Smudge Bowl - Elk Button/Diamond Willow

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Project by knottysticks posted 02-25-2010 05:45 AM 4626 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This smudging bowl was made from a elk button with a diamond willow base . The carving is based on an Achomawi creation myth . See it here – – Many ranchers here on the Canadian prairies have taken to raising elk . They are raised for meat but thier antler is harvested and shipped over seas. The remaining stump/knob [ 1-3 inchs high] is shed naturally, and known locally as a elk button. This knob at the base of a elk’s antler is called a cornet and normally convex, dome shaped. But this unusual elk button was concaved at it’s cornet. This makes the bowl , and two curving tines became coyote and eagle. Willow was chosen because of it’s use in local native spiritual traditions and medicine.

Materials ;
Bowl – Elk Antler
Wood base – Diamond Willow
Spacer – Leather
Finish – Danish Oil

Thank you for your interest.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

9 comments so far

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3511 days

#1 posted 02-25-2010 06:12 AM

Very interesting. Unique post.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4640 days

#2 posted 02-25-2010 03:00 PM

amazing project and wonderful background story.
Nice; nice; nice!!! ! !!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4007 days

#3 posted 02-25-2010 06:58 PM

Very cool. Nice little piece.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4880 days

#4 posted 02-28-2010 03:31 AM

Vweey nice. An interesting story behind the project.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View toddhelmkamp's profile


50 posts in 3550 days

#5 posted 03-05-2010 09:34 PM

Very cool. I like how it was inspired.

-- Todd Helmkamp,

View sourdough's profile


7 posts in 2907 days

#6 posted 10-06-2011 08:44 AM

Anyone know where I can get a couple of these “buttons”? Looked at eBay but don’t see any.

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3509 days

#7 posted 10-08-2011 07:50 PM

I picked them up from an Elk rancher, so if you seek out Elk ranchers’ local to your area I’m sure they will share these ‘Elk buttons’ [the cornet of the antler] with you or at least put you in touch with a rancher who has kept a few. I’m not aware that there is any market for Elk buttons, so you just have to find a rancher who harvests the Elk’s antler each year and sells it. This ‘Elk button’ is the stub left behind after the antler was removed and sold. The Elk then sheds this stud [button] naturally later on. Your other option is cut off the cornet [ this is the bottom of the antler against the head] from a full sized Elk ’shed’ antler , and you now have what we call locally a ‘Elk button’.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

View sourdough's profile


7 posts in 2907 days

#8 posted 10-12-2011 02:24 AM

I wonder if there are any elk ranchers in Washington State. I’ll be checking this out plus I have folks living in the interior of BC so that may be another source for me.

View knottysticks's profile


296 posts in 3509 days

#9 posted 10-12-2011 06:19 AM

I’m sure you will have no problem tracking down a local rancher and finding someone who can help you. But the folks in BC will likely need a permit to sell a ’ non-shed ’ antler arcoss the border. Although maybe they can ’ carry ’ it across and gift it to you , it may be worth checking out. Or it may just be easier to cut-off the bottom of a full Elk shed as I believe it is ok to sell shed antler across the border. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

-- Everyday above ground is a good day.

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