'Columbia and Shamrock II'
David Smith is entering his third decade of a full
time career as a scrimshander. Over the years he has become well known as
a Master Scrimshander, having received numerous awards and recent
submission into the American Art Museum Library at the Smithsonian
Institution in Washington, D.C. His work is sold to collectors worldwide
and to fine gift shops and galleries throughout the United States.
Having spent most of his life in
Rhode Island, nearby New Bedford and Nantucket—with their old whaling
history—provided the motivation for Smith launching into the art of
scrimshaw. Combined with his knowledge of sailing, this background has
given Smith an emotional commitment to traditional nautical themes, which
radiate from his scrimshaw work. Each piece is created with a deep
personal understanding and appreciation of the subject he depicts. There
is not an abundance of the artist’s work to be found due to the time and
effort which goes into each piece he creates.
Though scrimshaw has long been
thought of as a traditional craft, David Smith’s work is considered to be
a true art form. Each piece is so realistically rendered it seems three
dimensional. The artist’s refined etching style and monochrome color
choice together create very appealing and soft images. Smith’s work shows
the appreciation he has for ivory as a medium. His subjects are not just
placed on the ivory, but become part of it.
Stippling (pin-prick) is the
time-consuming technique used almost exclusively in his renderings. His
style has been considered distinctly unique from other scrimshaw,
possessing a strong softness of fully shaded subjects with considerable
detail. Smith’s scrimshaw should be viewed not only as a miniature work of
art, but a unique and valuable investment.
J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Inc.
1899 Bronson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824
Telephone: 203.259.8753 . Fax: 203.259.8761 . Email:
Russell Jinishian - jrusselljinishiangallery.com
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