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

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

Learning How to Scrimshaw – Ron Newton

Learning How to Scrimshaw book coverRon Newton’s book started out as a series of handouts developed from procedures and exercises that he discovered while practicing and teaching scrimshaw. Not all students start with the same skills and talents and need different types of help. By  practicing the exercises and following the procedures in this book you will find yourself producing some very beautiful works of scrimshaw. Ron has seen this happen repeatedly in class after class and has faith that  the reader can do the same thing. The author hopes that in some small why this book will bring more interest to this art form. The whales may be endangered but lets not let their memory or scrimshaw die.

Available at Amazon.

Scrimshaw? But I Can’t Draw!

Scrimshaw? But I Can't Draw! Book Cover
Love scrimshaw? Can’t Draw? Many whale-men, the original scrimshaw artists couldn’t draw either. Using their ingenuity and the tools at hand, they were able to fashion memorable pieces of art and carvings that survive to this day. You can scrimshaw, even if you can’t draw! It only takes a little guidance, some basic tools and a touch of modern technology.Using ancient mammoth ivory, natural “vegetable ivory” or other materials, you can create beautiful works of art the way the sailors did, without needing to lean over the port bow! A great way to de-stress, scrimshaw will bring you into a world of art you may never have thought possible to achieve.
“Scrimshaw? But I Can’t Draw!!” has links and instructions to everything you need to learn how to scrimshaw:

  • sources for fossilized ivory
  • “vegetable” ivory
  • tools
  • pigments
  • how to prepare tools and materialsScrimshaw? But I Can't Draw! Book Cover
  • techniques for shading
  • polishes and preservatives, and more.

Great book for beginners and who can and cannot draw, “Scrimshaw? But I Can’t Draw!” will walk you through the simple steps that many of the top scrimshaw artists use today.

Available at Amazon