Kim and Katherine McClelland are the husband/wife/artists/owners of Tree of Life Art Works, creating original scrimshaw since 1976. Even as a child, Kim loved drawing pen and ink imagery which helped prepare him for the detail scrimshaw requires. After finishing his art degree, Kim first discovered scrimshaw by making their wedding rings from antique piano keys. Working with organic materials such as shed antlers and fossil ivories dating back thousands of years, plus sculptural-casting resins, their process insures each hand-cast resin ART WORK has the exact fidelity of the original. No endangered animals visit their art studio.
Katherine and Kim draw on their imagination, faith and life experience when designing new pieces as well as suggestions from their faithful patrons.
Historically, scrimshaw is a nautical engraving art indigenous to America. Sailors on board whaling ships "scrimmed" designs on whale teeth and bones using a sharp tool (It actually was coined a thrifty waste of time). Ink or oil and soot were then rubbed into the cuts and wiped away to reveal the incised image. Tree of Life still uses this basic process.