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Old 09-30-2008, 09:07 PM
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KatherinePlumer KatherinePlumer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oak Run, California
Posts: 233
Default Re: Katherine's Scrimshaw Tutorial: experimenting with mammoth ivory

Well here's something really un-pretty to look at!

I went ahead and cut one end off that ivory slab. It still has one big crack on it, but that'll be on the backside. I'm using the cutoff piece for practice. I mean, I'm comfortable with scrim techniques, it's just that every surface handles differently so I'm hesitant to just dive in without sticking my toe in the water first, and as long as I have a scrap (unlike with the micarta last time around) I ought to make use of it.

This was a quickie thing with zero attempt to make it look good, so pardon the ugliness. I polished this to 4000 grit, was going to use fabulustre but forgot (oops), and then just poked some holes and made some scratches. One part got etching ink, the other part got drawing (India) ink. I expected the India ink to stain and bleed like mad, considering yesterday's water incident, but although it dried INSTANTLY on the surface it came right off with a damp q-tip. So, that surprises me. I'll be curious to see if anything changes over the next day or so.

Oh, and it IS soft! Wow! That'll be great for dark areas, but I'll have to be super duper careful not to accidentally scratch it.

I'll try sealing the other side and do the same thing again. Ren Wax or Super Glue... heck maybe I'll divide it in half and try both.

I feel a little funny going through all this because I'm sure plenty of you know exactly how to handle mammoth ivory, but this is how I go about learning.