Yesterday I shipped my first commission! Yeah! Yippieh!

OK, it’s not a terribly big one. I was asked to make 16 pins with button heads for antique musical instruments. The originals were made from ivory, clearly not an option any longer. So after some chatting with the customer, I decided on bone rods. I actually got the inquiry way back in December, but I couldn’t make contact with the supplier of the bone rods until about 2 weeks ago.

As it turns out, bone is actually not a bad material to work with. It doesn’t cut like wood, but it scrapes very nicely. Sharp scrapers and you get an nice surface right off the tool. Only needs sanding with 320/400/600 grit and you have a very nicely polished surface. The one thing that was a bit of a surprise is the range of colours displayed. The outside of the bone rods is milky white, and that’s because they have been bleached to death. Which is actually good thing, as otherwise they would smell. And I mean stink.

But once you get through that layer, the colours can be anything from white through to almost orange, with the best bits showing a translucent quality, almost like mother of pearl, except there’s no iridescence.

Well, it’s all done now, and I still have some bone rods left. Anybody else interested in some button pins?

It all came to about £64. Not huge, I know, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

The best thing is, I’ve got the next two commission already lined up, and they are bigger. Things are rolling, my friends. Watch this space.

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