finding fakeshaw materials
February 16, 2009 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find synthetic scrimshaw materials? I've been googling and I'm having a lot of trouble just finding an online store that sells blank pendants and belt buckles which are not made from ivory or whale bones. I really want to get into scrimshaw crafts but I dont want to use animal products to do it.

From my googling Ive found that there's some material called micarta and Corian but I havent found out where to buy it. Maybe there's some specific terms I should be searching with? Anyway, any help or links would be appreciated. Also, I live in New York, so if anyone knows that these materials exist in actual shops in the city I could just go there as well.
posted by minicloud to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could get these by mail order. Also, old piano keys are popular, if you can find them.
posted by fish tick at 7:58 AM on February 16, 2009


corian is a synthetic counter top material. any cabinet company can tell you where you can find some scraps
posted by Redhush at 9:39 AM on February 16, 2009


I've seen some amazing engraving done on ostrich and emu eggs. Granted, it's still an animal product, but it is far from ivory. Tagua nuts seem like the best vegan option. The link is to ostrich eggs carved while whole; I've often seen pendants and barrettes from pieces of shell. I also don't know jack about ivory carving, so the materials/methods may be very different from ivory carving.
posted by wg at 10:06 AM on February 16, 2009


I have seen people using baked polymer clay that simulates old ivory to make carvings with. Sometimes the unbaked clay is carved with a needle or something too. It's cheap, non-animal, and readily available.

The standard synthetic replacement for ivory, tortoiseshell and such is resin, so you can try searching for that also. You could cast your own resin forms and carve them!
posted by thread_makimaki at 10:25 AM on February 16, 2009


Lee Valley's Bowling Ball Pen Blanks may not have the ivory colour, but could be carveable.

I don't know if it comes in big enough chunks for scrimshaw, but Tusq is a synthetic ivory for making guitar nuts. It's dense, cuts well, and avoids the bloody awful smell of burning death that anyone who has ever machined bone will know.
posted by scruss at 10:46 AM on February 16, 2009


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