Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shifting away from Ground Stone

Early Dorset Harpoon Head, in situ
I'm starting work on a few harpoon heads this week in antler and walrus ivory.  There are a couple Dorset and Thule styles that I've never tried before, that I'm curious about.   I've also had orders for them, which definitely helps justify spending a bit of time playing around with new forms.  A couple of the harpoon heads will probably have ground stone endblades, but for the next few days I'll be working organic materials.  Which I don't mind too much, but the smell of carving antler and ivory is that burnt bone smell that you get at the dentist.  Lori loves the way it sticks in my clothes and my hair when I come back into the house.

Screen Capture from Northwest Coast Archaeology
I've been getting lots of good feedback and questions from the ground stone work, which I really appreciate.  It makes all the time in the workshop go by a little quicker.  I packaged up and sent one of the ulus to a customer in Australia, yesterday.  I bet it never expected to end up there!  A reader from Labrador also pointed out some early ulu-type knives from Stephen Loring's work at Kamestastin in northern Labrador, which have some similarities with Thule ulus, but come from much earlier contexts.  Meanwhile, Quentin Mackie, at Northwest Coast Archaeology posted a thoughtful discussion of some of the similarities and differences between ground stone technologies on the east and west coasts of Canada.  There is lots of good information in his post, Elfshot goes "ground stone", and the comments that it generated.  The slate knives from British Columbia seem to be quite good analogs for the Kamestastin knives and if I ever work on reproductions of those pieces, I think I'll look to B.C. for hafting ideas.

Photo Credits:
1:Tim Rast
2: Screen Capture from Northwest Coast Archaeology

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails