The Truly Original American Art of Scrimshaw
by Artist Terry Christian
History of Scrimshaw Scrimshaw is considered a truly original American art form. The whalers took up this hobby as a way to pass time on the long voyages away from home. The sailors were considered to be "shirking their duties" as a result of this activity. That phrase became the definition of scrimshaw.
On the 3 to 5 year journey at sea, boredom would set in as whales were not always sighted. Months could pass between kills. So the sailors began to take what was at hand (whales teeth, sail needles or a knife, lamp black) and scratch artwork into the ivory.
Terry Christian has enjoyed a life long fascination with the ancient art of Scrimshaw. He is taking this age old art of sailors to a new, greener level. His etchings are created without harming any living species. He uses a base of either 10,000 year old Mammoth Ivory, 100+ year old Walrus Ivory, and a new "Green" material called "Eco Ivory," which is an entirely man-made material mimicing the properties of ivory.
Terry has an inventory of Scrimshaw art for sale, and is also available for custom commisioned artwork, made to your specifications. Please browse through his Scrimshaw Art Gallery. Enjoy!