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  Top » Catalog » Scrimshaw » About Scrimshaw
About Scrimshaw by Gene Martin

Eagle Scrimshaw on Handle

Bear Scrimshaw on Handle

Eagle and Bear Scrimshaw on Knife Handle


Scrimshaw is the art of carving, engraving, or otherwise making pictures in ivory. It was developed by the Yankee whalers and spread by them as an art form throughout the world. The original art was practiced on whale teeth and whale bones.


Todays scrimshanders use walrus ivory, fossil or ancient ivory from mastodons and walruses and where legal, elephant ivory. The knife makers of today use stippling techniques, scoring or carving to craft their art. Inks and paints are used rather than lamp black.

learned scrimshaw from Scrimshander Bob Engnath and use the stippling technique. I scrimshaw my own work. I use exclusively ancient ivory to avoid problems with the Endangered Species Act. I prefer wildlife themes. I do not do nudes.
Red Rose Scrimshawed on Knife Handle

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