Drill, Baby, Drill

Drill, Baby, Drill:  not Sarah Palin's version, but the how-to's of drilling antlers for your next basket.  

Horn or an antler?
There are lots of different antlers to choose from for a basket project but first let's define an antler.  Antlers are NOT a horn.  Animals with horns only get one shot at them they do not shed them every year.  Cows have horns, goats have horns, sheep have horns, deer do NOT have horns.  

Deer, caribou, elk, and moose have antlers.  Antlers grow every year, males use them to strut their stuff, and then they fall off to be replaced the next year with a bigger version.  Antlers are a renewable resource for the basket maker.

Antlers: not JUST for the handle of your basket.  
Of course antlers make great handles for baskets but handles are just the beginning of how antlers can be used in your basketry.   When your choosing a type to use for your basket consider what design your wanting to create.  For instance, the Side Antler Basket uses a white tail deer antler with a big curve.  The Antler Wall Pocket needs a curve to form the front of the pocket but not as severe as the Side Antler requires.  Caribou antler because they are more of a beam with no curve make a great Antler Bowl. Also, fallow deer antler works well for this design. Mule deer have less curve then a white tail and so make good bowl candidates as well.   Small antler usually make the better hoops for tower baskets like the Indian Blanket, Double Dog, and African Tower.  

Against the law?
In some states selling antler on a basket maybe against the law.  If you're considering selling the basket once it's woven you may want to check your state's current laws on antlers. Every state has their own statutes so better to check with the local Fish and Game to see what the current status is then have your basket confiscated at a show.

Drill with Jill:






Jill Choate
Jill Choate


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