water, ie. a beach shower. The sterling silver will tarnish (turn brown) but will not rust.
Where else can I find Tiki Doug pendants?
Watch for Tiki Doug Bone Pendants in the upcoming movie Dolphin Tale starring Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd opening in theatres 09/24/11. See the movie trailer at http://dolphin-tale.film-trailer.com/
My upcoming shows include:
November 3-6, 2011 - The Casa Marina, Key West, Florida
I am always updating shows so check back or drop me a line if you would like to find out if I am going to be in your area.
My Carvings are also available in the gift shop at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin.
More questions? Use the Talk To Me tab to send me an email. It may take a while to get back to you, but I won't forget.