Scrimshaw for Young People

Picachu scrimshaw on acrylic teardropMy daughter wanted a Pokemon scrimshaw necklace. Figuring she would be wearing it onto the water, taking it off and leaving it someplace by accident, etc., I made it on a piece of white acrylic. This material has its challenges when it comes to coloring. Being a plastic, inks other than black tend to wash away very easily and don’t adhere in the scribed lines. So how do you make the pigment stay? My first solution was to let the ink dry completely then rub off the ink on the polished surface, which left very little ink on the body (the transparent yellow ink does not work well on acrylic, but works great on ivory, bone and tagau nut). The second solution worked, though: using a high quality artist’s colored pencil, I filled in the scribed lines again and wiped away the excess. The color stayed quite well, though just for safe measure I have since given it three coats of clear gloss spray varnish.
Since it’s acrylic, acrylic paint may work as well. Since she’d like another one, complete with each of it’s evolved variations (what have I gotten myself into?!), we’ll try some acrylic paint on the next one to see how that holds up. Oh yes… her friend’s birthday is coming up too…

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