Antigua | St. Maarten
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Michael Strzalkowski, known affectionately as "Scrim", was born in Norfolk, England. The son of a Polish wartime artist /airman and British art student mother, he is a sailor and a scrimshander. This is the ancient sailors' folk art of carving and engraving whales teeth or bone as gifts for loved ones back home, or trade with shipmates.
In 1976, Scrim sailed across the Atlantic and then cruised up the Lesser Antilles from Bequia, a small island in the St. Vincent group, known particularly for it's traditional whaling - much like the Azores. It was here that he first tried his hand at scrimshaw, and found instant success.
Over the last 30 years, he has developed and honed his skill. Today, while still doing commission pieces and creating exquisite scrimshaw from ivory and bone, Scrim has taken some of the more popular designs produced and is now moulding them in precious metals, such as gold, silver and bronze. During this period, he has completed hundreds of commissions covering many different topics including unique walking stick handles in silver and bone, and one-of-a-kind tillers for classic yachts.