Scrimshaw whale tooth
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Photograph, b/w Depicts a whaling ship locked in arctic ice, drying her sails, as a group of seal hunters and flow-fishermen go out from the ship. Scrimshaw is considered an original American folk art form. While at sea whaling the carving of ivory, bone, or shell offered diversion and entertainment for the sailors as they waited for a whale to be spotted. It required a great deal of patience and accurate control of the sharp instrument used to incise the lines on the object. Traditionally, an engraving tool the size of a large needle was used to scratch or "draw" on the object. Then an application of india ink was rubbed into the recessed lines scratched on the surface. The excess ink was then wiped away, providing contrast and bringing the pictures to life. Whaling Slide Show 16 History; 15 Economics; 17 Geography
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
Folk art--United States
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