Talk to Focus on Scrimshaw Art & History

The Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands will host a free presentation called “Scrimshaw & Scrimshanders: How Whalers Spent Their Off Hours” on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on 9 Water Street in Rockland, Maine.
Photo/New Bedford Whaling Museum.

The Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands will host a free presentation called “Scrimshaw & Scrimshanders: How Whalers Spent Their Off Hours” on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center on 9 Water Street in Rockland, Maine.

Learn about life aboard 19th century whaling vessels. The trips were hard and dangerous life, but afforded a lot of down time. To occupy their time, whalers used what was at hand to create utilitarian and decorative objects. Being a whaling vessel, they had an abundant supply of whale teeth, baleen, and whalebone. This was the origin of scrimshaw.

Presenter Steve Shane started collecting some of these objects in the late 1970’s, and will share some of what he has learned about whaling life and the artistic activity of scrimshaw. He will have some samples to illustrate the exceptional work of these sailors.