Here's a synapsis of my
artistic arc. I think this context is probably useful
for both the stag connoiseur and stag newbie.
India curtailed Sambar antler exports some years
ago. Sambar is
not endangered by the way, but Bengal Tigers are. Bengal Tigers eat
Thus Sambar grips got very
expensive. As a
matter of cost and material supply, artisans tried Elk antler
for cowboy grips.
Exotic grip connoisseurs were not all that
was a lot of grumbling that Elk antler was a poor material;
too white, too soft, too light, too hollow….
About that time I had
just started making Elk grips and selling them. While I had receptive
shoppers and happy buyers, I had read the opinions. It
nagged at me that I was getting not insignificant prices for
what some fellas of good knowledge considered an inherently
As I continued to cut and render Elk antler I
noticed a couple things:
1 – The experts were wrong. Elk antler is not poor
in comparison to Sambar.
From Elk you can render the same quality of panels as
you can from Sambar.
2 – The experts were right. It’s much easier to
make a poor set of grips from Elk.
It comes down to cutting and rendering. Particularly, not
using a piece for a single action panel just because it’s big
enough for one.
My quality guarantee is that my standard
commission price reflects a premium price. For that price you
will get select heavyweight panels professionally fit and
finished out by me.
There’s also a matter of aesthetics. There is something of
an ‘Elky’ look grips made from Elk antler can have. That is not
necessarily the stag grip look everyone holds in their mind’s
eye. I generally
cut for a more rugged, old world / old west
Shown below are hard panels
as they are rendered for grips.