Saturday, 15 March 2014


Now anyone who knows my mother knows that she gets up to all sorts. At 81 she does aquaerobics twice a week, walks the hills twice a week, crafts, she did pottery for some years and is now just about to move house for the first time in 40 years so that she is nearer to her latest hobby - Woodcarving
 When I said I would join her today for a talk at the Lancashire & Cheshire Woodcarvers meeting I certainly did not expect to enjoy myself as much as I did.  The speaker, Nick Pantibles originally from Cyprus is a member of the group and his talk was on BONE CARVING.  What on earth is that about I thought .......
Did you know that bone carving started with New Zealand fishermen of old.  Here's a few things Nick told us about it and some of the things he brought along.
The bones used are from different animals such as cow, dog and buffalo. Teeth from hippo and whale. Firstly they are split in two then left to boil in water for two hours to allow the oil and meat to come away.
To colour them tea, coffee, onion skins and tobacco can be used.
To shine them after the carving is done toothpaste, brasso and Jiff cleaner can be used.
These are my favourite and the method to create them is called SCRIMSHAW.  Its engraving on whale bone done in old times by the sailors. They coloured them with ash from lamp soot, berry juice & tobacco juice.
Here's a book on the subject if anyone is interested further.
and here is a link to the 
Now that was something different for a Saturday afternoon wasn't it and no I am not tempted to join but I do admire the members and their craft.


  1. Like mother like daughter I think! You do some interesting things! X

    1. Must run in the family my sister is the same. My brother is still playing football at 56 so he has the good health gene Lyn xx

  2. What a fabulous way to spend some time with your mum and learn about something new too Lynn. I am always amazed at how minute some of the carved details are on some pieces and I think the people who do them must have lots of patience :o)
    Your mum is wonderful, keeping so fit and active & involved. Her talents have obviously flowed down hill *hugs* xx

    1. The speaker said that the smallest piece can take weeks to make

  3. That's so interesting. I've seen some wonderful scrimshaw from New England, and the Inuit up north also carve bone. You're so lucky to have your Mum and be able to share this with her!

  4. How interesting, I've seen some antique pieces of scrimshaw at fairs and they are fascinating and beautiful but usually way out of my price range! You are very lucky to have such an active and healthy mum to enjoy these things with - ditto what Lyn said about like mother like daughter!.

  5. How wonderful that your Mum, at 81 is still so fit and active and what a great hobby to have. I have seen scrimshaw done by the Inuit in Canada and is is so beautiful. I am wondering now whether you are going to sign up for the class too?!! Hugs, Anne xx