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Moose antlers medium for carving

Carving artist said he's been honing the craft for 10 years.

YORKTON – Guns weren't the only thing on display and up for sale at this past weekend's Yorkton Gun & Collectible Show held at the Agri-pavilion Feb. 24 and 25.

Moose antler carvings done by Dave Crook of Crook's Carving were on display for show-goers to purchase and appreciate.

"We take a shed moose antler and use it to make into artwork," told Crook in an interview with Yorkton This Week.

Crook said he has been honing his craft for the past 10 years and came from a background of carving wood and leather before trying his hand with antlers. In fact, Crook wasn't even aware he'd still be doing the carvings based on his first experiences with the medium.

"The first one I did I thought, 'never again,' because it's such hard stuff to work on," said Crook, noting the toughness of the material.

"I picked up a few different cutting tools and tried that ... it took about three or four years just to figure out what works on this because what works on wood does not work on antlers." said Crook.

Crook said the comparison between his first pieces and his latest pieces have been "a constant learning experience."

"The time involved goes anywhere from a day to several weeks on some of the really big ones," said Crook.

And though Crook is locally based in Wynyard, he said a lot of the work he does ends up in the United States, suggesting that there is anywhere from 30-40 of his works south of the border.

"I have pieces in Australia, New Zealand, a couple even in China," said Crook, noting the pieces in China were purchased at an art show that they appeared in here in Canada.

Crook said it was his grand son who got him interested in the art form after visiting a general store in the village of Glaslyn, south of Meadow Lake.

"It was the first time I'd seen anything like it," said Crook.

Crook continues to make improvements and try new things with the antlers, noting the coloured pieces on display are a new endeavour.

"It's only been about the last six months that we started colouring them," said Crook, "I had a couple of guys request coloured antlers and we did that and I'd say right now we're just about 50/50."

"Some people like the plain ones and some people like the coloured," said Crook, "everybody has got their own personal choice."

For those who wish to check out some of Crook's pieces in person, Crook said he'll be returning to Yorkton April 27th and 28th for the Parkland Outdoor Show and Expo or visit Crook's Carvings on Facebook.