ABOUT THE WATER BUFFALO
Water Buffalo is raised in Thailand as a source of beef. They are also used as beasts of burden. It is cultural for the Thais to use all parts of the animal. So the carving of water buffalo horns started as a by product of the food industry.
The carving of water buffalo horns is a cottage industry in Thailand and therefore supply can be erratic. A certain carver may specialize in one or several varieties of carvings. The varieties include a wide range of animals, both wild and domestic, and various sea life. Each variety will vary somewhat from piece to piece.
Horns are hollow so only the ends of the horn can be used. The carver has to carefully select each horn to make sure it has sufficient wall thickness to carve the desired figure. The natural color of the horn is normally black. However an albino or white horn, which is much rarer, is sometimes carved.
Because the horns vary in shape and size, the finished carvings will vary in size and shape.
1. The horn is cleaned up on the grinder
2. The horn is given the rough shape of the finished piece
3. The carver finishes shaping and polishing the horn. When the piece is polished it turns a glossy black. Details are then carved into the horn and hydrogen peroxide is used to selectively bleach the piece various shades of brown.
Height of the eagle is a minimum of 7".