Friday, February 6, 2015

Reproducing Artifacts for the Ikaahuk Archaeology Project

Pre-Dorset Harpoon Head
I'm starting work on an exciting new commission for the Ikaahuk Archaeology Project.  The artifacts are permanently stored at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife and are being housed at The Rooms while they are on loan here in Newfoundland.  I love working on reproductions when I can work from the actual artifacts.  The eight pieces in the collection are remarkable examples of the 4500 year long history of Banks Island in the Western Arctic from Pre-Dorset right up to historic Inuvialuit. Over the coming weeks I'll be working on and blogging about these eight artifacts in more detail, but here is a first peek from my initial visit with the artifacts this morning.
Historic awl, with iron point
Lisa Hodgetts, the project lead with the Ikaahuk Archaeology Project, sent me photos of all of the artifacts, which I used to prepare the quote.  Once the quote was accepted, Lisa went to work helping set up the loan agreement between the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre and The Rooms.  The artifacts were shipped to the Province this week and arrived at The Rooms yesterday.  I printed these photos at 1:1 scale and took them with me to the Archaeology and Ethnology Lab at The Rooms to compare to the actual artifacts.  I took notes and measurements and added them to the printouts of the photos.  I also started taking my own photos of all the odd angles and details that I will need as I work on the reproductions.  These printouts and photos will be my templates when I'm in the workshop.  Most of the artifacts are more-or-less complete, with only minor damage, so I'll make complete versions of the artifacts, then break them and antique them to match the originals.  The plan is to take the works-in-progress in to The Rooms to compare against the originals two or three times a week until the work is all done.

Pre-Dorset Awl

Thule Harpoon Head 

Thule Slate Ulu

Pre-Dorset Scraper

Thule Bola Weight 

Historic Fishing Lure
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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