Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Dorset Palaeoeskimo Set of Reproductions

The Dorset Palaeoeskimo artifact reproductions that I'm working on for the interpretation of the archaeology sites on Dildo Island are all finished.  However, as I write this, I realize that technically there was a harpoon in this set as well, but since all I did on that was make a replacement endblade for one that was lost over the years it slipped my mind.  Oh well.  Here's most of the Dorset pieces; a small soapstone pot, a hafted and unhafted chert scraper and a hafted and unhafted chert knife.

Chert scraper with twisted sinew lashing on a wood handle.  I'm not exactly sure what type of wood I used for the handle, it was left over from a recent project.  It might have been willow.

A Dorset knife with a handle inspired by handles found at Port au Choix, Newfoundland and Labrador.  There is also a replacement blade made from a nice banded grey chert leaning against the soapstone vessel in the background.

My main influence or the scraper handle was this wood scraper handle (right) in the Button Point collection from Bylot Island.  I saw this handle at the Canadian Museum of History when I was there a couple weeks ago to look at the drums in the same collection.  Its a simple open socket, with a well defined groove for lashing.  

The soapstone pot in the background is the same one that I showed in the previous post.  Aside from a little bit of finishing carving and abrading, the main difference is the antiquing, which was done by oiling the soapstone, smearing in charcoal and scorching it in a candle flame.  I haven't quite worked out a way to add thick layers of burnt grease to a reproduction, but it's relatively simple to add a dark stain of soot to make something appear fire-kissed.
 Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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