'Dawson City Councilor Broaches', 2000 (Finished) by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)

Done! The pieces are finished to a satin sheen with 1200 grit sandpaper. I considered using polish, but decided against it in this case. A higher polish on these small carvings would cause them to vanish when photographed by tourists visiting Dawson City, or when the Councillors are having their portraits taken.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches, 2000 - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
In the final phase, the carvings were refined, details and the gold nuggets were added, then sanded using the Dremel, with a sanding attachment I fashioned. Several years ago, T-BO (see link on Links page), taught me how to make this attachment, while he was attending the Great Northern Arts Festival, Inuvik.

First, take a nail (1/8" dia), cut off the head, then cut a slit into the end. Tear a small rectangle of sandpaper from a commercial sheet, fold it in half lengthwise and insert into slit. Install assembly into the Dremel, and presto, instant sanding wheel. The beauty of this system for rotory sanding is that you can change the grits easily and when the paper wears out, it can be replaced cheaply in seconds.
(mammoth ivory tusk carving, mammoth ivory tusk sculpture)

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'Dawson City Councilor Broaches' (Phase 3) by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)

Refining as I go, it is interesting to make some comparisons between this phase and the last.

I have gone off track a little on faces of the mammoth and the wolf. Also, I have lost a little of the overflowing nature of the water coming out of the gold pan. The pattern behind the caribou is a little distracting, particularly the head - I will simplify the area and clean up the lines on the mountain.

Though it is not visible in the pic, the background behind the wolf and raven is a book, symbolizing the paper nature of First Nation life today. They have been in the midst of negotiating land claims and self government agreements for the last three decades, and now face the complexities of living with those agreements.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches - phase3 - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
The small burrs used for this portion are from my trusty neighbourhood dentist. I find it a little difficult to control the tools to achieve the level of modeling that I am after, but I will use a magnifying lamp for the finishing work. I have also renewed my supply of smaller Dremel carbide burrs. Missing the smallest carbides has been a handicap, but they should come in handy now for the final details and edges.

For the final phase, I will finish the shapes, apply the surface textures and then polish. They should be done within the next week. Dawson City has chosen not to mount the broaches at this time. The cost is far greater than I imagined, but no searching for a substitute mounting method has born fruit. A local goldsmith will mount the broaches when funds become available.
(mammoth ivory tusk carving, mammoth ivory tusk sculpture)

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'Dawson City Councilor Broaches' (Phase 2) by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)

I have roughed out all of the broaches, some a little more than others.

The First Nations Broach will feature a running wolf and flying raven, indicating the hectic pace of life for most FN's today. With pressing land claim and self government issues, I may make the background of this broach into a book, indicating the paper nature of much of contemporary FN life.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches - phase2 - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
The carving is basic relief work, with 1/8" bits and smaller. The ivory is a wonderful medium, since it is consistent throughout and allows for high relief and wonderful detail.

The broaches were very difficult to photograph with my digital camera. Please excuse the slight blurriness, since the focal length on the camera was not quite short enough for the purpose. I also tried inverting the broaches to heighten the shadows, but that created a bizarre image when the pics were turned right-side up. It gave the illusion that each carving was reversed - the highest points of relief appeared to be the lowest and vice-versa. I rephotographed everything right-side-up and the results are below.
(mammoth ivory tusk carving, mammoth ivory tusk sculpture)

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'Dawson City Councilor Broaches' (Beginning) by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)

The City of Dawson has commissioned five mammoth ivory carvings to be set by a jeweler as broaches or pins.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches - start - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
The first mammoth ivory broach (above) will represent Beringia - the land mass that opened up during the last ice age accross the Bering Sea, allowing the passage of people, mammoths, and other ice age fauna. Dawson was located at the tip of Beringia and was not glaciated. That is why there are so many ice age remains in the Dawson area, including mammoth ivory, waiting to be discovered by the placer miners. The drawing I have chosen for this carving is by Renaldino, a talented Yukon artist who specializes in portraying Beringia.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches - start - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
The second mammoth ivory broach (above) will represent the Yukon First Nation (Han) located in the Dawson area. Council chose to represent their relationship with the First Nation through the portrayal of a wolf and raven, symbols of the clan or family structure. Since I am not a FN artist, I will not use their symbology in my representation of the wolf and raven, but will carve something in my own style.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches - start - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
The third mammoth ivory broach (above) will represent the new park formed just north of Dawson on the Dempster Highway, Tombstone Park. The formation of the park is a first in the Yukon and is an effort to begin to preserve for all time key bioregions in the Yukon. Kudos to the Yukon Government for concluding an historic and farsighted arrangement! Within the park, the Porqupine Caribou Herd has part of its wintering grounds, so I will try to carve a caribou in the foreground.

Dawson City Councilor Broaches - start - by Shane Wilson (carved mammoth ivory tusk)
The fourth mammoth ivory broach (above) will represent the midnight sun as viewed from the "Dome", a mountain viewpoint above Dawson City. The midnight sun is a remarkable phenomenon in the north. Many travel to the area around June 21 each year to witness the sun that does not set. It approaches the horizon then climbs again into the sky. The carving will include something of the vista from the Dome, looking north, and a time-lapsed view of the sun in its course.


The fifth and final mammoth ivory broach (above) will represent the raison d'etre of Dawson City. Gold! The carving will be of a gold pan from which will flow a river of gold. Inside the centre of the pan are the hills of Dawson, from which the gold bearing rivers flow. I may even add a few flecks of the yellow ore for interest!
(mammoth ivory tusk carving, mammoth ivory tusk sculpture)

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