Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Video: American Hand

Scrimshaw is a traditional art developed by 18th-century sailors on whaling ships. To pass the time during journeys that could last months and even years, sailors would hand-carve intricate designs in the cast-off teeth or bones of the whales that they had caught.  While whaling was outlawed long ago, the art of scrimshaw lives on in the hands of masters like Brian Kiracofe, who demonstrates his craft in this video from the American Hand.  Scrimshaw may have begun simply as a way to pass the time, but what it's become is nothing short of art.
"Brian Kiracofe is a Scrimshaw artist from Newport, RI. In this episode we explore the history of the craft, the process and the future of a craft as old as America itself."

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