Scrimshaw is an early American art form originating from the whaling industry in the late 1700’s. 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.
You can experience this art form too as you scrimshaw the images of a hunt, big catch or simply the family name on your very own bone-handled pocket knife. This kit includes all you'll need to complete the project and is a perfect starter introduction into scrimshaw.