Linda Karst Stone - Scrimshander

In 1976, as a high school art student in Ohio, Linda was introduced to scrimshaw when hired by a local business. The job lasted long enough to teach the basic techniques and launch her long-lasting career. Linda pursued fine art training at the University of Toledo and the Toledo Museum of Art. Her focus on anatomy, figure drawing, and design are reflected in her work today.
Linda's scrimshaw is created in the traditional method without a machine. A hand-held carbide steel-tipped scribe is used to combine techniques including line, stipple and crosshatching to define her subject matter. The black lines are created by scratching into the surface then filling that void with black India ink; excess ink is cleaned from the surface. The color areas are incised one at a time, dark to light. Pigments rubbed into the lines are Winsor & Newton artists' water colors chosen for their permanence and quality of pigments. Renaissance wax is applied to help protect the delicate design. Linda prefers ivory as her canvas, a material that can possess warmth and personality and often suggests a particular subject or composition. Her realistic style has depth and a sculptural quality that bring her subjects to life. Linda takes thousands of photographs to inspire her compositions. She enjoys bringing the ideas, experiences, and memories of her clients, together with her own, to create unique art pieces.
Rooted in the Texas Hill Country with husband Mark Stone, Linda exhibits at select shows across the country and enjoys collaborations with knife makers worldwide.

Personal Scrimshaw Milestones

Lone Ranger Movie Prop
I imagine that every creative soul wants to work on a movie and see their work on the big screen, and I am no exception. I got my chance in February 2012 to work on a prop for the Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Helena Bonham Carter. Helena's character, Red Harrington, has an ivory leg. I was chosen to scrimshaw that leg from the garter down to her beautiful red boot…WHAT FUN! The design wrapped all the way around the piece, which was an actual full-sized cast of her leg. I really felt part of the team. Forty friends and family went with me to the opening July 3rd, 2013 to see my work on the big screen. We all loved it...action packed, fun humor, beautiful cinematography. Go See it for yourself and watch for the leg!

• December of 2009, my husband Mark and I went to present a knife by Edmund Davidson to Richard Petty. We met his wife Linda, daughter Lisa, and her husband Charlie Luck who commissioned the piece as a gift. They are a gracious and kind family who made our group feel welcome at the Petty museum in Randleman, North Carolina. A real honor and a very fun day!

• My name was mentioned in one of Tom Clancy's Net Force books, "Point of Impact" by Steve Perry. One of the characters was pregnant and thought she would take up scrimshaw as a pastime. It was nice to be noted.

• I scrimshawed a knife (right) made by Harvey Dean that Brad Pitt gave to Quentin Tarantino as a gift after the movie "Inglourious Basterds". How's that for name dropping?

• Beginning in 1998, I met Randy Reid and his hard-working family who own Shepherd Hills Cutlery. They work closely with Case Knives and since then I have been producing a very limited numbered-series for them that we sell at their annual "Celebration in the Ozarks" event in September at their main store in Lebanon, Missouri. At that event they have a free "Case Camp for Kids", teaching them many age appropriate aspects of knives, knife making, and collecting. My husband and I teach a scrimshaw class that day for 8-10 students who have an interest in art. The class has been filling up fast and is one of the highlights of my year. I am hoping we all will be reading about some of our students in the future.

• I do have a small inventory of items for sale. Most will be posted under "Current Work". When I am not at a show, items are for sale or view at the Wildgoose Gallery in Ingram, Texas.


How I Started

When I was in high school I spent most of my time in the art department; we had two wonderful teachers, Mrs. Harrison and Mr. Nicholson, who took time to expose us to many forms of art. A local business wanted to hire students to work as an after-school job. I was only 15 and they had to tell us what scrimshaw was and how to do it. My classmate Sandra Brady and I were both hired. Our employer did shows in and around Ohio, and it got to the point where they would pay us "after the next show".

So that didn't last long, but Sandy and I became friends and wanted to continue in scrimshaw. We borrowed money from my parents and started doing shows. (Now my Dad wishes he would have received a percentage of our business, instead of having us repay the loan!) I believe one of the reasons we both have successful careers now is because as we were learning, we had each other to help work out the techniques. We made double the mistakes and were able to fix them twice as fast. We worked together until I moved to Texas in 1981, and I still treasure Sandy's friendship today.

Other Interests

Linda and her husband Mark enjoy fixing up old buildings in Kerrville, Texas. The following web site highlights their newest effort.
I love to listen to music while I scrimshaw. I like songs that tell stories and you can hear the lyrics through the music. Some of my favorites are Walt Wilkins, Kate Wolf, Natalie Merchant, Guy Clark, The Indigo Girls, and Harry Chapin - to name a few. I received permission from Walt to use his music on my "Learn to Scrimshaw" DVD set.
I practice Tai Chi and have been attending weekly classes since about 2000. My teacher, friend and neighbor, Anne Schneider has a studio just a few doors from mine. I find the movements still my soul and build my inner strength. The beautiful descriptions of the movements have inspired several of my scrimshaw designs.

These watercolors by Linda Karst Stone were done on location.

I spent several seasons in Alaska working as a camp cook for guided hunting and fishing expeditions. These were small tent camps where we flew in a Super Cub (above, right) on tundra tires or skis. The spring camp for spring grizzly bear hunts and summer fishing was on the far west coast, north of Unalakeet on the Shacktoolick River. The fall camp (above, left) for dall sheep, moose, bears, and caribou was at the head waters of the Swift River on the west side of the Alaskan Mountain Range. I loved the wilderness experience and I learned many things in those remote locations. One of those primary lessons: if you have flush toilets and hot water at the tap, the rest is all gravy. Expect less and you will always have more!

My husband Mark Stone and I were married 11/11/00, on a full moon. We celebrate lunar anniversaries and howl when the moon is full. He is talented, kind, and supportive and he brought to our union two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Lisa. I am now a Grandmother, too, and they all fill my heart! Check out Stephanie's art on her Etsy site.

Mark Stone - Corn Water & Wood Studio
From Mark's brochure

Most of us have heard the expression "Jack of all trades, and master of none". That does not apply to Mark Stone. He seems to conquer everything he tries with a very short learning curve. Mark's accomplishments so far cover many forms. In earlier years he built custom homes in Texas and knows all aspects of construction. He has worked for some of Texas' well known residences, including Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst.

When he married Linda Karst in 2000, he became immersed in her world of scrimshaw and custom knives. He started buying blades and custom finishing them into his frontier-style knives and learned to make his own "Indian Style" leather sheathes (below). As a team, Mark and Linda have rescued many historic buildings in Kerrville, including the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Train Depot* and an adjoining lumberyard started in 1889. The yard operated for over 108 years and is now an events hall named to honor its first owner, Frank Beitel. Mark transforms the antique wood harvested from those projects into beautiful tables, display cabinets, and more.
Mark also taught himself to play guitar. ** That path led him to build custom guitars from raw blocks of wood (some even have custom scrimshaw inlays by Linda). He built his studio next to their Kerrville home to resemble an old church. Corn Water & Wood Studio was named for a Michael Murphy song of that name. The song reminds us that the most precious treasures on earth are the simple things that give us life and feed our souls, an idea that inspires all of Mark's creations.
Mark enjoys his many trades: builder, carpenter, luthier, musician, artist, and craftsman. He puts his soul and spirit into his work - a reflection of the top qualities that you recognize when you meet this talented man.


* The Depot won Best Small Town Restoration in the State of Texas when completed in 2004. It is now an award winning restaurant (

** Mark is one of the 1,867 guitar players to win a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for most guitars played together! Luckenbach, Texas, August 2009



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