This carving was created from the base of an elk antler. You'll see how some of the original roughness around the circumference was retained; in other places it was duplicated by carved work. The tiny lotus blossom petal is carved from pink pearl shell, and pegged into place. This netsuke measures 4cm across.
Antler is a wonderfully suggestive material; I have several projects on the workbench right now that exploit its various qualities. With this piece, the spongy core, and rough edge suggested exploring the symbolism of the lotus.