Frequently Asked Questions of David Warther Carvings

We try to answer some visitor's common questions.

When and where did the new exhibit open?

Answer: The new exhibit of David's artwork opened May 4th, 2013. The exhibit is located at 1775 State Rt. 39 Sugarcreek, Ohio. This is between Sugarcreek and Walnut Creek on State Route 39 at the top of Square Hill. The 30 foot tall clock tower at the DWC, with its observation deck overlooking the beautiful Walnut Valley, has become an area landmark.

Where does David obtain his ivory?

Answer: The ivory David carves is donated to the museum from private collections here in the United States. These tusks are from old collections dating back to the early 1900s. David documents the legal pre-ban origin of the tusks utilizing guidelines, rules and laws set forth by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Department and the U.N. CITES conventions.

Is David Amish?

Answer: No. David is neither Amish nor Mennonite. As a Christian man, however, he shares similar belief and value systems with these conservative sects, but does not attended their services nor has he joined their churches.

Why is David's exhibit located in Amish country?

Answer: This is the area where David grew up and has lived his life. David 's great-grandparents moved from Switzerland to this area of Ohio at the same time the Amish came here in the late 1800s.

How are the ivory rigging lines made?

Answer: David developed the method of making ivory rigging at the age of thirteen. By utilizing a specific type of hand file and sandpaper, he is able to create "ivory string" that measures seven thousandths of an inch (.007") in diameter. In order to file and sand it down to this size, David rests a strip of ivory (that looks like a square piece of uncooked spaghetti) in a small groove that has been milled in a block of steel. By filing and sanding over the top of this groove the ivory becomes round and is then placed in progressively smaller grooves for more filing and sanding. Eventually, the proper size is achieved. It takes about ninety minutes to make an ivory thread that is 9" in length.

What is scrimshaw?

Answer: Scrimshaw is the art of engraving ivory. It is achieved by scratching fine lines in a highly polished ivory surface and then filling these scored lines with ink. The ink will not stick to, or stain, the surrounding polished ivory, but will permanently adhere to the microscopic ivory pores in the finely scored lines.

Why is David creating these carvings?

Answer: David says he feels an inborn compulsion to create this artwork. He views the history of the ship as being the story of man's progress on earth, and he wants to re-create this story in an art-form so visitors can understand and learn about this story. David sees his art project as having both educational and inspirational aspects that will benefit the visiting public and his local community.

Is David related to Ernest Warther?

Answer: Yes. Ernest Warther was David's grandfather and is known for his wood and ivory carvings of steam locomotives. When David started carving as a child, he was given great encouragement from his grandfather, and this had a very positive and lasting influence on him.

Did David attend art school or is he self-taught?

Answer: David did not attend art school. Many would say that he is self-taught, however David is quick to point out that he grew up in a family where his grandfather was a noted carver and where he received great encouragement from his family to pursue his interest in carving. David did develop many of his own techniques and tools, and he continues to make specialized knives, scrapers and other tools for his work.

How can I get involved in this new exhibit?

Answer: Feel free to send inquiries through our contact page. We may have volunteer work that could be of interest to you.

I have a question that is not on this list. How do I ask this question?

Answer: Feel free to email us through our contact page or email David directly at We will respond to you as soon as possible.

What does one do with inherited tusks?

Answer: David Warther continues to carve every day by working in ivory from pre-ban elephant tusks that are donated to this non-profit museum art project. If you have inherited elephant tusks and would like to see them put to a positive and good use in this world, then consider donating them to us for their full tax deductible value. For more information regarding a potential donation of your elephant tusks or ancient Mammoth or Mastodon tusks, please contact us through our contact page.

Location and Hours

1775 State Route 39
Sugarcreek, Ohio   44681
(330) 852-6096
We are open Monday from 10 am to 4 pm. Tuesday - Saturday we are open 10 am to 5 pm. We are always closed on Sunday.

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