USS Constitution
USS Constitution

About the Carvings

David Warther Carvings represent one man's dedication to create a body of artwork for the benefit of the visiting public and his native community.



David Warther's work is a collection of intricately carved miniatures that depict sailing ships from ancient Egypt, circa 3000 B.C. to modern times. The collection, now numbering over 80 ship carvings, is a highly educational exhibit of maritime history. When on public display, David's exhibit of carvings has been seen by visitors from around the globe who have been inspired by the striking beauty of his artwork.

Carving from antique ivory and ebony wood, David's works are designed using blueprints and drawings furnished by maritime scholars and researchers worldwide. Visitors are especially intrigued by the ivory rigging. Each line is made of ivory that has been hand filed to seven thousandths of an inch (.007") in diameter and then masterfully applied to the ship carving. David developed this hand filing and sanding technique for making "ivory threads" at the age of 13, and has perfected it over the years.

David's carvings are made of legal pre-ban ivory. He has become an expert in knowing the laws and regulations of buying, selling and gifting old legal estate elephant tusks and ivory carvings within the United States. 

The artistic details and methods are of special interest to many who view the carvings. David engraves the highly polished antique ivory through a process known as scrimshaw where fine lines are scored on the ivory's surface with a hand held stylus. Later, when ink is applied to the scored surface, the microscopic pores in the ivory absorb the ink while the polished areas remain white. The scrimshaw process allows the intricate details of the ship's planking, doors and windows to come to life.

When his art project is complete, David expects to have close to 100 carvings that will convey the progress man has made in shipbuilding over the past 5,000 years. "This project is not so much about ships as it is about the progress of mankind", David explains. "The ship is but the lens; the prism being looked through to view man's progress".

View The Carvings Gallery → 

Location and Hours

1775 State Route 39
Sugarcreek, Ohio   44681
(330) 852-6096
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Closed Sundays


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