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Arts and Crafts

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Scrimshaw Art II

Scrimshaw originated on whaling ships, somewhere between the years 1745 and 1759. At first it referred to making tools out of the byproducts of the caught whales by the whalers, but later on it took on the meaning of the hobby the whalers practised, in order to pass the time.

The whalers would use whales teeth and engraved them with sailing needles. The engravings were highlighted by rubbing candle black, soot, or tobacco juice in their artwork.

After commercial whaling was banned, scrimshaw almost vanished around the late 1800s, but it became popular again in the 1960s, when many took it on as a hobby.

Nowadays, in case real ivory is used, it is obtained through legal ways and carved with more refined tools, like those used at the dentist offices. That is something to think about, when you need to have dental work done!

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