The goal of contemporary scrimshander Jane Tukarski is to keep alive the unique maritime folk art of scrimshaw. Strict attention to accurate detail and a mastery of painstaking engraving techniques done only by hand characterize Jane’s work, which is among the finest modern scrimshaw available.
Jane’s work includes jewelry, custom knife handles, and larger display pieces highlighting nautical and whaling themes. Antique ivory billiard balls, transformed into ancient globes, are among her favorite projects. Each piece is signed by the artist and themes include wildlife, miniature portraits, and landscapes, as well as the traditional nautical motifs. The engraving is done primarily on fossil ivory – mastadon and wooly mammoth tusk that is at least 10,000 years old.
An artist member of the American Society of Marine Artists, Jane has exhibited at the Mystic Maritime Gallery, the Cape Museum in Dennis, MA, and The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum. She has participated in many juried art shows in the Mid-Atlantic region, to include the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD, and The Antique and Classic Boat Show. Jane has won awards at the Mystic Scrimshanders Competition, and as of 2007, is on file at The Smithsonian American Art Museum Library. She is also featured in Contemporary Scrimshaw, (Eva Halat 2005) and Techniques of Scrimshaw (J Stevens 2008). Custom pieces are commissioned by collectors from all over the United States.
Jane holds a Bachelor of Science degree in textile design from University of California, Davis. She was an apprentice scrimshander in Seattle, Washington before moving to Munich, Germany where she spent the next 14 years. Jane resides near Annapolis, Maryland with her husband Stan. One of their four daughters, Lara, is now engraving as well. Jane continues to do scrimshaw as well as lecture on the topic, always fascinated by the romance of the bygone tall ship era and its nautical arts.
“I am a purist choosing to remain true to tradition by only engraving on natural materials. This includes several types of ivory and a variety of other materials that are legally obtained, and do not endanger any living species.”
- Wooly Mammoth Tusk
- Fossil Walrus Tusk
- Ox Bone
- Ostrich Eggs
- Tagua Nut (Vegetable Ivory)