I am a purist choosing to remain true to tradition by only engraving on natural materials. This includes several types of ivory (definition: mammal tooth) and a variety of other materials that are legally obtained, and do not endanger any living species.
Woolly mammoth tusk is by far my favorite material. The fact that it is at least 10,000 – possibly 80,000 – years old, makes each work of art not only an artefact but an heirloom. It has been buried in the permafrost of Alaska and Siberia where it picked up rich cream, brown and even blue hues from the minerals in the frozen earth. It can be engrave it because It has not been ‘petrified’ or ‘fossilized’, only preserved. It is completely legal and carries no restrictions for commercial purposes as there are no endangered species involved.
The material most often used by the original Yankee scrimshanders was whale tooth. The teeth were a byproduct of the whaling industry and had no commercial value at the time. Since 1973, the whales have been on the endangered species list and covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The laws are complicated and vary state by state.
Jane Tukarski Scrimshaw | Copyright 2020
Annapolis, Maryland | email@example.com