Saturday, 8 September 2012

Sperm Whale Teeth

Had a wonderful conversation with a new village friend, Ian, as we painted the walls of the pre school building on my birthday back in the middle of August. He lived on the Falkland Islands as a child and used to work on the fisheries protection vessel as an engineer in the seas around South Georgia. What a wonderful part of the world, so many stories and such history, adventures and wilderness.

Yesterday as we both manned stalls at the village Harvest Fayre he came over to show me two wonderful sperm whale teeth that he had got from his father, who still lives on the Falklands, and who had found them on a dead beached whale carcass. I am borrowing them to draw and he also leant me a terrific book about South Georgia. The teeth are very heavy and satisfying as objects, you get a sense of their strength and why whalers out of Nantucket and Whitby would hold onto them and scratch scrimshaw drawings of their journeys into the ivory surface.

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