Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Recording artifacts to reproduce them

A quartzite projectile point
I'm starting work soon on a set of hafted reproductions based on artifacts from an Intermediate Period site in Sheshatshiu, Labrador.  The site is being investigated by Scott Neilsen.  I've made a few pieces from this site in the past, but this will be my first opportunity to haft them.  The finished pieces will be used in interpretive programming in the Labrador Interpretation Centre.  Over the coming weeks, I'll post more information on the reproductions and details on a couple upcoming opportunities to hear Scott speak about the site later this spring.

A handy photo for scale, but its hard to make an accurate
reproduction without a lot more photos from different angles.
I won't have access to the original artifacts while I am working on the reproductions, so I'll have to rely on measurements and photographs.  I always take a few straight overhead shots with a scale to use when I print my patterns, but most of the photos that I need are details and oblique angle shots that are not usually printed in reports.  On particularly complex artifacts, I might take dozens and dozens of photos from every angle imaginable.  One of the pieces in the Sheshatshiu collection is a hammerstone with a fairly complex pattern of pitting and flaking around its perimeter.  I decided to take a short video clip of the stone being rotated in my hand to capture the pattern ringing the rock.  I really don't know why I haven't thought of taking video clips before.  With HD video, I can freeze any frame I want and view it as a still image.  If I take a couple overhead shots with a scale to establish the size of an artifact, I can save all kinds of photography time by taking a few seconds of video for all the other oblique angle and edge detail shots.  Kind of kicking myself for not realizing this a decade ago.  After realizing how useful the video clip will be for the hammerstone, I went back and took short video clips of all the other artifacts, like this quartzite projectile point...

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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