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Arts and Crafts

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Scrimshaw Art

Scrimshaw is the art of carving figures and scenes in to the teeth of walruses and whales and elephant tusks. That was then, but this is now and we don't like animals being killed for this, or any other kind of art.

There is a solution which works just as fine as the real deal; you can use Micarta which refers to a composite of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber, or other fabric in a thermosetting plastic. In other words; it is a polymer product which lends itself very well for this decorative and creative art, but camel bones, and I suppose any other animal bones like cows or pigs for instance, will work too.

People who have taken on this hobby are called scrimshanders. I suspect that this very fine, intricate and delicate form of art takes a lot of patience and you can make it as detailed as you want.

I have seen cufflinks, umbrella handles, lids for small boxes, and lots of jewelry made with and out of scrimshaw.

Don't worry: no animals were harmed or killed during the typing of this post and I like to keep it that way. Therefore, if you like to practise this art, I would advice you to resort to the artificially created polymer 'ivory', or bones and teeth of animals which are not endangered. The bones being left over from the barbecue ribs would do just as well.

Thanks! :-)

See also:
Scrimshaw Art II

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