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Monday, November 30, 2015

The art of scrimshaw - Mollyjogger’s penknife vII

A quick sketched outline for size 
This is what I had in mind but this side turned out a bit more ‘freeform’
Adding a fish (the fun bit)

The kit comes with carbon paper - use silver side up

Taping the trace over the carbon
A complete fish drawn but I like to ‘hoof it’ a bit, so just transposed a simple outline
This was enough for me to work on, just the body shape
Once the main fish lines were incised, it was easy to add more ink using the cotton buds
The ink is progressively wiped away using the wire wool from the kit
The final fish, complete with fly line and fly

1/2 dram of ink, ink swab and incising tool. As you can see, I deviated from my original design for this side, making things up as I went after all. 
A piece to treasure and none like it in the world!

Okay, the dorsal fin’s too long and carp-like, but it looks great
Further to a previous post where I tried my hand at the ancient mariner’s art of scrimshaw (incising into whale’s teeth/animal bone), for my son Jack, (‘Trapper’ knife), I loved the final result so much I recently made one for myself. This particular model of penknife, a ‘Barlow’ is also from and made in the States by Bear & Son. The quality is fabulous, heavy in the hand and opens and closes with a satisfyingly springy twang. The knife is a seamless, glassy, pebble-smooth blending of metal components and rivets and naturally sports a real bone handle. Mollyjogger are steeped in huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ history in the Ozark mountains, Arkansas, USA and attention to craft and detail is wholly evident in their very comprehensive scrimshaw kit:
  • Steel-point Scribe
  • 1/2 Dram India Ink
  • Tracing Tool
  • Transfer Paper
  • Fine Steel Wool
  • Ink Applicators
  • Specialty Multi-Surface Pencil
  • Step by Step Instructions and Sample Graphics
See picture captions for details, but this is as close as you can get to experiencing the whaling sailor’s art first-hand. A more original piece, whether for yourself or an ‘outdoorsy’ friend, you’d be hard-pushed to find. I hear they can ship to the UK for Christmas if ordered by the end of the 1st week of Dec too...