Sunday, April 15, 2007


If everything goes right, we're going out on a whaleboat on Monday morning!!! This is thanks to a letterboxing friend, Denise, who is a member of one of the whaleboat groups in Oakland.

And to clarify, this is the kind of whaleboat that Nineteenth Century whalers pursued whales in, not the kind that nature-obsessed geeks (like us) go whale watching in.

What an adventure to have, before even going to work! (Boy am I glad to be finally feeling better...)

The pictures are of historic scrimshaw, which was made of whales' teeth and bones. On the left is a "bodkin" which is a fancy way of saying a device for poking holes in things.

On the right is a busk, which would be a stiffener for the center of a corset, if I'm not mistaken. "Boning" in corsets was actually made of baleen, which is the filtering "teeth" of certain species of whales.

The image below is a detail of a scrimshaw pie crimper. My sister Martha owns one of these.


dorks anonymous said...

I did some scrimshaw with my dad when I was little. It was basically the scratching pictures, filling with ink kind of scrimshaw--not anything near as fancy as these! Have fun!

Gina said...

Have a fantastic time, guys! One of my fondest memories of recent years was standing on that whale boat with you, dramamine coarsing through my veins, good friends at my side, the Pacific Ocean looking like a billowing, grey-green expanse of silk, feeling the infinite possibilities of what might pop up unexpectedly in my view. Not a bad metaphor for a way to live. . .



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