Scrimshaw is an early American art form which originated in the late 1700’s during the era of the whaling industry. During the many idle hours at sea, a whaler etched drawings of nautical themes on items that were readily available to him such as sperm whale teeth and bones. His primary etching instrument was a sail needle, nail or pocket knife. After he scratched his art work into the surface of the bone, he would rub lamp black or tobacco juice into the scratch to reveal the drawing. As America traveled west, the frontiersmen carried the art form with them, applying it to their powderhorns, knives and other accoutrements in their spare time.
The themes of these etchings were often of wildlife, battle scenes, forts or maps. The Inuit Indians of Alaska also practiced the art of scrimshaw on walrus tusks and made many exquisite artifacts. Today the technique is practiced around the world on ivory, bone, mammoth tusks or man-made materials such as plastic or micarta.
You can experience this art form too as you scrimshaw the images of your choice on your very own bone-handled folding pocket knife. The KnifeKits.com Intermediate Scrimshaw kit includes all you'll need to complete the project with, and enough extra to do several more objects with. It's a perfect starter introduction into scrimshaw for knife makers and gunsmiths.
Recommended Age - 13 and up.
• Bone Handled 2-Blade Slipjoint Folder (440A)
• Scrimshaw Scribe (Heat Treated)
• Bottle of India Ink
• Carbon Paper
• Steel Wool
• Ink Applicator
• Scale Picture Samples
• Step by Step Instructions