Custom Scrimshaw by Mark Thogerson
An ancient craft on natural materials

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Recent Commissions

(click on a photo for a larger picture)

Marine mameluke officer's sword grip restoration

The scales are made from Corian, and custom-fitted to the metal of the handle.  When I received it, the brass was badly tarnished and the star screws had been damaged as the owner had removed the blade before shipment.  I found a source for and replaced the star screws (not easy, since this is a Wilkinson sword, and they went out of business 25 years ago!), removed the old lacquer, repolished the brass, and re-lacquered it for the officer's retirement from the Corps.

I can make the scales in mammoth, elephant or walrus ivory, Corian, or any of a variety of woods.  Contact me for pricing.

Wood-and-ivory processional cross


Cross closeup

Cross with stand and base

Detail of scrimshaw in center of cross

This was a personal project for me, as well as a commission.  It was commissioned in memory of my father, who had been a pastor in the church where this cross resides.  The cross itself is of fiddleback maple and walnut, with a mammoth ivory inset bearing the Luther rose.  The base is three stepped triangles to represent the Trinity.  The base and staff are oak; ferrules at either end of the staff are copper.  The cross may be carried on the staff or separately.  Steel spindles on the base and at the top of the staff fit into metal tubes in the cross and the bottom of the staff for secure attachment and easy removal.  A second smaller pin on the top of the staff fits into a hole in the bottom of the cross to keep it from turning while it is being carried.  Cross measurements: 13 x 22 inches, each arm being 1.5 inches wide.  Ivory inset is 1.5 inches square, and the total height of the cross, stand and staff is about 6 feet.  The staff is 7/8" in diameter and 4 feet long.

I would really love to make more processional or altar crosses, but each one will be different, based on the desires of the particular congregation and the aesthetics of the chancel.  I can also make other wooden liturgical furnishings, with or without ivory accents, and would be happy to work with you on design.  I also have photos of two pectoral crosses in my Gallery. Please contact me if you are interested.

Colt 1911 Pistol Grips

The client purchased the pistol with the ovals ground out.  Apparently, they had initials or some other personal carving in them.  I flattened and polished the recessed areas and added the scrimshaw.  He must be a fan of the old TV series, "Have Gun Will Travel" - the main character, Paladin, had a chess knight on his calling card.