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Author Topic: Trying Scrimshaw again  (Read 204 times)

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irockhound

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Trying Scrimshaw again
« on: June 25, 2021, 10:15:13 PM »

It has been years since I did any scrimshaw and I wanted to try it again.  In the past I could work on Ivory and I still have Fossil Ivory to work but can't really due to the ban.  So I also in the past worked antler and bone.  I thought I would give the noble Tagua nut a try.  It helps save rain forests by making a living off the trees rather than clearing them.  Tagua although similar in appearance to Ivory works a bit differently.  It has more pores than Ivory and works a bit more like bone and antler in that it will soak the Ink into the pores darkening the piece as you work.  I tried many different things to resolve this, super glue, whale wax, carnuba and others with limited success.  I finally broke down and ordered special museum grade wax that is amazing and that solved the pores as long as you reseal every time between inking's.  In cutting the Tagua I cut for the outer nut surface and during shaping it keeps some of the bark and the natural bark growth lines around the edge.  This was key in the design in that it reminds me of Tall grasses of Africa, hence the Elephants.  My early tests I built up too much shadow too quickly so with this I went lightly and repeatedly built up the detail and shadows.  I think it turned out great for my first try back at it.  I don't think I was that evolved or mature in my scrimshaw back then either so quite happy with the results.  Can't wait to do more.  There is some slight darkening I think inevitable by repeated inking's but to lighten you would have to sand the surface and then you lose portions of what was working too.  Best to let live and it will be what it wants.
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R.U. Sirius

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Re: Trying Scrimshaw again
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2021, 03:29:28 PM »

The way you incorporated the bark into the composition is beautiful! It's really a pleasure to look at.

Have you ever worked with datolite? Here are a few examples for everyone here:

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/datolite-scrimshaw-kurt-wolter-1722723017

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00357520009605648?journalCode=vram20
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irockhound

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Re: Trying Scrimshaw again
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2021, 06:32:00 PM »

Nope I haven't, I do have Howlite locally which is another BoroSilicate and comes in at a 3.5 or 4ish.  Stark White as long as you don't cut it with oil and nice dark lines in good pieces.  People use it often for carving or painting on but it would work well for scrimshaw I think.  Problem with the Tagua which from the article on that piece sounda like datolite has also is sizes.  Being a palm nut getting one larger than 2 or more inches is harder to buy but worth it for the xtra palette area.  I have one Datolite nodule here but it is colored and I think I will leave it as my only specimen.  Never thought about scribing for it's softness but all options.  Thanks for the great info!
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