Introduction: Celtic Knot Bone Pendant - Triquetra Pendant

Picture of Celtic Knot Bone Pendant - Triquetra Pendant

A couple of days ago I was making a Bone Ring and I had a little piece of bone left over. With that I made a little Triquetra Pendant for my girlfriend. As usual, I used simple tools that anybody can have at home (no fancy lathe or CNCs).

Part of the work was already done for the ring that I made so I will just cite my other instructable: Celtic Knot Bone Ring

The close-up pictures were taken with a Pentax K10 D and a Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro lens.
The other pictures, with a Pentax SMC-FA 50mm f/1.4.

Step 1: Material

Picture of Material

Just one: a Bone! Beef bones are the bigger and the most suitable ones.

In Italy, especially in my region, we prepare a very good sauce with bone marrow. It is called pevarà (sometimes pearà) and it is made of bread, bone marrow, beef broth, butter and a lot of pepper. In fact its name literally means peppered. So that is why I have those big bones lying around.

An important point is the cleaning of the bone. After the cooking the sponge-like part of the bone is full of red bone marrow and that is not good if you want to work with the bone. The best way to clean it is to put it in the dishwasher!
I was surprised, when I first tried this trick, how good it worked. It perfectly cleans every part of the bone and exposes the sponge-like part.

I put also some close-up pictures of the sponge-like part because it is too cool. Our bones have this kind of structure near the ends to make them light but strong.

Step 2: Tools

Picture of Tools
  • Toy vise (I got it when I was a child but I still use it);
  • Clamp;
  • Very old drill;
  • Drill bit for wood;
  • Drill saw;
  • Drill bit to scrape;
  • Dremel;
  • Dremel drill press (this is not necessary but very usefull);
  • A selection of Dremel bits;
  • Compass to draw the Triquetra (again, not necessary but useful).

Step 3: Cutting #1

Picture of Cutting #1

Now that we have everything we need let us start with the preparation of the bone piece. Be careful: wear eye protection!
With the drill saw I cutted a rectangular piece off the bone, that incidentally is a leftover piece of the Bone Ring.

Step 4: Planning the Triquetra

Picture of Planning the Triquetra

Using a small compass I drew a preparatory drawing on a piece of paper. With the compass I drew the same design on the piece of bone.

Step 5: Etching #1

Picture of Etching #1

With the conic Dremel bit (High speed cutter n. 118) I passed on the pencil lines to mark the drawing.

While on the back I took some of the sponge-like part off.

Step 6: Cutting #2

Picture of Cutting #2

Now that the drawing is firmly on the piece I cut the triangle away with the drill saw.

Step 7: Drilling #1

Picture of Drilling #1

With the smallest Dremel bit I drilled holes where the design supposed to have empy spots. Then using the Dremel Engraving Cutter n. 111 I enlarged the holes to the planned shape.

Step 8: Shaping

Picture of Shaping

The sides of the triangle were then scraped to get the real shape. I used a combination of the Dremel bits that I have.

Step 9: Etching #2

Picture of Etching #2

Then I etched the design on the piece with my Dremel bits.

Step 10: Drilling #2

Picture of Drilling #2

Holding the pendant with a clamp I Drilled a small hole on the side to pass a necklace into it.

Step 11: Done!

Picture of Done!

I am very satisfied with the result that I got! The etching is good and visible even from a distance. The holes give it a touch of lightness that I really like. I am now looking for a gold or silver necklace that can pass through that tiny hole on the side.


Old_Tractor_Guy (author)2013-09-04

Excellent 'ible! Great work too! I have one bit of what I hope is constructive criticism to offer. I would reverse some of the steps, in that I would do all the internal detail work, (drilling, enlarging and shaping) first, then cut out the triangle and finally shape the outside last. This would give you something much more substantial to hold onto while working on the fine details of the interior.

ilpug (author)2012-01-13

This is pretty awesome. Just one suggestion: if you very lightly run a flame over it then lightly sand the surface, it will make the whorls stand out much better and give it a more 3D feel.

Amazing job though!

Caffeinomane (author)ilpug2012-01-20

Thank you for your suggestion, will the dark fade after a while?

ilpug (author)Caffeinomane2012-01-20

It probably won't fade.

malsonc (author)2012-01-18

Beautiful work! I've carved similar items out of a variety of wood species, but you have inspired me to try some in bone. Of course it will have to wait until may hand heals - I accidentally broke my hand recently and am still awaiting surgery to repair the damage.

Sigh... I hate being idled like this.

Keep up the good work!

Caffeinomane (author)malsonc2012-01-20

Well I usually go to a butcher and ask beef and bone to make meat stock. Then I boil meat and bone and use the marrow to make a kind of Italian sauce that is called Pearà.

evilspacemonkey (author)2012-01-16

ok stupid question- where do you get the bones from? Is this something I could go to a butcher and get or do I have to get them the old fashioned way (shovel/crowbar)?

skidrum (author)evilspacemonkey2012-01-17

Asian food stores often sell bones with marrow- quite tasty.

Caffeinomane (author)skidrum2012-01-20

Well I usually go to a butcher and ask beef and bone to make meat stock. Then I boil meat and bone and use the marrow to make a kind of Italian sauce that is called Pearà.

radagast (author)2012-01-14

TO ANYBODY WORKING WITH BONE: bone dust created by saws or powetools is incredibly damaging to your lungs. It contains microscopic points and edges and can severely damage your respiratory system, even in small amounts. wear a mask!!!

Cool instructable though, It turned out great!!

Caffeinomane (author)radagast2012-01-20

I think that that could be a problem for many materials that you can work. I will wear a mask next time!

rickharris (author)2012-01-14

1. Put a jump ring through the hole and then you can fit any chain.

2. If you cut along the length of the bone and boil it it will become soft enough to flatten out into more or less one large sheet. This is how they make bone buttons.

3. Nice hand work. Bone dust isn't very good for you so wear a mask.

Caffeinomane (author)rickharris2012-01-20

I just found a small enough necklace :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-01-13

Wow, I didn't realize how small it was until I saw it in comparison with your hand! I love celtic design; it is just beautiful!

It is made from a leftover piece of bone, that is why it is so small. Thank you!

monsterlego (author)2012-01-13


Caffeinomane (author)monsterlego2012-01-20

Thank you!

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