*notcot in wearable , 18:13

Scrimshaw- 10.18.06

Over at Barney’s Co-op in SOHO this weekend came across Jessica Kagan Cushman’s Scrimshaw bangles… and was torn… thinking she was still doing them on pre-ban ivory. They are beautiful pieces of fossilized mammoth ivory with engravings of quotes and phrases from movies, literature, and more. Fascinating part? “As the daughter of renowned furniture designer Vladimir Kagan and needlework queen Erica Wilson, design runs in her veins. Having learned scrimshaw from her father, who took up the craft in the 1960’s in Nantucket, Jessica has taken the artform to a new (and slightly un-orthodox) level - creating scrimshawed antique ivory bracelets that lie somewhere between a tattoo and a bumper sticker.”

Read the comments - Jessica left us a really nice note explaining the humane nature of these bracelets, further explaining how fossilized mammoth ivory is obtained as well letting us in on the secret that she will have resin bangles coming soon exclusively to her website!

4 Notes


----- JILL 09.01.07 12:09

Hi - it’s important that you and readers know that I use only FOSSILIZED MAMMOTH IVORY - I no longer use vintage, pre-ban ivory. The bracelets at Barneys and elsewhere are all made from fossilized mammoth ivory. This material is plentiful - hence my ability to make a many of these bracelets. It comes from the fossilized tusks of the wooly mammoth and is found in Siberia and Alaska. Since these animals have been extinct for over 10,000 years using this material in no way compromises elephants. If you and your readers would like to learn more about this beautiful, pre-historic material go to this page on the CITES website http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/pub/E-Ivory-guide.pdf#search=%22mammoth%20ivory%22. CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and is the governing body that initiated the ban on the trade in elephant ivory. Also, I have started making a new line of reproduction scrimshaw bracelets using high-quality resin (plastic) – these will be available exclusively on my new website very soon. Thank you for your nice review of my work. Sincerely, Jessica Cushman

----- Jessica Cushman 19.10.06 16:52

I was going to come in here and say exactly what Anna has already (more eloquently) said. Shameful product and I’m disappointed that it was featured here.

----- Marc 19.10.06 06:39

This makes me feel more than a little bit uncomfortable. I’m afraid that the ‘vintage, pre-ban’ tag doesn’t cut it. The bangles are beautiful and the contemporary scrimshaw is inspired but by making these items a ‘product’ the artist is making ivory ‘desirable’. The artist may not have been directly involved in the killing of elephants, but she is exerting an influence on a (possibly less scrupulous) market. I would urge an investigation into the amazing possibilities of contemporary plastics. And I would urge NOTCOT to be aware of their responsibilities when promoting items that “makes them feel a little uncomfortable”.

----- Anna Davern 19.10.06 02:27

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