Monday, August 31, 2009

Tuktut Nogait Bow - Second Glance

I've been moving ahead cautiously with the Tuktut Nogait bow reproduction. My plan is still to make two bows side by side, one will be the antiqued reproduction for Parks and one will be a shooting bow for myself. So far, I've stripped the bark from the staves and made a more detailed pattern and examination of the bow itself. Please, if you are an archer or a bowyer and you see me making a mistake along the way, let me know - this is new territory for me.

Yew grows with a dense red heartwood interior and a softer yellow sapwood just below the bark. English longbows are made to take advantage of the different properties of these two wood layers, with the yellow sapwood left on the back of the bow and the red heartwood left on the belly.
The sapwood responds well to the tension on the outside of the bow and the heartwood takes the compression forces on the inside well. However many bows, especially in North America are made on the heartwood alone, with all of the sapwood removed. The Tuktut Nogait bow is very weathered, but I wanted to double check for sapwood before I made any irreversible cuts to my staves. I couldn't see any signs that the bow had any changes throughout its thickness, so I'm confident that its made on heartwood alone. I feel like I can safely remove the sapwood now.

The inside of the fishtail splice on the short limb gives the best view of the grain of the wood and its very flat, with the back following a single growth ring. The main part of the bow is pretty desicated and its tough to see the grain, but I don't believe its made quite the same way. It looks like it was made on a smaller diameter tree and the back of the bow cuts across several growth rings. This is called decrowning. It's not quite as desirable as following a single growth ring for the back of a bow, but if its done properly and the growth rings run the length of the bow, it will work. Although it makes me wonder; if the spliced limb is a repair from an originally complete bow that broke, then perhaps the weakness that comes from cutting across growth rings was a factor in the broken limb.

For the reproductions, understanding how the bows were made relative to the wood grain helps make a few decisions. I think the staves that I have will allow me to make one flat bow which follows a single growth ring for the back and a second one with the same dimensions, that will be decrowned to match the body of the bow. When both are done, or almost done, I'll cut off one limb from each and swap them. The decrowned bow should also help with the antiquing work, because it will be easier to get the weathering and cracking that I need if the wood grain is visible on all sides of the bow.

Finally, I think the fractured end of the bow is less random than it first appeared. I think that part of the string nock is intact, which helps a lot. It shows the style of nock, which is consistent with other cable backed bows from the arctic, it removes the worry that there may have been a missing and unknown composite material used to tip the bow and it means that I have all of the length, width, and thickness measurements available from the centre of the grip to the tip of the limb. It removes a lot of guess work and means I'll have more confidence in the accuracy of the reproduction.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Using the draw knife to strip the bark.
Second, The Tuktut Nogait bow
Third, The end of a yew stave showing the yellow sapwood and the red heartwood
Fourth, Inside the spliced limb - you can see the wood grain. The limb is held belly side up.
Fifth, diagram of the placement of the spliced limb inside a stave
Sixth, diagram of the placement of the bow inside a smaller tree
Seventh, The end of the Tuktut Nogait bow showing the reconstructed stirng nock

Friday, August 28, 2009

Antler Update

The last couple of days have been workshop and shopping days. On Wednesday I got all of the cuts made from my last Rooms visit, which left more time on Thursday to experiment with stains and antiquing. A lot of the wood and antler in this project is in pretty rough shape. Much of it has weathered grey and and there is white rot and other fungus growing on the wood. The wood and antler are delaminating and there is lots of lichen growing on some of the antler.

I've got a few experiments on the go to try and get the colours, patterns, and textures that I need. I can post more details on what works and what doesn't work later. For now I'm having fairly good luck mimicking white rot and weathered antler with a flocking based on soapstone dust and miscellaneous wood, whalebone and antler shaving.

Another experiment that I have on the go is using vinegar to soften antler to reshape it. I usually work antler wet, but I haven't tried soaking it in vinegar instead of water. Supposedly the vinegar will soften the antler enough that curved tines can be straightened out after 24 hours of soaking. I have one tine that I'd like to curve a bit on the antler shown in the vice photo, but the main warping that I want to do is on an antler adze socket.

This piece is one of the most desicated objects in the collection. When it was excavated it came out of the ground in two pieces - I'm only reproducing the larger piece. An adze socket is part of a wood working tool. The narrowing in the middle of the piece was where it was tied onto a handle, (either wood or antler) and there is a hole (or socket) in the larger end where the stone or metal adze blade would have been inserted. In the side by side photos the original is on the left and reproduction is on the right.

There are several big difficulties in reproducing a piece like this. Some of which I've overcome already and some I'm just working through now. There isn't a lot of modification done to the caribou antler, so the first challenge was finding an antler that was as close a match as possible to the one originally used. I found a good one, but over time the antler in the original piece has warped, expanded and cracked. That's what I'm trying to do now. I'm not quite at the antiquing stage yet on this, when I'll add all the damage and cracks, but I need to start prying my relatively fresh antler apart to matching the size of the socket and the surface contours of the original. Right now its sitting in a bucket of vinegar in my shed. It needs to get pliable anough that I can hammer a wedge into the socket and get the expansion and warping that I need.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Antler adze socket from Tuktut Nogait National Park
Second, Antler reproduction in vice getting an experimental coating of rock dust and carpenter's glue to simulate aging. The texture is ok, but I need to get some cracks in there.
Third, Reproduction adze socket soaking in vinegar to soften it.
Fourth, Side by side comparison of original antler adze socket and in progress reproduction
Fifth, Looking down the socket. I need to pry the reproduction socket apart more to match the original.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bird Blunts, Awl and Balls

Isn't there a joke about a panda who does something like that?

Actually its just a list of the most recent pieces I finished for the Western Arctic contract: a Bird Blunt, a Copper Awl, and Stone Balls. Here's some photos from yesterday's visit to The Rooms and brief descriptions of the artifacts and reproductions.

Bird Blunt, Ivvavik National Park: This is a heavy, blunt tip for an arrow designed to stun a bird and knock it out of the air. The legs are rounded and form part of a fishtail splice that would be tied onto an arrowshaft. I used whalebone for the reproduction because it gave me a good match for the dense dorsal surface of the blunt as well as the porous belly. The original may have been made from whalebone, or just as likely caribou antler. If it is caribou antler, then the dense outer layer of antler is much thicker than most of the caribou antler that I have available to work, whalebone was really my only choice from the materials that I have readily available. A bit of tea-staining for the colour and I'm pleased with the match.

The upper photo shows the dorsal surface, with the artifact in between the two reproductions. The lower photo shows the porous ventral surface - the artifact is in the middle again. I'm tempted to trim a millimetre or two off of one or two of the legs after seeing these photos.

Copper Awl, Tuktut Nogait National Park: This is one of the first pieces that I started, and I made 3 or 4 attempts at it before I figured out how to fold and hammer the copper correctly to get a strong core, but still give the piece the hammered, flakey appearance of the original. This last reproduction is a different attempt than the one that I showed in an earlier post. For the colour match I went with red wine vinegar, sea salt, and miracle grow. On a recent trip to the lab at the Signal Hill Archaeology dig I mentioned to the conservator, Danielle, that red wine vinegar is supposed to give better patina results. She thought that it might have something to do with the sulfates in red wine -- that sounds good to me! I got the final look by burning the bright new verdigris off the awl with a blow torch. I'm happy with the end result - the reproduction awl looks every bit as old as the original.

In the photo the artifact is on right, my fingers are in the blue gloves in the background for scale.

Stone Ball, Ivvavik National Park: It took a little fiddling with stone dust, carpenters glue, red ochre, the blow torch and finally a dusting of charcoal to get a close colour and texture match to the original stone ball. I seem to use a blow torch a lot for antiquing. There's a randomness to scorched patterns that makes things look real and it helps darken and complicate a fresh new surface. There are many, many fine layers building up the artificial cortex on these stone balls, so I think they will wear nicely as they are handled.

The original is the one in the middle.

Photo Credits:
Top: cover scan of the hebrew version of "Don't Cry, Big Bird" found on the muppet wiki.
The Rest: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top: Big Bird Crying.
The Rest: Photos of recently completed artifact reproductions.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Tipping Point -- The First Finished Parks Pieces

We have some leaves scattered around the back yard, so it must have been windy last night, but we seem to have come off pretty lightly in St. John's from the passing of what was left of Hurricane Bill. The biggest impact on our household was the loss of the satellite signal for 5 minutes in the middle of last night's episode of True Blood. Mercifully, the storm broke the humidity that we had all day and the wind and rain made for perfect sleeping weather.

Today is a normal workday. I'm in the shed making the modifications to the Parks reproductions that I mapped out on Friday. The Rooms visits to check on the progress are getting kind of overwhelming. I have pretty much every piece on the go now, which is a lot to keep track of in my head. However, I'm hoping that I'm passed a tipping point in the project -- some of the pieces are finished and won't have to go back for comparisons anymore. Hopefully, from now until the end of the project, there will be a steady stream of finished reproductions. I'm looking forward to having fewer pieces to keep track of. Here are the first pieces that I finished.

Net Gauge, Ivvavik National Park: The original artifact is in the middle and the reproductions are above and below it. I've talked a bit about this artifact in a previous post. Its a key shaped tool used to measure the diameter of the gaps in a fishnet. Its made on softwood and I tried to match the weathered surface using a combination of wood stain, rock dust, ochre, and a clear matte spray finish.

Stone Scraper, Banks Island: This one was a little challenging, but unless I can figure out how to stain the stone more I think it will stay in the finished pile. This little scraper was made on what looks to be a pebble with a reddish cortex and green interior, with blue and white layers in between. Its such a specific combination of colours and textures that even if I had complete access to the source of the stone (which I don't) it would still be unlikely that I'd come across an identical stone. I went through boxes and boxes of rock and found a heat treated flake from a source that I'm not certain off (Florida, maybe) that had a similar red cortex and colourful interior. I knapped the scraper to keep the patch of cortex in the same location as on the original and tried staining the stone darker with ochre and shoe polish, with mixed results. Maybe green shoe polish would give a closer match - does that exist? For now its in the finished pile, because I don't know what else to do to make it any closer to the original.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top: Aftermath of Bill - note the scattered leaves.
Second: Net Gauges. The original artifact is in the middle.
Third: Scraper and flake
Fourth: Scraper and scraper reproduction made on the flake in the previous photo.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Steam bending wood - better luck this time!

I made a second attempt at steam bending wood this week and had much better results. Here are the changes I made based on the first failed attempt:
  • I Left the wood long - I'll cut it to length after its bent.
  • I used wood with long straight grain that did not crosscut the piece to be bent.
  • I soaked it longer, in the bathtub, before steaming so that it was good and wet.
  • I modified the jig so that I could use clamps to slowly bend the wood into place and hold the wood together in case it wanted to split.
I also got a new lucky hat from a case of Black Horse this week. I know that helped. Lori loves it, she says its a Bayman hat.

Despite the hat and the improvements in preparation, I think I'll still need at least one more bending session with this piece. The way I had the jig set up didn't let me get the full bend that I needed in the wood because the clamps were extended as far as they could go. There was still flex in the wood and I think it would have bent further, but I just ran out of clamp. I took the piece out of the jig this morning and it flexed back a little bit, but not much. I'll compare the reproduction to the artifact this afternoon and see what more needs to be done then. If the wood is going to flex back a little after its removed from the jig, then I guess I'll need to exaggerate the curve a bit in the jig set up. Kind of like how the brim of your awesome new hat has an exaggerated curve when you find it rolled up in your case of Black Horse.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Is hauling your new equipment onto the back lawn to work the first sign that your workshop is getting too small?
Middle, The wood drying in the jig. If you enlarge the photo, you might see the pencil marks behind the rib showing the necessary curve. I'll need to bend it again to get the curve I need.
Bottom, 1 of 3 hats free in 12 packs of Black Horse - Collect all Three!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Area Runner has Fair Idea of Fall Plans

After spending most of the summer thinking about it, I've finally decided to get my application in for the Fine Craft and Design Fair in St. John's this fall. The deadline for applications is Friday, so I'll drop off my application some time today. Its a 10 day show this year, although you have the options of going for the first five days, the last five days or the full ten days. I've opted for the last five days, November 11-15th, 2009. The biggest reason is that it gives me an extra week to make product, because I have very little on hand at the moment.

Remember, the Fine Craft and Design Fair is moving to the Arts and Culture Centre on MUN's campus this year. There will be tonnes of parking and ADMISSION IS FREE.

On the homefront, the last of our summer visitors was delivered safe and sound to the airport last night. Its been a great summer reconnecting with my mom's side of the family. Today would have been her 69th birthday. On October 4th, please consider Running for the Cure, or you can sponsor me here. I'll leave a link up on the side bar leading up to the run as well.

I also have plans to visit the farm right after the fair, in late November. I haven't been home to visit dad since last summer and it looks like I'll finally be able to redeem some of these Aeroplan points.

At work, things are still plugging away on the Parks Canada contract. There are a half dozen or so pieces (out of 34 total) that are very close to completion. I'll be happy to get a few things knocked off the list, to clear up some of the clutter in my head. Right now, I have so many little projects on the go at various stages of completion that its hard to keep them all straight. I'm up to two weekly visits to The Rooms to compare the artifacts to the reproductions every week. I'll probably continue at that frequency until the work wraps up later in September. As an added incentive, the last of my summer wholesale cheques arrived in the mail yesterday - so, with the exception of one Dorset knife order, I can't expect any more income until this project is completed and out the door.

Photo Credits:
Top, Lori White
Middle, screen grab from Run for the Cure Website
Bottom, Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, An Elfshot Craft Fair Display
Middle, Run for the Cure
Bottom, Ivvavik Slate Knife sitting on a piece of slate I picked up from alongside the old railbed not far from my house -- a perfect match!

Monday, August 17, 2009

How To Get A Round Rock

My aunt Marlene left this morning on a 5 am flight bound for Regina via Toronto. Uncle Gary booked later and couldn't get the same flights, so he's with us until Tuesday evening. They rented a car over the weekend and toured around the Irish Loop and some of the Baccalieu Trail.

Lori and I had a pretty quiet weekend at home. I worked a little on two stone ball reproductions from the collection of artifacts from Ivvavik National Park. The original artifact is pretty close to a perfect sphere and is about 3.5 cm in diameter. It was found in a historic site alongside other toys. Without scratching it or cutting into it its pretty hard to identify the material. It could be clay or stone. I've shown the object to archaeologists and potters and opinions are split. Parks Canada showed this object and the others from Ivvavik National Park to Inuvialuit elders and the majority identified it as a round stone similar to others that they had seen within the area. I'm more comfortable working with stone, so I've chosen to make the reproductions from limestone that I picked up on the west coast of Newfoundland. The weathered surface of the stone is very similar to the weathered surface of the Ivvavik artifact.

I carve the stones into a sphere using my angle grinder with a diamond cutting blade and then tumble them in a rock tumbler for a couple days to erase the tool marks and wear down the facets. The secret to grinding a sphere out of rock is to look for the sharpest angles and grind them down blunt. Keep turning the rock looking for the sharpest angles. Unfortunately the natural weathered surface of the stone is worn off almost immediately and I need to antique the surface to recreate that worn cortex. To add the cortex I use a combination of red ochre, soapstone and limestone dust, diluted carpenters glue and a blow torch. I'm working towards a dusty texture and a warm yellowish-buff-brown colour. I made one of these for Parks last year and I know that I can get a pretty good match to the artifact if I keep adding lots and lots of very thin layers. I'll compare the progress so far to the artifact during my Rooms visit on Tuesday.

The limestone spheres immedietly after carving with the angle grinder and diamond blade.

The same rocks after 36 hours in the rock tumbler.

After the first pass of antiquing. The ball in the foreground is getting close, but I think I may need to tone down the ochre colour in the one in the back.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top: The Ivvavik stone ball artifact
Second: My rock tumbler - purchased a couple years back at Toys R Us
Third-Fifth: Stages of stone ball manufacture.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hello Yew!

The Western Yew bow staves that I ordered arrived this week! This is the wood that I need to make the Tuktut Nogait bow. I'm very happy to have them in hand - they were one of the big question marks hanging over this project and now that they have arrived I know where to lay my hands on all the raw materials that I need. Aside from a couple pieces of slate that I can pick up in industrial areas around town, I think that I've located suitable materials for all of the Parks reproductions. Everything is in my workshop at various stages of completion.

I'm anxious to start on the bow, but I'm going to ease into this new wood. Especially after my problems with the wood kayak rib. I compared the reproduction rib to the original again yesterday and the crack is too deep, I need to start over on a new piece of wood. This isn't unusual - I don't always get a finished reproduction out of every piece I start. Hopefully, I'll be able to avoid the same problems on the second rib. I have a few more criteria for picking the new wood now, rather than just the placement of knots.

The yew staves are quite large and I'm still thinking about how to get the most out of them. I'm not quite sure where the bow will be found insie them, but there is a long strip of waste wood that needs to come off one of the staves. I can safely remove that length of wood and there is more than enough material there to make a smaller reproduction and start to get a feel for the wood. One of the Tuktut Nogait artifacts is identified as a marrow extractor, made from a piece of yew. A marrow extractor is a long stick used to push the greasy marrow out of long bones. In Tuktut Nogait those long bones would most likely have belonged to caribou. There is a bit of weathering and growth on the artifact that will be tricky to replicate, but actually carving the marrow extractor reproduction will be fairly simple.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Caption:
Top, Western Yew coming out of the box
Middle, The staved in my dining room
Bottom, The Tuktut Nogait Marrow Extractor

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An Embarrassing Cracked Rib

Today will be another day in the workshop. I visited the Parks artifacts on Monday and have been making the modifications on the reproductions since then. On Thursday I have another visit scheduled to compare the progress.

I suppose the most interesting thing happening at work right now are my problems with wood bending. These are kind of embarrassing pictures, but these things don't always go according to plan, so here it goes.

On Sunday I tried to steam bend the spruce board that I've been using for the kayak rib reproduction. I soaked it for a few minutes ahead of time and then steamed it for an hour. I came up with a jig that I thought would give me the curve that I needed, but when I tried to bend it, the wood cracked and split along growth rings. To me it seemed like the wood was still pretty dry inside.

It didn't break completely in half, so I took it with me to compare to the original artifact on Monday. One of the reasons that I chose this particular piece of wood to work is that there are no knots in the wood, except for a single tiny knot that matches a tiny knot in the original artifact. In the artifact, this knot is important because the weathering pattern of the wood is affected by it. Its a harder part of the wood so it has weathered like a little volcano around that knot. Its important that the reproduction have a similar knot in the same place. The knots that I'm talking about are the little black specks towards the right side of the pieces in the middle photo.

Coincidentally, the artifact kayak rib thins a lot at the same point that my reproduction rib split. I can remove the wood that cracked and still have enough mass left on that side to make the reproduction. Of course, the challenge now is to go back and try to bend the other end of the rib, which is thicker, without cracking the wood again.

To bend it next time, I plan to soak it in water for longer ahead of time, steam it longer, and use clamps to slowly bend it into shape, rather than try to wrench it into a jig.

Photo Credit: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, The cracked rib in the bending jig
Middle, Comparing the cracked rib to the artifact
Bottom, The crack conveniently lines up with a thinning in the artifact, so I can keep working on this piece.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Site-seeing and Sightseeing with Family

My Uncle Gary and Aunt Marlene are visiting St. John's this week from Regina, Saskatchewan. Marlene is here for the Catholic Women's League National Convention and Gary came along to make a little vacation out of it. They are hoping to spend a few days travelling around the Avalon Peninsula later this week, but the car rental situation in Newfoundland is pretty dire. There aren't enough cars to go around and so far they only have a car booked for a little more than half the time they want to spend on the road.

On Friday we all popped up to the Signal Hill archaeology dig. It was their backfilling day, but Danielle gave us a behind the scenes peek of the artifacts in the lab. They've found a tonne of stuff. Lots and lots of food bones, ceramics, coins, copper ornaments from uniforms, marbles, and buttons. Amanda and her team have a lot of work ahead of them cataloguing the artifacts and preparing the report on the summer. With the close of the excavation for the season, the work is really just beginning.

Marlene is at the Convention for the next few days and Gary is enjoying strolling around the city. Gary and I drove out to Cape Spear last night and watched the whales for a while. The conditions were perfect for whale spotting.

I have my artifact visit scheduled for this afternoon at The Rooms. I'll need to pick up some more odds and ends at the hardware store afterwards. My first attempt at steam bending wasn't successful - among other things, I need more clamps. More on that in future posts.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Gary and Marlene in the Archaeology Lab at Signal Hill
Middle, Artifacts drying after cleaning in the lab
Bottom, Gary at the Eastern Most point in North America - Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Wood Steaming Box

One of the pieces of wood in the Parks collection looks like a bent rib from a kayak. (Its the piece of wood with the green discolouration that I alluded to in an early copper post, that I intend to use verdigris to stain.) The Tuktut Nogait bow also has bent recurves in each limb, so I will need to do some wood bending this summer. Yesterday I got started by building a wood steaming box.

I built the box out of scraps of plywood left over from when I built the workshop. There are dowels running through the middle of the box to support the wood that is being steamed. The steam is an electric tea kettle with a short section of washer drain pipe connected to the bottom of the box. I went with an electric kettle because I didn't want to have to use a stove or flame to heat the kettle. Electric kettles all have auto-off features which shut them off as soon as they start to steam. You need to disable that switch to get the kettle to boil continuously, which means its really important to keep a close eye on the kettle while its working.

I played around with the box yesterday to see how it would all work and if the washing machine hose would melt or the kettle would burst into flames. So far, so good. There are holes around the edge of the lid that I need to plug with rags, I had too much steam escaping. Its important to have some venting so that the pressure doesn't build up too much inside, but it needs to get good and hot inside.

I need to build a jig to match the angle of the bend that I need. The idea is to steam the wood and then quickly clamp it into the shape you want it to take when it is dry. I'll post with updates if it works. If it doesn't, I'll probably just avoid the subject and go look for curved sticks to carve.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Caption:
Top: Probable Kayak Rib from a collection of Inuvialuit artifacts
Second: Wood steaming box
Third: Boiling kettle, attached to Washing Machine drain hose
Bottom: Inside the box - the end of the hose comes up through the floor and the wood to be steamed is suspended on dowels.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Field Trip Day

After some last minute cutting and sanding in the workshop yesterday I went down to The Rooms for my weekly visit. A couple pieces are getting close to the antiquing and finishing stages. I always take lots of photos of the artifacts, so that I can print them out and use them to take notes. As I get more engulfed in the project and familiar with the artifacts I can rely on my memory a bit more, but at this point, I have so many reproductions on the go that if I don't write it down, or mark the cuts directly on the reproductions I'll forget what needs to be done. That's part of the reason for the frequent visits as well, I need to get familiar with the artifacts.

After the trip to The Rooms I swung by the house and picked up Lori and we went for a quick visit to the Signal Hill archaeology dig. Our friend Amanda is the Field School instructor and we didn't want to miss our chance to visit the site. This is the last week that they are digging at the site and everything is exposed. Today and Thursday are the last days to see the pits uncovered - Friday is a backfilling day.

At this point the digging is pretty much over, but the mapping, profiling, and photography are in full swing. Archaeology is a destructive process - once you excavate an area you can't go back and re-excavate it, so its very important that you record everything the first time. I love mapping. Its probably the thing I miss most about fieldwork. Finding the stuff is cool, but its a little passive. If its in the ground and you are digging carefully, you'll spot the artifacts. Mapping is a little more interactive.

The Signal Hill dig is an early 19th Century barracks. One of the most striking features that they have exposed is the large footing for a fireplace. If you have a chance to visit Signal Hill over the next day or two, the dig is definitely worth seeing in person. If not, check out their blog - its been hopping this summer and has tonnes of stories and photos from the summer. There are lots of artifact pictures as well.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top, Parks Reproductions and paperwork in progress
Second, Lori and Amanda at Amanda's Signal Hill Archaeology Field School
Third, Paperwork under the watchfull eye of Cabot Tower
Fourth, Drawing a Stratigraphic Profile.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Flintknapper Schedules Work, Not So Good at Play

The order for Java Jack's is in the mail. I worked full days on Saturday and Sunday to get it finished and shipped before Monday morning. I need to spend today working on the Parks contract so that I have some progress to check on my next visit to The Rooms on Tuesday.

I work at home, so it feels like I'm always at work. Over the past couple of years I've tried to stick to a regular work routine, 9-5, Monday to Friday, just to keep from working all the time and to try to be on the same schedule as friends and family. From time to time, everybody has to work extra hours, but when you work at home your job is always around you so its really easy to work too much. After a few years of doing this, its became obvious that I'm in this for the long haul. A person can't work around the clock for the rest of their life, just because the work is always there. Its a marathon, not a sprint. If I don't schedule my evenings and weekends off, no one else will give them to me.

I guess I'm just trying to say that I don't normally work weekends and that since I did to get this one order out the door I'll give myself some time off later this week when my family comes to visit from Saskatchewan. My uncle Gary and aunt Marlene are going to be visiting for a few days from Regina. Gary and Janet (who was here last week) are my mom's siblings and this is the first time they've come to visit Newfoundland since I moved here in 1996, so its been a great excuse to get out and enjoy the summer a bit myself.

Photo Credits:
Top, screen grab from Java Jacks website
Middle & Bottom, Tim Rast

Photo Captions:
Top: Java Jacks, Rocky Harbour in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador
Middle: A pair of Fibre Optic earrings - there are lots of blues and green fibre optic jewellry en route to Java Jacks.
Bottom: The wall calendar I schedule my work and my life on.
Related Posts with Thumbnails