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Earlier this month two members of our team, Charlotte and Stathis, delivered a creative workshop to local young people taking part in the Hullitage programme.

Ran by the National Initiative for Creative Education, Hullitage is a unique participatory and engagement project that introduces newly arrived migrants to the culture, history and heritage of Hull.

The programme provides opportunities to get to know the city, develop a sense of community and belonging, form friendships and develop essential skills such as English language skills.

For our first Hullitage session, we chose to focus on the practice of making scrimshaw, a traditional form of folk art created by whalers. The session was designed to be creative and educational, providing opportunities for connection and reflection, with activities built-in for learning vocabulary (for example for historic terms and creative tools) and – most importantly - making some replica scrimshaw ourselves. In this blog post, the young people we worked with explain their scrimshaw creations in their own words.

The creations from the workshop


In my scrimshaw I draw boat and whale, because I like them. Because the shape of scrimshaw is like the tooth of animal because of that I chose both of them for my carving. By the way today I learned how to make the scrimshaw, I loved and so enjoy for that thank you guys for everything 😊.


I chose my design because it looks very interesting and it looks very different to the others. I carved a picture of a fish. I learn about the history of how scrimshaw was made and how you make one. I enjoyed carving and drawing a scrimshaw, it was really interesting.


Today is so good and nice. I liked today. My scrimshaw is about the bird and sea. I learn what we have in the past and drawing I think is so good and very nice.

Creating their designs for the scrimshaw
Making their scrimshaw designs

A shark. Because sharks look cool to me. I really had fun when I was scratching in the cast and like designing it. It is a very good experience to me, I learned about how they hunted whales and how whale’s oil was useful in the past, and I also learned that people get from one whale from 30 to 40 barrels and each barrel has 160 litres of oil. Additionally, people stopped hunting whales because only a few are left in the world.


Today is so good and nice. I like it, today my scrimshaw is about the fish in the sea. I learned drawing, I think is so happy and very nice. Thank you 😊 I feel happy.


It was a fun new experience to learn about history. I chose my design because I was thinking about when a person is 2 years away for war. He must first train so I used that in my design.


In my scrimshaw I draw angel wings with some stars and in the other side I did a sea with a ship and a full moon with clouds. The part where I draw the ship is more about the people who used to stay on the sea for 2 years and waiting to kill the whales. I think they may be storms and some people couldn’t make it back. It was fun and I enjoyed the time I spend.

One of the finished scrimshaws and what inspired them

We’d like to thank the whole team and the participants at Hullitage for hosting us and taking part in our scrimshaw workshop. You can find out more about Hullitage and get involved here.