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Old 10-02-2008, 12:45 AM
KatherinePlumer's Avatar
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, the consensus seems to be that I've just got a bad piece of ivory here and that mammoth ivory isn't all like this. Good to know! :yesnod: It's not chalky, just has a lot of cracking. I can scratch it with a fingernail, but I have really hard fingernails so that doesn't mean much, I can scratch the elephant ivory too.

The trouble with doing these work-in-progress things in "real time" is that everyone sees when problems arise! Oh well, that's okay, learning process all around. Stubborn and hardheaded as I am (oh yes, some of my endearing traits), by golly this is going to work!!! I'm not giving up on this one (what a boring tutorial that would be!).

Actually it looks a lot better ever since I chopped the end off. Well, at the moment it's a little weird looking because I sealed it with super glue tonight and haven't yet sanded it down. I did not photograph this process, I was a bit distracted trying not to glue the ivory to my hand, or my desk, or anything in the vicinity. Anyway, with all the glue I used it ought to be darn well sealed. The idea here is that even when you sand the glue residue off the surface, it has still sealed all the pores so the ivory won't absorb things it's not supposed to absorb (this is the first time I've tried this).

So next up with this project is finish sanding, draw the image on paper and get the tones and composition figured out, scan, shrink, transfer, scrim, etc.

Sometimes I think I'm maybe being too open with this info, like maybe I'm giving away the secrets of scrimshaw. Eh. I don't really think there are any secrets though. It's a strong basis on art (composition, correctness of form, color, shadow, etc) and whatever scrim technique suits a person. I like stippling. Someone else will like cross-hatching lines. Anyway, a year-ish ago I would have given my left arm (I need the right one) to find this info on line. Heck, I still would! So there ya go, I'll just do it myself. :yesnod:

Oh, I'm working on a highly experimental color project. That one has high danger of disaster so it'll be an "after the fact" tutorial if it comes out at least halfway decent... I confess I'm addicted to posting work in progress on line and writing about it, I'll gleefully make tutorials out of everything I do.