Lighthouse Template from “Scrimspirations 2”

Lighthouse with waves crashing to the left
CC-SA Dennis Jarvis

Below is the template from the October 2015 Newsletter.  I try to include at least one template or pattern per newsletter to either use or inspire you to create a piece of scrimshaw.  It’s fun and easy, and if you’re like me, you tend to get lost in the work for awhile. Best of all, you have something to show once you’ve finished!  Clicking on the link will open a .pdf you can print out as a reference or as a template.  Use color, black and white or just set it near your workplace and begin to sketch.  Special thanks to Dennis Jarvis for providing the image under the Creative Commons share alike license!

I just released the second “Scrimspirations” templates on (Scrimspirations 2: Tall Ships and Sea Life) – twenty seven templates you can use to create a piece of scrimshaw on mammoth ivory, alternative ivory, mother of pearl (see Anita’s work on facebook for a beautiful example), a lightswitch cover, drawer pull… the list goes on for things you can scrimshaw!

Louisbourg Lighthouse Scrimshaw Template:
Louisbourg Lighthouse – Dennis Jarvis – Share-Alike-pdf

Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum

Ingenious Contrivances Cover

Jack Chang brought this book to our attention: Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum

A coffee table book detailing 700 of the over 5000 pieces of scrimshaw at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Beautifully photographed, you can see crimpers, canes, umbrellas, swifts and more all carved to pass the time or sell after their journey was done, or in ports they would stop at to enhance their wages.

Thank you Jack, and thanks to Stuart M. Frank for taking the time

The Art of Scrimshaw – DVDs

cover - art-of-scrimshaw-linda-karst-stone

The Art of Scrimshaw (2 DVDs)

Linda Karst Stone is one of the leading scrimshaw artists in the field today and has been featured in numerous publications. Her abilities have earned her a successful career in the art of scrimshaw. On this two DVD set, Linda invites you into her studio as she transforms a simple piece of ivory into artwork with photographs, a tool, and color. DVD one focuses on transferring an image from a photograph to a piece of ivory using a graph and pencil then etching the complete image in place. cover - art-of-scrimshaw-linda-karst-stoneThe second disc brings to life a black and white image using pigments and various degrees of etching. Linda patiently teaches you her techniques, tools, tips, scale, guides, methods, shadows, depth, highlights and inks in order bring character and dimension to your scrimshaw art, and all without power tools!

Available at Amazon

Scrimshaw Techniques by Jim Stevens

Scrimshaw Techniques: With Gallery of Contemporary Artists


Jim Steven’s guide is a dazzling showcase of this uniquely American art form. The pages are filled with tips, techniques, and insights that both educate and demonstrate the steps to creating authentic and beautiful scrimshaw. An examination of ivory includes a wide range of alternative natural and man-made ivory substitutes, including bone, horn, and nuts. Over 200 color photos, this step-by-step guide addresses scrimshaw tools, patterns, inking, and inlays.

scrimshaw-techniques-jim-stevensJim’s second book “Advanced Scrimshaw Techniques” delves advanced-scrimshaw-techniques-jim-stevensdeeper into scrimshaw techniques including color scrimshaw, using power tools, ivory carving with hand and power tools, and practices in the care, conservation, repair, and restoration of ivory scrimshaw objects.

The Scrimshander’s Secret Scrapbook of Whaling Era Illustrations

scrimashander's secret scrapbook cover

Need some inspiration for creating a piece of scrimshaw, a drawing or a painting? The Scrimshander’s Secret Scrapbook of Whaling Era Illustrations is over 180 images from the 19th and early 20th centuries with sea-faring and whaling images originally created as woodcuts, lithographs drawings and paintings. These illustrations cover the range from catastrophes – where boatfuls of sailors get overturned by angry whales to the fabled “Kraken” – the giant octapus reaching out of the depths to take down the hapless ship! With these period illustrations, you are sure to find inspiration for your own masterpiece on what ever medium you choose: mammoth ivory, piano keys, canvas, or a vintage tattoo!

Available at