Scrimshaw on natural materials
As of July 6, 2016, all
interstate commerce of elephant ivory will be prohibited.
This will not affect any other type of
ivory that I use (mammoth, walrus, or wart hog), and will not affect my sale of
elephant ivory at art fairs within states that haven't specifically prohibited
it (NY, NJ, CA and HI). Since I don't do art fairs in these states, the point is
From my point of view, these actions are
merely cosmetic, intended to make people feel good about themselves. In
actuality, since under 1% of the ivory being poached ever reaches our shores, a
US ban on its sale is a drop in the bucket, and merely symbolic.
Poaching can only be stopped at its source.
A recent USFWS news release stated that over 100,000 elephants died over a
recent 3-year period. While factually true, it is disingenuous in that over half
those deaths were natural, NOT at the hands of poachers. If natural-death tusks
and those that have been seized were sold at below-black-market rates instead of
being destroyed, we would: (A) hit poachers in the pocketbook (where
it counts), making the illegal trade less lucrative,
(B) generate funds for anti-poaching programs and help struggling economies, and
(C) over time, develop a sustainable market using natural-death tusks. Seems
like a win-win-win to me.
Welcome to the Web home of
Scrimshaw by Mark Thogerson. I am a
scrimshander with over 40 years of experience working with ivory and antler. I
only use natural materials - fossil mammoth and walrus ivories, old ivory piano
keys, and shed antlers - and work them using hand tools and materials similar to
those the whalers may have had in the 19th Century. The result is an
authentic look, and pieces you will be proud to display or use.
my Online Catalog to view scrimshaw for sale, and
take a peek at my
Art Fair schedule to see if I will be
you. If you have questions about scrimshaw, ivory and its care, or the laws regarding
its sale, please review my FAQs page. Those
interested in commissioning a piece will want to review items in the
Scrimshaw Gallery, and some of
my Recent Commissions.
I do not do appraisals.