Friday, October 16, 2009

Antler Reproductions and Apple Picking

We had a new addition to our backyard thanks to Wednesday's windstorm. Our neighbor's 30ft apple tree blew over into our yard, right across my path to work. St. John's was reported to have received 50 mm of rain and had wind gusts up to 122km/hour. When the tree went down it was being plastered by slush pellets and weighed down by its own leaves and apples. There was no damage done and in about 90 minutes on Thursday morning Lori and I picked 3 bags of apples and chopped up the tree and returned it to the neighbor's yard in 4 big piles. She's going to have a bit of a surprise when she gets back from Vegas!

I don't have any trips to The Rooms this week, but my plan is to have everything from the Parks job finished for my next visit. There are always things to tweak the first time I think things are finished, so realistically I'll need at least one more trip after that to really be done, but I need to wrap this job up and dedicate more time to Craft Fair preparation.

Here's a look at the latest finished Parks Canada Inuvialuit reproductions:

Composite Barbed Antler Point: Aulavik National Park. This was a one of the more complicated pieces in the job, because its a composite of two separate antler pieces and three iron rivets (plus at least a half dozen different lichen varieties) . I made the antler point and brace longer than necessary so that I could break them to the correct length and antique them. For the rivets I used sections out of a wire coat hanger, heated and hammered to create the rivet heads and then rusted with Muriatic acid. The final stage was gluing on the lichen. This is one of those pieces that I get confused on which is the artifact and which is the reproduction when they are side by side (artifact is on the left and reproduction is on the right). Barbs like that often mean fishing, but I'm not certain if that's the function of this artifact or not. I don't know a lot about the site it was found at.

Drilled Antler: Aulavik National Park. The artifact is on the left and the reproduction is on the right. This is a little antler brace piece that would probably would have functioned similarly to the small piece on the composite barbed antler. Both the original and the reproduction are made from caribou antler that has been weathered white and covered in lichen. The biggest difference is that the lichen grew on the original piece and I lifted mine from rocks near St. John's. The bright orange lichen is called jewel lichen and it grows on rocks fertilized by birds. Fortunately there are varieties that grow in Newfoundland that are a pretty good match for the jewel lichen that grows in the Arctic.

Photo Credits:
Top: Tim Rast
Second: Lori White
Third-sixth: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top: The new addition to our back yard
Second: Disassembling the apple tree so I could walk to work.
Third: Side by side comparison of the composite antler barbed point (original left, reproduction right)
Fourth: Side by side comparison of the composite antler barbed point (original foreground, reproduction back)
Fifth: Side by Side comparison of the drilled caribou antler artifact (original left, reproduction right)
Sixth: Side by side comparison of the drilled caribou antler artifact (original background, reproduction foreground)


  1. Let me know if you need help disposing of the apples..... I can always use more for wine or jelly!

  2. Thanks Vicky, we'll let you know if the apples need a home. Lori is holding them until the tree owner gets home. There's also a lot of nice wood that I'd like to see go to someone who can use it, but ultimately its not our tree to distribute.

  3. You've got some crazy lichen gluing skills! I can't believe how authentic-looking these reproductions turned out. Amazing!

    And I was glad to see the tree fell between your house and worshop!


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