Halloween Scrimshaw?

Jason R. Webb's scrimshaw on an ivory piece before inking

Jason R. Webb has been hard at work creating more masterful scrimshaw.  His subject? Skeletons! Perfect for this time of the year, and any time if you need a real challenge.  The piece we’re focusing on is some old ivory piece he polished the back of, and has scrimmed the entire picture before putting down the ink.  This technique does two things:

  • It allows the artist to create extremely fine lines that would lose their ink if subsequent inkings and rubbings were done (every time you rub away the ink you run the risk of compressing the ivory, especially if you have to rub hard)
  • The ivory has less of a chance to become stained or saturated by multiple inkings.

It is a painstaking technique I have not mastered, but seeing Jason’s work makes me want to try at least one or two in order to see how well it comes out.  Jason uses an OptiVISOR and a plain “twisty” type compact fluorescent as a light source, along with a couple of Coulter Precision tools.  (see this page for full size pics).


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