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Human Bone Characteristics


Bryan S

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Hello everyone. I am new to the forum as well as new to bone carving. Mostly I work in stone.

 

I have several questions regarding the suitability of an odd material. Would human femer bones be suitable for carving. Actually more smoothing and sealing. I will be having mine removed and would like to make it the top of my cane.

 

Might there be any special concerns with this project? Would cow femer be the closest practice media? Is it too coarse for this? Thank you in advance for your help.

 

Bryan

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It's not something I advertise widely, but I have carved just once human bone. Similar circumstances, though it wasn't mine. Well, it carves just the same. Tends to have more Haversian channels (those little pores that with age become dark (black) little lines.

I would advise to boil it rather thoroughly, though. Thing is, sicknesses carry evne via bone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Talking bone in general, you don't want to boil it, you need to mechanically remove as much soft tissue as possible and use a solvent to remove the fat in the marrow to avoid discolouration later on.

Here's a link to a museum specimen preparation article. Once the bone is clean and dry, it will carve or take a sealer/finish coat like any other bone.

 

www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/11-07.pdf

 

I am curious about the legalities of obtaining post surgical tissues from a hospital, and in what state they are willing to provide them to you.

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Unfortunately fat is not the only thing present in the bone. In fact, once you removed the marrow, and if you have cut it short enough not to include any of the spngy bits toward the ends, there shouldn't be any fat at all. But if you look at a piece of clean, completely fresh bone, there is an unmistakeble pinkish shade to it, coupled with a kind of wet look. It disappears in a matter of an hour or so, at least from the surface. Whatever it is, you don't want it staying there, as it is not just water, but must be something complex and organic. Which means it will disintegrate with time.

I do boil bones that I use (and I use a lot), but only enough to loosen up the meat and stuff sticking to it. Then I srape the outside down, leaving me with a totally fat-free clean tube. Then I boil it again, to just boiling point, and then dry. Not speeding up too much, as in putting it into the sun. I have been caught out by doing that, the bone simply stratified into what corresponds to year-rings in wood. Serves me right to be so impatient.

And I don't know in other countries, round here there is no problem obtaining an ex-part of your very own self, if it's not dangerous, or unsanitary. It is your own, after all. But in other parts of the world this can be different, of course. You can always try claiming it for religious reasons, that seems to have a lot of pull with beurocracy.

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