I will explain the history of the art of scrimshaw from early whaling to modern. I explain the materials used and the laws governing the materials. Guests will be shown examples of all materials such as whale teeth and woolly mammoth ivory as well as several 19c original sailor made artifacts such as a whalebone fid, clothes pin and sailmakers seam rubber. We then will take a studio tour of my work space where I will show guests how to prepare materials for engraving. We will sand and polish an antique piano key ivory so it is ready to engrave. Afterwards I will demonstrate the art of engraving step by step before instructing guests how to make their own piece of scrimshaw. You will leave with a finished piece along with a small bag of ancient mammoth ivory, a scribe and ink to continue creating scrimshaw at home.
I am a scrimshaw artist. Scrimshaw is the art of engraving on ivory or bone originally made by the American whalers in their idol time on board ships while hunting for whales as early as the 18 th c. I apprenticed with my brothers while in college and I opened my first store in Baltimore, MD in 1982. I then relocated to Newport in 1986 to my store located on Bowen’s Wharf. I make all of the scrimshaw jewelry and knives in the store.
Engraving tool, ink and a Tagua nut disk to practice on. We will finish engraving the piano key ivory you prepared…
We will begin at my home studio with a history of the art then proceed to my basement work station to sand and polish an ivory piano key. We the go upstairs to make a piece of scrimshaw.