Notes on working with antler, continued

It seems that antler is sensitive to moisture changes. These changes strongly affect the porous material on the inside, much more than the hard outside face of the antler. As it dries the antler becomes hard, rigid, and brittle. The differences between the moisture effects on the back and front of the antler plate also leads to it warping significantly. Equally, as it becomes more wet, so it becomes soft and flexible and the warp disappears. Consequently, I have found it very useful to keep the antler plate moist, even soaking it over-night in a bowl of water, this keeps the antler pleasant to work with and avoids any further accidental breakages (see ‘Ouch’).

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