Wednesday, June 24, 2009

First Glimpse

A week or two ago I signed a contract with Parks Canada for a number of artifact reproductions. The artifacts have been shipped to St. John's and today I get my first peak at them. The work is scheduled to take 13 full time weeks, which makes it the single largest reproduction job that Elfshot has ever received. It's also one that I know I'm going to enjoy. The contract went through a public tendering process and the reproductions are intended for public programming, but its still government, and they can be weird about how information is distributed, so for the time being I'm going to refrain from going into too much detail. Until I know what I can and can't blog about, I'll just refer to it as my Top Secret Project of Mystery, so you won't be curious and leave it at that.

In the meantime, I'll just remind you about the Beer Bottle to Arrowhead - Introductory Flintknapping Workshop that I'll be offering this weekend at the GEO CENTRE. $40/person - you get a flintknapping kit to keep plus your first beer bottle point arrowhead. June 28th, 1-4PM. Click here for more details. YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE.

The photos in this post are the two pieces that I made in the flintknapping demo on Father's Day at the GEO CENTRE, using antler and stone knapping tools. The big one still hasn't broke, but it has a couple flaws in the material that had me thinking it would break on any strike. That made the knapping tricky and I've set it aside to finish it another day. As I was working I assumed that the tip would break off and I wouldn't have to worry about finishing that end of it. But it hung in there and as a consequence of planning for one thing and having another thing happen the tip isn't in very good shape to finish and I started running into step and hinge fractures. I'll solve the problem on another day, probably by making a shorter biface out of it. Ramah Chert has an annoying habit of leaving very visible step fractures and being surprisingly resilient. This isn't the first piece that I've had that should have broke along an internal flaw, but that held together for much longer than I was expecting.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Ramah Chert Biface in Progress - made on June 21st, 2009
Bottom, Ramah Chert projectile point reproduction based on Maritime Archaic points found in Labrador.

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