An art form that originated in the 18th century, the process of creating scrimshaw on whalebone is being kept alive by a dwindling number of artisans such as Mike Vienneau.
The practice began with sailors on whaling ships who used bones from the whales they hunted to create tools. Over time, the carvings included artistic engravings.
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Mike Vienneau has been scrimshanding since 1974; he began his artwork as a summer job, but in 1990 he opened the Scrimshander Gallery on Nantucket.