Mary Gregg Byrne


View all Mary Gregg Byrne scrimshaw pieces

I was born in Oberlin, Ohio in 1951 and grew up in the Midwest. As a child, I loved to draw. My Grandmother Lindley was a talented artist and my mother encouraged my efforts, thinking she saw her own mother’s abilities in her child. I was taken to classes and supplied with art materials.

I enrolled in Occidental College, and entered my rebel phase. Though I studied art with Howard Hanson, I decided to become a biologist. After two years, I took a break from school to investigate various crafts (pottery, photography, weaving…). I worked in a doll hospital and museum, made pottery and traveled around the country.

I returned to school at U.C. Santa Cruz to study marine algology. Discovering I had no particular talent in the field, I returned to fine art at the University of Oregon and finished a B.F.A. degree in printmaking. Laverne Krause was my professor.

In 1975, I moved to Bellingham WA. I worked for several years as a scrimshander (engraving drawings on ivory).