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Old 04-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Dentillium !

I saw a bag full of dentillium at Orr's Trading Company here in Denver.
And I was wondering the dos and don'ts of working with them.

I know they come in a long thin bugle shape, but I see them on capes and earrings & such, but in straight small pieces.

Do you file them down ?

I heard that some break very easily, is there something I can put on them to prevent that ?

And how do I use leather spacers ?


And tips would also be welcome :]

Thankyou !
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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I've only made a couple things with dentalium...earrings, but only cuz I can't find more good ones.

The better ones are thicker, and longer. Of course, the best are the smooth shells, but are VERY scarce nowadays.

I wouldn't file them down, but you can sort them by length. I used clear fingernail polish to coat them, expecially the fragile ones... but it might turn yellow with age, I was told.

A couple broke but it was easy to mend them with glue and it's not very noticeable.

I also sorted them by the amount of curve. In the tiered earrings I made, I put the straighter pieces in the top tiers and the most curvy ones at the very bottom.

To make my earrings, I fashioned a triangle shaped piece for the top of the earrings attached to the first leather spacer. Then there was a couple rows of shorter, straighter dentalium. I then added in a "lattice work" type of beads between two spacers, and then continued with spacers/dentalium/spacers...ending with dentalium.

Similar to these:


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Old 04-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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wyo did you make those? They are beautifull!! ive made a few sets of earings like that. Last set I did had horse hair on the ends. My next set will have lil hawk bells on em.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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No, but some similar ones. I'll have to dig them out and take a pic.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:36 PM   #5
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what about coating them with varnish instead of nail polish?
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:09 PM   #6
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what about coating them with varnish instead of nail polish?
Varnish will yellow them for sure... best to use a sealer made for archival use.

I use an acrylic sealer for my paintings, shells etc... never had it go yellow on me.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:46 AM   #7
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I'm new and I'm interested in this topic. Thank you!
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