Do you have a few plastic margarine or yogurt container lids hanging around? Would you and your students or kids like to try your hands at a modern adaptation of an indigenous North American craft?
If so, simply gather some margarine or yogurt container lids, a pen or pencil, a few nails, black or dark blue paint, brushes, an old rag and a touch of white glue.
- Ready, set, go and get a margarine lid and turn it upside down so you are looking at the inside of the lid.
- First draw a picture on the lid using a pen or pencil and then complete the picture by using a nail to scratch many lines into the plastic.
- Next comes the paint. If you have acrylic paint --great. If you have tempera paint, add a touch of glue to make it sticky.
- Spread the paint over the picture and wipe it with a dry rag to remove the excess.
- The paint will fill in the scratches and leave you with modern scrimshaw that you can hang on your wall.
Tip: You can glue a piece of yarn to the back of your lid to create a hanger.
Note to Teachers: Margarine lids have a natural "paint-catching lip" which is wonderful for those with little hands.
Did you know...
Scrimshaw is the name given to the craft of scratching, carving, or etching designs into bone or ivory. Many native peoples from along the northwest coast of North America created scrimshaw long before the men on whaling ships began trying their hand at the craft in the early 1800s. Back in those days, scrimshaw designs often included pictures of ships, whales, and birds found along the seacoast.
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Lesson: Andrea Mulder-Slater
Illustration: Geoff Slater