Scrimshaw, a folk-art dating back centuries, is a special form of engraving applied to whales’ teeth and bone by the ancient sailors.  This course offers an excellent way to begin traditional scrimshaw. Working with a hand scribe, you will learn attractive shading techniques and how to work on both natural and man-made materials. Also, basic composition and tool sharpening, as well as transfer methods for those who are “drawing challenged”. This hands-on course is specifically designed so no previous art or drawing experience is necessary.  Please note this class is not “machine assist”.  While not nearly as hard as most stone, the bone, horn, acrylic and ivory we will be working with do require a certain amount of hand strength. Each student will receive a scribe and sharp point, ink, and all accessories necessary for completion of 2-6 pieces. An optivisor or other magnification is recommended.

Building on these methods, students will be introduced to color. Again, working on both natural and man-made materials, modern scrimshaw methods utilizing the beauty of color will be explored. Preservation of your artwork will also be included. Students can expect to complete 2 -3 pieces in color.

Estimated cost is $100. Additional materials and inks will be available for purchase.

Lab Fee:  $100 

Estimated Materials Cost:  $0 and up depending on kits selected and materials used

Prerequisites:  None


Sandy Brady - Scrimshaw 

I first learned scrimshaw in 1978 and began selling my artwork almost immediately. Since then, I have accepted commissions from collectors all over the world.  My teaching began in 2005 and in addition to accepting private students and teaching classes around the US I have produced 2 ‘Learn Scrimshaw’ DVDs. I love to teach and am looking forward to getting to know a new group of students. Hopefully turning you all into scrimshaw enthusiasts! Want to know more? Check out my website.