originally was the product of American whalers.
Sailors carved and engraved whale bone and
teeth into tools, baskets, and knick-knacks,
filling in the long hours and days between
chores and whale sightings.
scrimshaw often is engraved into fossil mammoth
ivory, bone, horn, and various synthetic
ivory materials such as Micarta and Ultra
Ivory (a new and fairly expensive substitute).
surface of the ivory is cut or pricked with
a needle or hobby knife, and ink or paint
is rubbed into the cut to permanently color
it. It is a very long and painstaking process.
The Indian woman, shown at right, required
about 80 hours to complete.
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