Brian J. Kiracofe is the youngest of four brothers born in Gratis, Ohio, and had planned a business career after college. In 1981 he graduated from Lake Superior State College, Michigan, to find that a hobby taught to him by his eldest brother, Daniel, had turned int o a full-time profession.
Daniel had been introduced to scrimshaw and interested the entire family in the art. By 1977, Daniel opened Boston Scrimshanders in Faneuil Hall, stocking jewelry and collectibles created by the family. Brother Gary, in 1979, launched the Island Scrimshanders. All the brothers, including Greg, a practicing optometrist, who scrimshaws in his spare time, use the three stores as outlets for their work. To round off the complete family involvement—their father, Albert, assembles do-it-yourself scrimshanders’ kits for sale in the stores.
Brian opened his first store in Baltimore’s famed Harborplace in 1982 and in April of 1986, he then relocated his business to Newport, Rhode Island, opening his store as the Newport Scrimshanders. As Brian uses his store as his workshop he is able to personalize pieces at very short notice, and is adept at copying from photographs for custom orders.
Determined to keep alive the century’s old art of scrimshaw, Brian has made local appearances as well as demonstrations of his skill at his permanent location on Bowen’s Wharf.
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