Friday, March 12, 2010

Elfshot in Words and Pictures

Over the past couple of months the Craft Division of the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development has been working with Newfoundland and Labrador craft producers to supply them with free professional product photography by Eric Walsh and Artist's Statements and Product Descriptions by craft writer and curator, Gloria Hickey. Here are the results for Elfshot:

Tim Rast

Elfshot has offered flintknapped artifact reproductions and jewellery since 1997.

"When I came up with the name Elfshot I felt more comfortable drawing from European folklore than from native cultures. My credibility as a flintknapper comes from my being an archaeologist."
Tim Rast

When people in Europe would find flint arrowheads in days gone by they called them "elfshot" supposing fairies made them. Today, without modern shortcuts or power tools, Tim Rast flintknaps artifact reproductions just as the originals would have been made hundred and thousands of years ago. Only his initials "TR" distinguish his authentic reproduction knives and harpoons from the originals. Being a professional archaeologist and based in Newfoundland, Tim Rast is blessed with ready access to artifact collections and a wealth of raw materials. He uses stone, wood, moose and caribou parts, sealskin, whalebone and baleen collected from Newfoundland's woods and beaches. Most of Rast's jewellery designs are based on the flintknapped arrowhead. It is a simple but mesmerizing interplay of rounded curves and sharp lines, a shape with contemporary appeal that over millions of years is hard-wired in our species. When making jewellery, Rast grinds the razor sharp edge off the arrowhead to make them safe to wear and handle.

Product description:
In addition to artifact reproductions and special commissions, Elfshot's product line includes flintknapped pendants, brooches, earrings and tie-tacks. Popular materials range from Newfoundland chert to dazzling Fibre Optic Glass, in a variety of complementary wire wraps. Kits for beginner knappers provide easy to follow instructions and tools that can be used to recycle consumer glass into jewellery.

Photo Credits: Eric Walsh
Text: Gloria Hickey

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