Monday, November 2, 2009

Jewelry and Harpoon Head Ideas

Its a jewelry week here. I'll be focusing on glass, chert, and fibre optic glass. I have bags of points that I keep on hand for emergencies. I don't have a lot of time before the craft fair, so I'll try to avoid starting pieces from scratch and focus on what I already have that is ready to be assembled.

On the other side of the coin, Elfshot is in great shape for artifact reproductions and original knives. I don't usually have this many artifact reproductions on hand so I'm looking forward to seeing how the craft fair display will go together. I have two harpoons ready to go, one is Dorset Palaeoeskimo and the other is a Maritime Archaic Indian style, just waiting for a red ochre application. I put a braided line on the Maritime Archaic harpoon because I liked John's idea so much. The 4 strand round braid takes the relatively thin harp seal leather and turns it into a pliable strong rope. I still wish I could find some good strong bearded seal skin, but the braided line does look nice.

I don't often have extra harpoons around the house either, so I feel like I'd like to do a little extra photography with them. Its especially interesting because they are so different, the Maritime Archaic Harpoon is a self-bladed barbed point while the Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon has a stone endblade fitted into a toggling harpoon head. This would be a good opportunity to illustrate the differences in how they work. Thanks to Mythbuster's the internet is full of recipes for homemade ballistics gel. I think I'll make some and stab it. If I have some successful experiments I'll post pictures.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top: Red glass points ready for jewelry.
Middle: Maritime Archaic indian harpoon head and braided line, around a Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon head and line
Bottom: Dorset Palaeoeskimo Harpoon Head (left) and Maritime Archaic Indian Harpoon Head (right)


  1. "Thanks to Mythbuster's the internet is full of recipes for homemade ballistics gel. I think I'll make some and stab it. If I have some successful experiments I'll post pictures".

    Cool idea! If you need a hand - or an audience at the poking party, count me in!

    It might also be fun to test the strengths of various line types while your at it.

    I'd suggest that in the case of the harpoon testing that you try your hand at making a video of the proceedings - it could be valuable to science and might make you a few bucks on You Tube if you get enough hits :)

  2. I wonder where you could get a seal-shaped mould for the ballistics gel?

  3. Most of the fun experiments I can think of involve pulling on the set up until something breaks. I'd be curious to see how much weight the barbed harpoon could pull versus the toggling harpoon and where all the weak points are from the harpoon head down the line, but I'm not keen to break anything this week. I think for now I'll settle for "proof of concept". I want the barbs on the barbed harpoon to catch on something and the toggling harpoon head to toggle. Right now, I don't think the toggle will toggle inside the gel. It pretty much needs to pass all the way through a gel layer and then catch and toggle on the other side.

  4. I definitely have all the necessary layers to play the role but I'm officially taking myself out of the running for lead "seal".

  5. Hmmm, somehow I missed the discussion in the previous posting about John's bd/xmas wish listing. Good thing you alerted me (subtle hint?). We'll see, we'll see.

  6. What if you made some sort of skin to go over the ballistics gel that the harpoon head could toggle on? Or cast a few bones inside?

    Science is fun!


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