Thursday, 18 April 2013

Scrimshaw 101

Firstly a huge thank you for all the lovely comments for the Beadsoup blog, thank you for taking the time to read through. There has been some amazing work on show this year and some well tasty beadsoups.
So I thought I would take a bit of time to tell you about the process behind the scrimshaw  and rest assured this is as low tech as it gets.
Firstly I drew out my design in pencil directly onto the shell.
If you're not that confident with drawing, use tracing paper to copy a simple design, turn over and pencil your design again, turn back and place on shell and draw over your design to transfer it to the shell. I used old school tattoos for the word love.
Use a scalpel blade and start to scratch your design. Vary the depth of scratches to give a texture to the design. By the way if you don't like the sound of nails scratching on a blackboard, you're going to hate this, it can set your teeth on edge.!
When you're happy with your design wipe of your pencil marks, then cover the design in Stazon ink and leave for 5 mins. Buff off and all the ink should have settled nicely in the scratches.
I then made my own figure of eight chain, here's a great little tutorial on how to do it
I also hammered my links for texture and strength and I used 18 gauge.
Then it's load on as many charms as you can get your mitts on!

Talking of which, here's MY STASH.....

From the Top: Nat -
Petra -
Jana -
Beth -
Sadly I now need to close my purse and sit on my hands and restrain myself........Life is cruel!
See you soon xx


  1. Thank you so much Marcia for you to share, I will try it someday.

  2. How interesting! Looks like a fun thing to try. Yours turned out great. And thanks for the link on the chain. I want to try that.

  3. what a great technique! very pretty design

  4. I loved it enough to add your blog to my RSS feed.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Very interesting. Beautiful bird, I have to try that too someday, maybe with runes :)

  6. I don't know what bead soup is? Love your collection of beads and fab chain. Lots of wo