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Drawings on Whale Teeth - Scrimshaw Art by Gus Milne

Drawings on Whale Teeth - Scrimshaw Art by Gus Milne

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  • Wed 5 Jun ’19, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 6 Jun ’19, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 7 Jun ’19, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat 8 Jun ’19, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sun 9 Jun ’19, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • View all sessions


Alfred Memelink Artspace Gallery, 223 The Esplanade Petone, Lower Hutt


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


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The new exhibition at Artspace Gallery features a very unique new exhibition of drawings scratched on whale teeth, ''Scrimshaw'' by South Island artist, Gus Milne.

One of the larger artworks features an early view of Lambton Quay, 1863 and other artworks feature various NZ coastal scenes as well as whaling. Scrimshaw was an art form of the early whalers and most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses.

Scratching on whalebone and teeth became a popular pastime for whalers and eventually developed into a finely honed craft and art. Using simple tools like sailing needles or knives to scratch the teeth and lampblack or ink, sailors created images of whales, ships, women and whatever their imaginations conjured up.

Gus Milne started scrimshaw 30 years ago and his beautiful collection of his scrimshaw art also includes scrimshaw set in sterling sliver jewellery and even very special bookmarks.

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