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A Scrimshaw Art Journey: What it is & How to Do it; Five Simple Steps to Success

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 11-11-2007 11:27 PM 53160 reads 15 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A Scrimshaw Art Journey: A Lumberjock’s “Short Version” of the Techniques for Decorating a Powder Horn

by: Mark A. DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

(This writing, photos, and artwork are protected by copyright by M.A. DeCou 2007-2010, all rights reserved, please ask permission before using any part or component.)

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UPDATE 9-25-2012:
This past summer I had four students at the John C. Campbell Folk School class on Powder Horn Building and Scrimshaw Artwork. We had a good time together and accomplished some great work. Click the Widget Picture to go see photos and the story of that teaching expedition:

Click for details

I do not have any current plans to teach an intensive class on Powder Horn Building. If you are interested in assembling a class for me to lead, let me know. I do this work full time, therefore I am unable to travel and do free seminars, or classes.

FOR SALE?
I currently have four powder horns that are finished and ready for Scrimshaw Artwork, so if you are looking to buy a new horn that is as well crafted as I can accomplish, please contact me for more information.
You can see the Powder Horns I have ready for sale by going to my Etsy.com Store

email: mark@decoustudio.com
thanks,
Mark DeCou

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Here are a couple of Powder Horns that have previously been sold:
Powder Horn #16 -
Powder Horn #21 -

Project posting of Finished Scrimshaw Powder Horns

Visit here For the basic steps on How To Build Your Own Powder Horn

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Every Journey Starts With the First Step (or a Knock on a door):

I remember well the first time I ever heard the word “Scrimshaw.” I had gone to visit a very nice man that lives in my area of the Kansas Flinthills, and he used the term.

I had been transplanted from Wichita, KS earlier that year to work on a Men’s Ranch near Florence, KS called Morning Star Ranch, a ministry of World Impact, Inc., to teach woodworking and carpentry. Since I was new to the area, I wanted to meet some folks and get involved in what they were doing in the area. There are a lot of folks around here that shoot black powder guns, and re-enact history in the “Mountain Man Era”, so I decided that I would also. This was in the 1998-1999 timeframe. As a kid, I pretended to be Davy Crockett, or Daniel Boone, most kids my age did in those years. So, my doing it as an adult sort of fit my childlike mind anyway.

As for black powder shooting, I didn’t know a thing about what I was doing, or going to do. Naive, they call that. To learn about black powder guns, I went into the local gun shop/men’s hangout and asked about what I needed to shoot black powder. I felt pretty silly.

The guys all looked at each other and smiled, and then the gun shop owner, Cliff, said, “You need to go see Larry, then come back and I’ll sell you what you need.”

So, I got directions to Larry’s house from Cliff, and traveled to knock on his door.

Larry has a large ranch, with exotic animals, and it is a really cool place. There are remnants of fun things laying everywhere, piles of antlers, inventions he is developing, steel shooting targets, vehicles he is making into something else, farm equipment, and other things a rancher has at his place. At the time, he even had a real fat little racoon that he had in a big cage that he would talk to like it was a little baby, with a sweet little high pitched voice, and give it food to eat. He just loves animals.

After I knocked, a lady (Nancy) answered the door, I introduced myself and said that I had been sent to see “Larry” about learning to shoot blackpowder.

She called back over her shoulder, “Larry!”

I could tell by her body language and the tone in her voice, that I wasn’t the first disciple to show up at her door to see Larry about how to make something. Larry has a long reputation as being a local artisan and craftsman and expert in a lot of different things. I quickly found that his reputation in that regard is well earned.

Larry came to the door, and looked me over. I explained that I was wanting to see if he would teach me something about black powder shooting, and that the guys in town at the gun shop had sent me. I figured if he didn’t want to help me, at least he would blame the guys in town for sending me out.

Larry said in a deep voice, “well, come on in.”

That started a wonderful friendship, as for the next 5 hours we talked “blackpowder.” Since I was so naive, I asked a lot of dumb questions. Larry was patient with me, and answered them all.

During that evening, he used the term “scrimshaw” in a sentence. Something like, ”well, you just as well learn to build a powderhorn yourself, and do some scrimshaw.”

I had no idea what that word meant and let the word pass on by unquestioned the first three times I heard it.

Later in the evening, he mentioned the word again, the fourth time. This time, he showed me some of his own “Scrimshaw” work on a powder horn he had built. A wolf looking around from behind a tree, and an elk, and some other things. I looked it all over closely, and couldn’t figure out how it was done.

So, I gathered the courage and finally asked, “how is this done?”

Larry pulled out a bunch of written materials from a large metal file cabinet, and added it to my bag of stuff he was sending home with me to read. Then, he said, “Well, if you are going to try to scrim (scrimshander talk), then you need something to work on, let’s go to the shop.” So, I followed him to the shop.

Out in his shop, he had about 20, maybe more, gunny sacks full of old cow horns. He dumped a few out, and said, “if you see something you want, grab it.” I didn’t know what to look for, but was too proud to ask another dumb question. So, Larry kept dumping sacks of horns out on the concrete floor, and kicking them around in the dust, looking them over. Finally, since I was not committing to anything laying on the floor, Larry selected out of the growing pile, 4 horns, and said, “These ought to do for you,” and I just “nodded agreement.”

“Let’s go back in the house,” Larry said.

Back inside, we talked more about how Scrimshaw was done, and he showed me some more examples, some tools he has used, and other details. To be honest, I really didn’t figure that I could do it, as it all seemed too involved, too detailed, and too artistic for me, but at this point I was “committed.”

It was then at about 10:00 pm that evening, that I realized that I had gotten so involved in the learning session with Larry, that I hadn’t told my wife where I was. I have a bad problem of getting “involved” with things, and losing track of time.

She had only been married to me for about 6 years at that point, and this was still a very irritating character flaw of mine. Well, actually, to be honest, now after 15 years, she is not any closer to liking it. I have promised to be different, but then something comes up. What’s a guy to do? My mind is just made to “focus” intently when I am doing something I love to learn about, or do. This is a good trait when I am building something in the shop, but not a good trait when living with someone that moves through life on exact schedules. I understand her frustration completely. It frustrates me to…..................that she doesn’t understand. Ha.

I had only gone over to Larry’s house to see if I could schedule an appointment, and so I hadn’t told my wife where I was, figuring I would be back for supper in just a few minutes. When Larry invited me in, we started talking and I was learning so fast, I had forgotten that I hadn’t told my wife where I was. I didn’t even feel hungry at the normal dinner time. I told you that I can get pretty involved with interesting things.

As you can imagine, and rightly so, my wife was not too happy to see my dirty cow horns, or my bag of books, or hear about my stories of what I learned with Larry that night. In fact, I think it took a few days before she would talk with me, other than the very minimum it takes to exist in a house with an upset spouse. I tried to be pleasant and let it all blow over.

During that “cooling-off” period, I spent my evenings working in the woodshop, building my first powder horn. I built that first horn, taking a long time to do each step, reading and learning before going to the next step. A few weeks later, I had the horn finished.

The night before my first Rendezvous adventure, I spent about 45 minutes doing a simple scrimshaw drawing of a Lion & Lamb on the side of that first horn, and took it with me that next Saturday morning to the “Florence, Kansas Labor Day Mountain Man Rendezvous” that Larry told me about on the edge of town.

I ended up taking 2nd in the shooting competition, and winning a wonderful prize, a stained-glass picture of an Indian that Larry had made and donated to the event for a prize. Another item in my little stash of treasures with a “story.”

I forgot to tell you, that after I did buy a gun, a Pedersoli over/under double breach percussion cap rifle, Larry spent his Easter Sunday afternoon that year helping me sight the gun in, and tailored the amount of powder I needed for a competition shooting event.

This rifle has two barrels, and he helped me sight the gun in so well, that at 50 yards, I put a round ball through the same target hole with each barrel. I was shooting from a bench sand bag. I still have that target with “one” hole in it.

With that kind of confidence, I spent the next few months practicing, and learning to control my breathing. Larry had once been the National Champion Fast Draw shooter, and so he is an excellent instructor for competitive shooting. So, don’t give me credit for the 2nd place, it was all Larry’s training.

I would have taken 1st Place, but there was some descrepancy and confusion in the scoring. I was thrilled with 2nd, and didn’t fuss at all. The winners each came forward and picked out a prize from the prize table in order. The 1st place winner foolishly selected the “top prize” which was a cheap percussion rifle. I had my eyes on the stained glass piece that Larry made, so whether I was 1st, or 2nd, I would have gotten the same prize!

During the Rendezvous that weekend, I had so many people compliment me on the 1st powder horn, that I spent the next few weeks building three more from the other horns Larry had given me.

And, just like that, with a lot of practice, trial and error, and research, I became a Powder Horn Builder, and a Scrimshaw Artist. People started asking to trade for them, and then pay for them, and then finally commissioned them. Learning Scrimshaw has been a fun journey, that I am not close to ending yet.

I gifted my 2nd Powder Horn to my new friends “Larry & Nancy” for their hospitality and encouragement in the craft. Nancy is a sweet hearted lady, a great hostess, and she supports this discipling that Larry does with folks like me, by bringing in something to drink, and adding her comments about how talented her husband is, and reminding him of things he has made that he needs to shown. Over the years, I have found her to be an “encourager” not just to me, but to anyone trying to do anything that she runs in to. She tells you that you are doing great, and to keep going. A guy needs a friend like that. They make a great pair.

All I had to do was to overcome my fears…......and knock on the door.

Since that first evening with Larry, whenever some stranger comes nosing around my shop asking for advice, I have tried my best to help them on their own journey. I have been tested in this many times, and sometimes my own pressures of money and time are hard to manage when someone shows up, but I try to do as Larry and Nancy do for me, drop everything and help.

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Here is the 1st Powder horn:

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Here are a couple of photos showing the #2 Powder Horn that I gave to Larry and Nancy:

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Tools I use (Does it matter?): (Updated 10-13-2008)

One of the most common questions I get is whether I use a rotary tool to do the artwork. If you do that, you are not doing Scrimshaw, in my opinion.

Scrimshaw is not just “artwork” on a piece of cow horn, or ivory, but also it must include a certain style of technique and tools. I have found some pretty opinionated folks on this subject, and I’m just one of them with an opinion.

Some would say that Scrimshaw must be Nautical Art to be accurate. Some would go further and say that it must be done by old-time whaling sailors, and that anything contempory should not be called “Scrimshaw.”

Others say that the art-piece has to be completed with a knife without aided eye magnification.

However, if you take that thought process to the extreme, you’d conclude that you must be sitting on a ship deck working by whale oil lamp flame, at night, with a small pen knife, and wearing a sailor’s hat, tired from a log day at sea.

Where do you draw the line?

But, on the other hand, if you go the other direction with the argument, you could say that Laser inscribed artwork of digital images should also be called Scrimshaw.

Others feel that the term Scrimshaw should not include colored, or acrylic painted work.

And, does it really matter?

It does to some folks for sure, and don’t underestimate the range of emotions that an opinion leaning one direction will draw out of people.

Ok, let’s continue, if Scrimshaw by it’s very nature, is an historic folk-art. Should it not have some relevance to the history of the art form?

So that I don’t get angry emails, I’ll just say that it is my opinion, that Scrimshaw should at least include some relevance in form and style, and in technique and the tools used, to the historic precedents.

Ok, that’s great. But what is the historic precedent you want to use?

They range from very crude folk-art, to highly detailed professional artists, as examples of the full range can be found in museums.

So, how do we conclude what the definition should be, and what tools should be used to do it?

You can’t. That’s my point.

Ok, back to my opinion, since that’s the question I get asked by others.

I feel that “Scrimshaw artwork”, by my definition, should not include work done by rotary tools, colored acrylic painted work, lasers, or resin castings.

Further more, you can do whatever artwork you want to do with whatever tools you want to do it with, in my definition, you just wouldn’t it “Scrimshaw”, that’s my opinion. Whew, there I said it. Maybe label it as “Scrimshaw-Inspired”. I’d respect that description.

Again, it is not the talent of the artist, or the perfection of the artwork, that consitutes my definition, but solely, the relevance to the historic precendent.

From that, we can surely agree that it did not include rotary tools. Can’t we? I didn’t think we could agree.

I have seen some really nice work by others with a rotary tool, and color painted work, but it is not my preference for the work I enjoy doing, in that I appreciate the historical precedent, at least to some point.

But What Really Matters?
I feel that it is the most important to be honest about the work you do. Just be truthful about what you tell people you use for tools. Just be truthful, is that too hard? For some, it is.

Just to prove my point, in my opinion, you should not sell a “Scrimshaw Powder Horn” on eBay where the description says something like it came from Great Grandpa’s attic, and that it is old, antique, and historic work.

Does this actually happen? Of course it does, and it happens often. To prove my point, I bought one of those horns, so described, for $60 one time, just so that I could thoroughly inspect it. The work was done with a rotary tool in about 15 minutes, very rushed, and then the horn was stained with leather dye. Probably tops, was about a month old when it was shipped to me, maybe less. I didn’t feel “taken” since I knew what I was buying from inspecting the photos, despite the written description. But, would I trust that person to buy from again? Of course not.

It is what it is, and you do it like you do it. I’m just saying, tell the truth, and don’t lie about it.

Also, in my opinion, the term “Scrimshaw” should not include resin cast copies of an original, whether the original is an antique, or a newly produced item. And, in my opinion, the definition should not include laser inscribed digital artwork, regardless of how “old” the artwork style looks.

But in the end, the artist and the collector are the only two who’s opinions matter.

That is unless the new President is going to fix this debate also.

Maybe we need a “Scrimshaw Definition Bailout Plan.” Just trying to be funny. I know my brand of dry sarcastic humor doesn’t translate well in text.

Continuing, I’ve even seen some really nice artwork on a powder horn that was a surface drawing with a permanent magic marker, and it was proudly called “Scrimshaw” by the artist. I could admire the artwork, but not the definition.

Again, I don’t think it is the “artwork” that is so important, but rather the technique used to accomplish it. If you just use a black marker and draw artwork on a cow horn, I would not consider that Scrimshaw by definition. Maybe be pretty art, but it would not be Scrimshaw, or engraving.

Don’t send me argumentative emails, you most likely won’t change my opinion anyway.

I really don’t want to argue, but I get asked these questions a lot by internet surfers, so I thought I would put my ideas on the subject here to reduce the number of questions I receive each month.

whew. Don’t hate me.

So, here is a picture showing the tools I use to do the scrimshaw artwork:

email Engraving Tools and horn

They are very simple, nothing fancy, or expensive:
  1. Carbide Round Point Machinist Scribe, for deep lines and curves
  2. Exacto Blade with a long sharp point, used for small cutting lines
  3. Sharpee Permanent Ink marker
  4. Artists Permanent Ink Marker
  5. Magnifying Lens Visor
I have also used,
  1. India Ink, printer’s ink
  2. Sharpened Needle
  3. Variety of Dental Picks
  4. 0000# Steel Wool

that’s it.

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Scrimshaw: A Text Book Working Definition of What It Is:
In simple terms, Scrimshaw generally describes the art of scratching, or inscribing of a design on a piece of ivory, bone, horn, shell, or antler, or many other natural materials, to produce decorative objects, jewelry, and useful items. Some experts claim that the only true scrimshaw work is of a nautical nature, completed by sailors on whaling vessels. Other experts expand the definition to include non-nautical motifs. Scrimshaw is an easy craft to learn, the tools are inexpensive and easily obtainable. Finding the materials to work on, the patience, managing the eye-strain and cramped fingers, are the difficult parts of this craft.

(adapted from a great book called “Scrimshaw a Traditional Folk Art, A Contemporary Craft”):
Scrimshaw is wonderful craft with a rich, romantic history. Imagine coming from small town, or farm, eager for the romance and adventure of the sea, pursuing an imagined fortune by signing onto a whaling vessel for a three, or four year voyage. During the whaling voyages, the sailors experienced long periods between the capturing and processing of whales, and once all the chores were done, there was a lot of spare time.

Sperm whales were pursued all over the world for their superior oil; the fact that these whales have teeth was of added interest to the sailors. Each sailor was allotted his share of teeth, and bone, to decorate or carve as he wished, and this became a very pleasant way to pass the long hours. Some of the sailors had an artistic ability and were able to sell, or trade their scrimshaw work with other men on the ship, or with vendors when they reached a port. The scenes that were inscribed often depicted the activities and dreams that took place during their long voyages. These original scrimshaw items have become some of the most sought after collectibles of Americana, easily reaching auction figures of $10,000-$50,000 per item.

Although most people who have heard of scrimshaw think of it only as crude nautical pictures scratched into the surface of pieces of ivory, true scrimshaw is actually represented by a wide assortment of art and craft forms which were performed with a similarly wide assortment of materials. Kitchen utensils, baskets, pendants, knitting needles, pie crust crimpers, walking canes, bird cages, Dominoes, rolling pins, pipes, Cribbage boards, hair combs, and even tools were all fashioned by scrimshanders.

Today’s scrimshanders are still doing pretty much what the old scrimshanders did, only better, using sharper instruments, magnification, better lighting, and steady benches to work at. What has become harder today is finding a suitable items to incise with artwork. Because there is no more whaling done in this country, the availability of whale’s teeth is limited to what was left from several years ago when supplies were imported from other countries, as importation is no longer legal. Therefore, today’s Scrimshanders are turning to substitute materials, such as legal, pre-ban, elephant and walrus ivory, deer and elk antlers, cow and beef bone, shell, vegetable ivory, and plastics.

The material that is to be engraved is sanded until smooth and then polished to remove all scratches. The design is then drawn onto the surface with a pencil or pen, and then the lines are scratched with a knife point, or a sharpened needle. Once the lines are incised, they are filled with black ink, dyes, or oil paints, and any excess pigment is quickly buffed away. The areas that were incised will be filled with the color.

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Scrimshaw: How to Do it:

Scrimshaw can be done on any item that has a light, or white background, and that is soft enough to accept a scratch from a hand knife. I have a lot of photos from my powder horn work, so that is the medium I have selected for this blog. So, the first step is to build a powder horn.

If you don’t know how to do that, I put some tips in this blog:

http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/decoustudio/blog/2482

Once the powder horn surface has been sanded to 220 grit, I rub it well with #0000 steel wool. Another method is to use a broken piece of glass, or a knife edge and scrape the material. Scraping always produces little flat facets, and can “chatter” leaving little bumps that show up pretty ugly when hit with the ink. Most experts say that historic powder horns were scraped, while a few are known to have been sanded with a leather pad and granular abrasive, the forerunner of modern sand paper. However you do it, you need the horn as smooth as you can get it. I prefer a satin sheen to it, polishing it with a muslin wheel and rubbing compound is pretty easy to do at this point, but I prefer the satin look to a highly polished looked, just my preference.

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My Five Simple Steps to Scrimshaw:

Step 1. Pencil in the artwork
email Pencil drawing the artwork

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Step 2. Cut the artwork into the horn material with a knife point. I also use a scribe to scratch lines and use the point for stippling.

a email Knife Cutting the artwork

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Step 3. Ink the Cuts. I use either a permanent artist’s black ink marker, or a bottle of liquid printer’s ink. The liquid is just messier, which is not good when using the Wife’s kitchen table to work on.
a email inking the artwork 100_1230

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Step 4. Remove the excess ink. I use either spit and my thumb, or #0000 steel wool. The steel wool process is shown in this photo. The black ink sits in the cuts, and so they are left black once the surface ink has been removed.

email Wool cleaning the inked artwork

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Now for the last step:

Step 5. Attend my class at the John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC this coming July 2012

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GALLERY

thanks for reading,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

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(Note, all text, photos, artwork, designs, are protected by copyright 2007-2010. Any use of this material, in whole, or part is not permitted without the expressed written consent of the author, M.A. DeCou. Weblinks to this page are permitted, but please do not copy and paste my information into your webpage, blog, or any other medium.)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com



17 comments so far

View Buckskin's profile

Buckskin

486 posts in 2640 days


#1 posted 11-11-2007 11:49 PM

I have been curious about this. Thank you for sharing the basic premise!!!!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2632 days


#2 posted 11-12-2007 12:36 AM

Hi Mark;

You are truly an artist!

Thanks for sharing this info with us all.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Calgirl's profile

Calgirl

188 posts in 2548 days


#3 posted 11-12-2007 12:40 AM

Very interesting. I’d like to try to “scrim”. A “scrim” inlay on some project would be fun and certainly unique. Thanks for the information and pictures, Lee.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View gene's profile

gene

2184 posts in 2536 days


#4 posted 11-12-2007 03:10 AM

Simply beautiful artistry and craftsmanship !
I really enjoyed the information to.
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2615 days


#5 posted 11-12-2007 05:43 AM

Good work Mark.
About 30 years ago I got shoved into doing schrim by a knife maker. I was doing his sheathes and he saw some of my ink drawings. Soon, he had me doing knife scales and later I did several horns. I did some on plexiglass and it turned out pretty well. Most of the knife handles were on elephant tusk. I used an Exacto knife and India ink and like you rubbed it out with spit. I haven’t done any for years but I need to find my remaining piece of tusk and do a set of knife scales for a knife for the WoodCraft store and a couple sheathes to display. One thing I remember was that you can’t use a power sander on ivory or horn. The ivory will split in a little while and the horn develops a hard layer on the surface. also the knife maker always treated the ivory with peanut oil. Don’t know why, he just did.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1992 posts in 3058 days


#6 posted 11-12-2007 02:34 PM

Thomas: I learned over in another blog I wrote yesterday that you build saddles. This is something I didn’t know. So, hearing that you are also working scrim, is not a surprise. Your work is amazing, and I would enjoy seeing your scrimshaw work and saddles. A talented dude you are. Thanks for your note.

Calgirl: scrimshaw inlay in woodworking is a very fun thing. I have done it many times with scraps of ivory I have left over. It is a great way to decorate, add a person’s name, or monogram, or even just add a date. Be careful buying ivory though. I only buy mine from the Warther Museum in Ohio. David Warther provides me with a legal certificate for the ivory. Also, in the USA, you can own pre-ban ivory, but you can’t take it out of the USA. Rightly so, the protection of these magnficient elephants must be done. I was laying in bed last night thinking that I ought to do a blog on all of the different materials a person can use to do scrimshaw artwork on. There are many, and it would be a nice addition to the information to list it out, with some source names. There are just so many things to write, and so little time to do it.

Thanks Gene, Lee, and Buckskin,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2813 days


#7 posted 11-12-2007 04:56 PM

a wonderful tutorial – and story behind the journey.
As always, a wonderful read!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View rookster's profile

rookster

67 posts in 2803 days


#8 posted 11-15-2007 01:40 AM

Thanks for the basic tutorial. This is something I can see trying someday.

Also, thanks for the constant inspiration: you consistently post works of art that make me aware of what a blessing it is to have hands and use them.

-- Rookster, (http://www.robertkarl.org/woodworkingblog/)

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2689 days


#9 posted 01-17-2008 01:32 AM

This is really interesting work, Mark. Thanks for the description of the process and a good read!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 2527 days


#10 posted 01-17-2008 10:43 AM

Wow. Neat process. Thanks for taking the time to write it all up.

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2591 days


#11 posted 01-17-2008 12:57 PM

Since I joined up here at LumberJocks, I’ve been wondering about the details of scrimshaw and missed this when you first wrote it. A most interesting, detailed and educational write up. I appreciate the time it took to do this. Your work is remarkable. Thanks for the lessson.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

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Dadoo

1764 posts in 2643 days


#12 posted 01-17-2008 01:28 PM

I remember learning a type of scrimshaw while in a high school art class. Like Thos said, we did it on a piece of plexiglass and inked it with a printers ink. It was then flipped over onto a white background. This is an interesting way to begin as you can place a sketch under the plexi-glass and follow the lines. Some of the students turned out some nice scrim and it was an interesting way to pass time. My “scratcher” though was just a sharpened nail.

After seeing your knive sets, I have an urge to make a set for myself and my boys. They’re both very avid hunters and we have an abundance of deer antlers forming. My son is a licensed hunting guide who usually makes a trip to Montana every year “just to get away”. And yes, I got him into black powder as well!

Excellent blog here Mark. We really appreciate your taking the time to do this.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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SCOTSMAN

5361 posts in 2238 days


#13 posted 10-27-2008 11:45 PM

Hi – Really beautiful work you are a real old time artist this work even copies of this work in modern materials is beautiful and a opart of our history.kindest regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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mmh

3420 posts in 2375 days


#14 posted 12-09-2008 12:41 AM

Beautiful work and excellent tutorial. Thanks for sharing such wonderful information.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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George Barreras

185 posts in 1944 days


#15 posted 07-29-2009 01:01 AM

Thank you so much for the very interesting tutorial. I also see my self trying this some time soon. You create beautiful work.

-- Nubs,Reserve

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