Scrimshaw is art work in the form of carvings and engravings in bone or ivory.  The craft began on whaling ships in the 18th century using whale teeth.  It was a leisure activity for the sailors.  They used very simple tools like needles used for sail repair and soot or tobacco juice to enhance the designs.

Original Tree Landscape on Mother of Pearl
Commercial whaling is now banned and so is the use of elephant ivory.  However, the craft still endures as artists such as Rachel Badeau of Rhode Island are able to produce beautiful engravings on alternative materials.

She has 30 years of scrimshaw experience and it shows!  One of my favorite pieces from her Etsy store, Moosup Valley Designs  (shop no longer exits) is the beautiful one of a kind landscape pendant above. The trees and little ducks are engraved. The moon and shimmering river are inlaid with mother of pearl in a yellowish shade.

Her ability to draw/engrave what are essentially miniatures is awe inspiring. She says, "I make my own engraving tools with the finest points in order to create the most intricate detail!"

This beauty  is a chakra shell creation and features amethysts and a yellow pearl.

Another astonishing piece is her original scrimshaw butterfly fairy goddess pendant made in the Japanese inro style. Rachel says "An inro is a traditional Japanese case for holding small objects."  This polished bone design takes hours of patient work using "line, crosshatching and stippling techniques."

Rachel also offers several of her original engraved carving designs in cast resin. Here are a couple of my favorites from this remarkable artisan's collection.

Wolf with Full Moon

Oak Tree of Life Pendant
Hat tip to reader Doris Price of My Priceless Creations for recommending this feature designer!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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